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GB.268/LILS/WP/PRS/2
268th Session
Geneva, March 1997
 
Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards LILS

SECOND ITEM ON THE AGENDA

Follow-up on the recommendations of the Working Party

Contents

Introduction

I. Follow-up within the Office

II. Follow-up in member States

III. Concluding remarks

Appendix I: Internal Office information note addressed to technical departments and the multidisciplinary teams: Policy regarding the revision of standards: Follow-up measures pursuant to Governing Body decisions
Appendix II: Ratifications registered between 1 November 1995 and 28 February 1997


Introduction

1. At its meeting in November 1996 the Working Party requested the Office to prepare a paper on the steps taken to follow up the policy decisions of the Governing Body with regard to the revision of standards. This document accordingly describes the measures that have been taken both within the Office and in the member States and makes suggestions for future action.

2. In its March 1996 decision the Governing Body pointed out that the implementation of certain recommendations of the Committee on the Legal Issues on International Labour Standards did call for action on the part of the Office and of the member States. In the case of the Office the follow-up involves taking specific action on the recommendations for each of the Conventions examined and giving the Working Party a progress report. For the member States the follow-up entails conducting the tripartite consultations called for in the Working Party's recommendations so as to bring about a sufficiently broad consensus to enable a decision to be taken at the national level on the ratification of certain Conventions and, in some cases, the denunciation of earlier Conventions in the same area, and also informing the Office of the need to revise certain instruments.

3. Appendix I contains a recapitulation of the Conventions discussed by the Working Party so far and of the corresponding action to be taken.

I. Follow-up within the Office

4. The Office has prepared information notes drawing the attention of the technical departments, regional offices and multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) to the Governing Body's decisions. It is essential that all the units and officials concerned, and particularly the MDT experts, cooperate if the policy decisions regarding the revision of standards are to be properly followed up. Five groups of Convention have been identified that call for specific follow-up action on the part of the Office and the member States.

5. Regarding the Conventions on basic human rights at work a document will be placed before the LILS Committee on the Office's campaign to have these Conventions universally ratified.(1) In addition, the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations will regularly submit special surveys on the fundamental human rights Conventions, analysing the possible obstacles to ratification and the extent to which the Conventions are being applied at the national level.

6. Following the Working Party's proposals for revision, the revision of the instruments on maternity protection, which will be placed on the agenda of the Conference in 1999 if the Governing Body so decides at the present session, will include Convention No. 3. The Working Party also decided in March 1996 that the Night Work of Young Persons (Non-Industrial Occupations) Convention, 1946 (No. 79), should be revised, possibly in the form of a Protocol to Night Work Convention, 1990 (No. 171), as suggested for the other instruments on night work of young persons examined at the present meeting. It must be borne in mind that proposals for revision entail the preparation by the technical departments of the Office of preliminary studies on national law and practice so that the Governing Body can decide whether or not to place the instruments selected for revision on the agenda of a forthcoming session of the Conference. The Working Party may wish to suggest a revision procedure to facilitate the technical preparation by the Office and simplify the Conference's work.

7. Regarding the general surveys that the Committee of Experts has been asked to carry out, the Governing Body has on the LILS Committee's recommendation already made provision for a general survey of the instruments concerning migrant workers for 1998. Since the theme of the surveys for the next two periods has been decided, the other recommendations of the Working Party as regards general surveys on hours of work and night work of women will be submitted to the LILS Committee for November 1998.

8. The Working Party has asked the social partners to provide information on changes in national law and practice that might point to the need to revise certain Conventions. So far these ad hoc requests for information have concerned only a small number of Conventions. After the present session the Office will start compiling this information systematically so as to present a detailed survey of Conventions that need to be revised.

9. Promotion of the ratification of Conventions already revised means that the Office must take firm steps to bring about the ratification of the updated Conventions and the denunciation of the earlier Conventions that have been judged obsolete or have been shelved. The competent authorities and the employers' and workers' organizations could, for example, ask the Office to provide them with relevant technical information on the recent Conventions so as to facilitate tripartite consultations and a decision in favour of ratifying them and denouncing the earlier instruments. As stipulated in the policy decisions on the revision of standards, the Office would like the constituents to send it any information on difficulties they may have with implementing the Governing Body's decisions.

