ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations
Go to the home page
Français - Español
> Homepage > Online information resources > Resource guides > History of the ILO

Library brochure
Governing Body Collection

Library brochure
ILO Conventions: background and preparatory work

Library brochure
Services & Digital Collections
(pdf 139 KB)

ILO Library brochure
(pdf 135 KB)

ILO activities in the post-war world (Part 2: 1960-1988)

Select to magnify the image Select to magnify the image Select to magnify the image

  1. Key documents

ILO Declaration concerning the policy of apartheid of the Republic of South Africa

In June 1963, the ILO Governing Body decided to exclude South Africa from some of the trade committees because of its policy of apartheid. In 1964, at its 48th Session, the International Labour Conference (ILC) unanimously approved the Declaration concerning the Policy of Apartheid of the Republic of South Africa and the ILO programme for the elimination of apartheid in the field of labour. The Declaration reasserted the principle of equal opportunity, condemned the South African Government′s racial policy and demanded that South Africa recognize and fulfil its undertaking to respect the freedom and dignity of all human beings by renouncing its policy of apartheid.

In order to avoid being officially excluded, the Republic of South Africa withdrew from ILO of its own accord, notifying its departure on 11 March 1964. It rejoined the Organization on 26 May 1994, three years after the official abrogation of the apartheid laws and ten days after the election of Nelson Mandela as President of the Republic. In 1990, Nelson Mandela, then Vice-President of the African National Congress (ANC), attended the 77th Session of the ILC, where he paid tribute to ILO for its struggle against apartheid. In June 2007, ILO awarded its first annual Decent Work Research Prize jointly to Nelson Mandela and Professor Carmelo Mesa-Lago, in recognition of their unique personal contribution to improving the lives of people around the world.

The Instrument of Amendment to the ILO Constitution (No. 2, 1964), which reads “Inclusion in the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation of a provision empowering the Conference to suspend from participation in the International Labour Conference any member which has been found by the United Nations to be flagrantly and persistently pursuing by its legislation a declared policy of racial discrimination such as apartheid", is not currently in force.
  1. 1960-1988:
    ILO activities in the post-war world (Part 2: 1960-1988)
    1. 1960
    2. 1964
    3. 1965
    4. 1968
    5. 1969
    6. 1970
    7. 1973
    8. 1974
    9. 1977
    10. 1982
    11. 1986
  2. 1919-1939
  3. 1940-1945
  4. 1946-1959
  5. 1989-1998
  6. 1999-

ILO Century Project

ILO Century Project Timeline

The ILO and the Quest for Social Justice

Video: The ILO and the Quest for Social Justice

Ask a librarian

Last update: 23.02.2015 ^ top