India, a Founding Member of the ILO, has been a permanent member of the ILO Governing Body since 1922. The first ILO Office in India started in 1928. The decades of productive partnership between the ILO and its constituents has mutual trust and respect as underlying principles and is grounded in building sustained institutional capacities and strengthening capacities of partners. It has a two-directional focus for socio-economic development: overall strategies and ground-level approaches.
The ILO's overarching goal is Decent Work, i.e., promoting opportunities for all women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity. DW is at the heart of ILO's strategies for economic and social progress, central to efforts to reduce poverty and a means to achieve equitable, inclusive and sustainable development India's 11th Plan's vision of faster and inclusive growth through a process which yields broad-based benefits and ensures equality of opportunity for all – with a strong emphasis on decent working and living conditions for all. A number of India's 11th Plan targets are in consonance with the DW agenda.
The DW concept is translated into Decent Work Country Programmes (DWCPs), prepared and adopted by the tripartite constituents and ILO, at country levels. The DWCP-India (2007-12), aligned to the 11th Plan and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, focuses on 3 priorities.
Priority 1: Opportunities enhanced for productive work for women and men, particularly for youth and vulnerable groups, especially through skills development;
Priority 2: Social protection progressively extended, particularly in the context of informalization;
Priority 3: Unacceptable forms of work progressively eliminated.
The cross-cutting issues are special focus while implementing the DWCP under the three priority areas are:
(a) Social dialogue and strengthening of partners;
(b) Informal economy; and
(c) Gender equality.
ILO's current portfolio in India centers around child labour, preventing family indebtedness employment, skills, integrated approaches for local socio-economic development and livelihoods promotion, green jobs, value-addition into national programmes, micro and small enterprises, social security, HIV/AIDS, migration, industrial relations, dealing with the effects of globalization, productivity and competitiveness, etc.
The Decent Work Technical Support Team (DWT) for South Asia stationed in New Delhi, through its team of Specialists, provides technical support at policy and operational levels to member States in the sub-region.