GENEVA (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) has issued a comprehensive, wide-ranging new “global labour rights report” that examines for the first time the challenges and successes in implementing all eight of its fundamental labour standards on freedom of association and collective bargaining, forced and child labour and discrimination in the workplace.
The new General Survey entitled “Giving Globalization a human face” says while there has been significant progress over the past decade in the ratification and implementation of fundamental labour standards, this has been jeopardized in a number of countries by the challenges of the recent global economic and jobs crisis.
“The eight Conventions constitute the social floor of rights at work and are an integral part of the United Nations human rights framework,” said Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, Director of the ILO’s Department of International Labour Standards. “This report amounts to a global labour rights report that examines implementation of the eight fundamental conventions together for the first time.”
Those Conventions are C. 87 and C. 98 covering freedom of association and collective bargaining, C. 29 and C. 105 on forced labour, C. 138 and C. 182 on child labour, and C. 100 and C. 111 with respect to discrimination at work. To date, 135 of the ILO’s 183 Member States have ratified all eight fundamental. Among the remaining 48 member States have yet to complete ratification of all eight Conventions are the member States with the highest populations.
The report also notes that while there have been a number of important successes over the past decade in implementing these fundamental conventions, serious problems of application remain in several member States. The General Survey aims to provide guidance on how to overcome these implementation gaps. In addition, the efforts to achieve universal ratification of the fundamental conventions by 2015 may be hampered by challenges arising from the global economic, financial and jobs crisis, as well as recent events in North Africa and the Middle East.
“This General Survey emphasizes the vital importance of not only ratifying, but also effectively implementing, these fundamental Conventions, with a view to building a sustainable socio-economic framework that would ensure peace, stability, economic development and prosperity and social justice worldwide,“ Ms. Doumbia-Henry says.
The General Survey is accompanied by a separate report of the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR), whose work constitutes the cornerstone of the ILO's supervisory system on international labour standards. The CEACR, as an independent body composed of high-level legal experts, monitors conformity of national laws and practices with ratified international labour standards. The annual report contains nearly 1,000 observations pinpointing cases of progress but also labour rights violations on various subject-matters ranging from child labour to unemployment benefits.
In June 2012, the International Labour Conference will examine the CEACR’s report and select the most salient cases of non-compliance with ratified ILO Conventions for discussion in this unique international tripartite forum composed of Governments, workers and employers. The International Labour Conference will also examine the General Survey.
Finally, the information contained in the CEACR report is supplemented by the “Information document on ratifications and standards-related activities” prepared by the Office.
* Giving globalization a human face, Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, International Labour Office, Geneva 2012.