108th Session of the International Labour Conference (2019)

Accreditation and registration formalities

Composition of national delegations

Member States’ delegations to the International Labour Conference are composed of four delegates: two Government delegates, one delegate representing the Employers and one delegate representing the Workers (Constitution, article 3(1)).

Each delegate may be accompanied by advisers, who shall not exceed two for each technical item on the Conference agenda (Constitution, article 3(2)). There are presently four technical items on the agenda (items III, IV, V and VI), therefore each Government, Employers’ and Workers’ delegate to the International Labour Conference may be accompanied by up to eight advisers. In order to allow for a full and equal participation of Government, Employer and Worker representatives, in line with the principles of tripartism, the number of advisers accompanying each of the delegates should be balanced. Travel and living expenses of delegates and their advisers are to be borne by their respective States (Constitution, article 13(2)(a)).

Under the Constitution, member States must ensure that their delegations are fully tripartite and that they remain so throughout the duration of the Conference, in particular for the purpose of voting, which takes place on the last days of the session. Delegates must be able to act in full independence of one another. The non-Government delegates must be chosen in agreement with the most representative organizations of employers and workers, respectively, in their respective countries, if such organizations exist (Constitution, article 3(5)).

Gender parity

Governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations are asked to bear in mind the resolutions addressing the participation of women in ILO meetings, adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 60th (1975), 67th (1981), 78th (1991) and 98th (2009) Sessions, as well as the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution of 1990, which recommended targets for increasing the proportion of women in leadership positions to 30 per cent by 1995 and 50 per cent by 2000. As the proportion of women among delegates and advisers nevertheless remains low, the Governing Body has requested the Director-General to send letters after every Conference to Members which have not reached a 30 per cent level of participation of women in ILC delegations, and to report periodically to the Governing Body on any obstacles encountered, as well as any measures taken to achieve gender parity, which the United Nations has defined as 45–55 per cent participation by women.

In June 2018, the proportion of women accredited in delegations was 32.7 per cent of total delegates. However, the distribution between the three groups was uneven, with a significantly lower proportion of women accredited to Employers’ and Workers’ delegations (26.2 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively) than to Government delegations (38.7 per cent). This represents a slight increase as against 2017, but lags considerably behind the abovementioned targets. Letters were despatched to the member States that failed to reach a 30 per cent level of participation by women in their delegations.

Governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations are therefore strongly urged to include a higher percentage of women in their delegations to the Conference, with a view to achieving gender parity. Click here to view an infographic with the most recent figures.


The credentials of tripartite national delegations must be deposited with the International Labour Office 21 days before the opening of the Conference (i.e. Monday, 20 May), to allow sufficient time for the large number of participants whose credentials and visa requests require processing, respectively, by the Office and the Swiss authorities.

The Online Accreditation System for member States’ tripartite delegations is available at www.ilo.org/credentials. Access codes will be sent to Permanent Missions of member States in Geneva in April. Member States without Permanent Missions in Geneva may request codes directly from credentials@ilo.org. In view of the large number of credentials annually processed (over 6,000 in 2018), Member States are urged to use the Online Accreditation System to submit the credentials of their tripartite delegations. Not only does the Online System expedite accreditation, but it ensures that participants’ details are accurately uploaded and that the registration to speak and participate in committees may be completed.

An Explanatory note for national delegations on the deposit of credentials is available on the credentials website, describing the various categories of participants at the Conference and the roles that they play.