10. Early in 1997 the Office took the initiative of sending a formal communication to certain governments drawing their attention to the possibility of taking some of the steps called for in the Governing Body's decisions. Some instances have been identified where both an earlier and an updated Convention are still in force (for example, Conventions Nos. 3 and 103 on maternity protection and Conventions Nos. 4 and 89 (and its Protocol) on night work of women). Governments have been advised of this anomaly of such situations and invited to denounce the earlier Convention.

11. Since not all the member States are concerned in the same way by the ratification and denunciation of Conventions, the Office will continue to send communications to those States that might benefit most from continuing their qualitative examination of the ratified Conventions currently in force, in the light of the Governing Body's decisions. Technical working papers on the subject are currently being prepared that will contain detailed information on ratified Conventions that are in force in each State, so as to determine the kind of steps that member States might take in the immediate future to follow up the Working Party's recommendations and raise the level of ratifications.

12. The Office's technical departments are all in a position to help arrange consultations in the case of ratification of certain technical Conventions (in the field of social security or occupational safety and health, for example), and to answer any of the social partners' questions.

13. In the course of his missions to Austria, Finland, Norway and Sweden at the end of last year, the Deputy Director of the Europe Regional Office suggested measures that could be taken to implement the Working Party's recommendations. For example, thanks to their own activities and their contacts with the social partners the Office's departments can do much to further the policy regarding the revision of standards. The International Labour Standards Department has likewise provided verbal and written replies to many delegations that wished to have consultations on the Conventions examined by the Working Party.

14. According the active partnership policy guidelines, the regional offices and MDTs have a special role to play in encouraging discussion of the possible revision of standards in the field. Furthermore, the International Labour Standards Department, in collaboration with the Turin Centre, has organized subregional tripartite seminars to explain the policy decisions regarding the revision of standards and discuss them with representatives of the government authorities and the employers' and workers' organizations.

15. The main activities were organized in Mexico in April 1996 (for Central America, Panama, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Mexico), and in Iguazu, Brazil, in December 1996 (for certain members of MERCOSUR: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), with the support of experts on standards from the MDTs concerned and from the Turin Centre. On these occasions the Office stressed the priority that needs to be given to ratifying certain Conventions and drew attention to the possibility of denouncing others that are no longer relevant. For example, Brazil and Uruguay, which have ratified the Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 97), could denounce the Inspection of Emigrants Convention, 1926 (No. 21). Seminars such as that held in Iguazu can help to bring social policy decisions, which are sometimes taken at the subregional level, more into line with ILO standards.

16. Regarding consultations on the Right of Association (Non-Metropolitan Territories) Convention, 1947 (No. 84), the Office has suggested to the authorities in Fiji that they confirm ratification of the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87). National seminars have been organized in Mauritius and Zaire on the same subject. In collaboration with the Budapest MDT and in cooperation with the Lithuanian Ministry of Labour, a seminar on international labour standards was held in Vilnius in February 1997 to explain the policy decisions regarding the revision of standards.

17. It is planned that the forthcoming subregional tripartite seminars on international labour standards will include presentations and discussions focussing specifically on the Governing Body's policy decisions. Resources permitting, specific activities could also be organized to encourage tripartite consultation and other national efforts to facilitate implementation of the measures called for therein.

18. The Office would like to emphasize that its efforts can only be productive if the governments contacted inform it of their intentions vis--vis the action proposed. The Working Party could ask the LILS Committee to draw member States' attention to the importance of implementing the policy decisions regarding the revision of standards and to the possibility of contacting the International Labour Standards Department or the MDT experts on standards and taking advantage of the Office's technical assistance.

19. The Office has also taken follow-up action on the Conventions that have been shelved or for possible abrogation; inter alia, it has prepared documents regarding a proposed amendment to the Constitution that will be submitted to the Conference in June 1997. With respect to the Conventions that have been shelved member States have not been asked to send reports to the supervisory bodies, and the MDTs have received instructions no longer to encourage their ratification. Finally, the Office will make sure that the shelved Conventions are clearly identified in publications, research work and lists of ratifications as having been shelved by Governing Body decision, so as to distinguish them from the rest of the ILO's standards.

