Central to ILO’s work since its founding in 1919 is promotion of equality between women and men and ending discrimination in the world of work. Combating discrimination through promotion of equality is an essential component in the Decent Work Agenda. Discrimination stifles development opportunities for workers, indigenous and tribal peoples, women, children, people with disabilities, workers with HIVAIDS, and other socially isolated sectors of society.
Through promotion of freedom of association, the ILO seeks to prevent discrimination against workers organizing into trade unions at the same time encouraging employers to organize and promote private sector interests. A Freedom of Association project is about to emerge to support this initiative. The ILO develops programmes and technical cooperation projects to fight child labour, particularly for boys and girls trapped in hazardous occupations. The International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) project is about to start. Existing technical projects for indigenous peoples are implemented in Caraga region and Lake Sebu. Campaign for ratification of Convention 169 is an ongoing concern of the ILO.