20. The supervisory bodies (notably the Committee of Experts and the Conference Committee on the Application of Standards) have, where appropriate, drawn governments' attention to the more recent instruments that they could ratify, and have offered to help them resolve any difficulties in their application. In its 1996 General Survey, for example, the Committee of Experts invited States that had not yet ratified the Protection of Wages Convention, 1949 (No. 95), to envisage doing so, along with the Protection of Workers Claims (Employers Insolvency) Convention, 1992 (No. 173).

21. The International Labour Conference in Geneva, which is attended by a large number of tripartite delegations, could be a good occasion to remind constituents of the Governing Body's policy decisions regarding the revision of standards, and this would help the LILS Committee considerably in its work.

II. Follow-up in member States

22. Their implementation of the Working Party's recommendations affords member States an opportunity to review their situation as regards ILO Conventions and, in so doing, to reaffirm their commitments in the light of the Governing Body guidelines and strengthen the ILO standard-setting system by ratifying up-to-date instruments.

23. The Governing Body has specifically invited member States to inform the Office of the need to revise certain Conventions and to examine the possibility of ratifying updated Conventions. It is important that it be in a position to evaluate the arguments in favour of ratification precisely, as well as any obstacles that may have been identified in the course of discussions at the national level on the Conventions examined by the Working Party. In doing this, the idea is to promote the simultaneous review, where appropriate, of the ratification of updated Conventions and the denunciation of earlier or obsolete Conventions on the same subject.

24. The Governing Body has expressed the desire to be informed of any changes in national law and practice and of any difficulties inherent in certain Conventions that could justify revising certain instruments. The Office is relying on the relevant authorities and the social partners to send it this information, which will benefit future work on the revision of standards.

25. The outcome of the policy decisions with regard to the revision of standards depends on the commitment of the governmental authorities and social partners to organizing tripartite consultations at the national level and to taking constructive decisions in response to the Working Party's recommendations.

26. As the Governing Body's decisions have shown, policy measures with regard to the revision of standards must be such as to strengthen tripartite consultation in the area of international labour standards. The rules outlined by the Conference are relevant here.

27. The Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 144), and the Tripartite Consultation (Activities of the International Labour Organisation) Recommendation, 1976 (No. 152), provide for tripartite consultations to be held on:

  1. government replies to questionnaires and government comments on proposed texts to be discussed by the Conference;
  2. the proposals to be made to the competent authorities in connection with the submission of Conventions and Recommendations;
  3. the examination of reports on unratified Conventions;(2)
  4. measures with respect to unratified Conventions and Recommendations;(3)
  5. the denunciation of Conventions.

28. The issues raised in the policy decisions regarding the revision of standards are clearly covered by the provisions of Article 5, paragraph 1, of Convention No. 144 and paragraph 5 of Recommendation No. 152, which provide for the possibility of organizing effective consultations in order to update and strengthen the ILO's standard-setting system. As stated in paragraphs 11 and 12, the social partners are welcome to the Office's technical assistance.

29. The tripartite consultations must be organized at the appropriate level. The Office can, as appropriate, provide technical assistance in resolving any problems that arise in the course of the review of the Conventions or in setting up preliminary meetings to explain and analyse the Governing Body's decisions.

30. Appendix II contains a table of ratifications and denunciations registered between 1 November 1995 (the start of the Working Party's discussions) and 28 February 1997. Twenty-six of the ratifications concern 17 of the Conventions examined, the highest number going to Conventions dealing with matters already covered by earlier Conventions (eight ratifications for six Conventions). Twenty-one ratifications concern the fundamental and priority Conventions. As to the five denunciations, these concern Conventions that have been shelved or follow the ratification of a revised Convention. The ratifications registered are quite consistent with the Working Party's recommendations, which suggests that the current trend is in line with the guidelines set out and with the ongoing process of updating the ILO's standard-setting system.

31. It would be useful if member States could provide the Office with information on tripartite consultations they have held to implement the Governing Body's policy decisions regarding the revision of standards. This information would be very valuable for the Working Party and for the LILS Committee in their future discussions.

III. Concluding remarks

32. Some of the Working Party's recommendations are intended to have immediate effect, while others may only be applicable once the member States concerned have been consulted. The Office is convinced that action taken at the national level will be well received by the bodies concerned and that, in accordance with each country's constitutional procedure, the policy regarding the revision of standards will have the desired effect.

33. The Working Party might consider the possibility of an appeal being made at the next session of the Conference (June 1997) -- in the Committee on the Application of Standards, for example -- in order to familiarize the delegations present with the decisions of the Governing Body. The Working Party will no doubt wish to be kept regularly informed of the steps taken by the Office and of their outcome.

34. Consequently, the Working Party on Policy Regarding the Revision of Standards is invited to take note of the information contained in this document, and to consider the possibility:

  1. of inviting the Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards to request the Governing Body to remind member States of the importance of implementing its recommendations on the policy regarding the revision of standards and of sending the Office information on the need to revise the Conventions examined, together with any other information on obstacles that may have been encountered, in order to facilitate future work on the policy regarding the revision of standards;
  2. of inviting the Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards to request the Governing Body, in its contacts with the competent authorities and the employers' and workers' organizations, to remind them of the prime importance of engaging in tripartite consultations if the policy regarding the revision of standards is to have a favourable outcome.

Geneva, 7 March 1997.

Point for decision: Paragraph 34.

1. Document GB.268/LILS/7.

2. According the Recommendation No. 152, consultations should also be held on questions arising out of reports made under article 19 (on the submission of proposals to the competent authorities and on unratified Conventions and Recommendations) and,according to national practice, on the legislative aspects of the application of Conventions (especially ratified Conventions) and Recommendations.

3. These measures are to be re-examined "at appropriate intervals".


Appendix I

[Internal Office information note addressed to technical departments and the multidisciplinary teams]

(a)

Policy regarding the revision of standards: Follow-up measures
pursuant to Governing Body decisions

Introduction

1. At its 262nd Session (March-April 1995), the Governing Body approved the setting up of a Working Party on Policy regarding the Revision of Standards. This decision was taken following the discussions on the standard-setting policy at the International Labour Conference in 1994. Since its creation, the Working Party has held three meetings (in November 1995, and March and November 1996) and has formulated a significant number of recommendations that have been unanimously approved by the Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards (LILS Committee) and the Governing Body. This note reviews the decisions taken thus far by the Governing Body, in order to inform the technical and regional departments, the external offices and the multidisciplinary teams, and to guide them in the setting up of follow-up measures that the Governing Body decisions require.

2. Until now, the Working Party has conducted individual examinations of 71 Conventions. Decisions have been taken by the Governing Body for 65 of these Conventions.(1) The Conventions thus examined have been arranged into five groups for which a certain range of actions are required either by the Office or by the member States.

I. Conventions on basic human rights at work and priority Conventions

3. In November 1995, the Governing Body confirmed the central role of ten Conventions within the standard system. It considered that these Conventions remained fully relevant and up to date, and that there was no reason to contemplate their revision. These ten Conventions are the following:

(a) Six Conventions on basic human rights at work, in three areas:

(i) Freedom of association

(ii) Forced labour

(iii) Non-discrimination

The Governing Body decision strengthens the essential role and function of these Conventions, as recognized by the Social Summit in Copenhagen. It will be recalled that a ratification campaign is under way which is aimed at the universal ratification of these Conventions by the year 2000. The Working Party has indicated that the prohibition of child labour forms part of basic human rights, but it has taken no decision on the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) pending the outcome of the Conference discussions in 1998 and 1999 on this issue.

(b) Four priority Conventions, in three areas:

(i) Employment policy

(ii) Labour inspection

(iii) Tripartite consultation

4. The Governing Body decision reinforces the special status of the ten above-mentioned Conventions. It is subsequent to its 1993 decision that these Conventions be examined every two years by the regular supervisory bodies of the ILO.

II. Proposals for revision

(a) Decisions to revise

5. Thus far, five proposals for revision have been approved by the Governing Body, of which three are final and two are conditional:

Maternity protection Maternity Protection Convention, l9l9 (No. 3)
Maternity Protection Convention (Revised), 1952 (No. 103)
In March 1997, the Governing Body will decide whether to place on the agenda of the Conference in 1999 the question of the revision of the instruments on maternity protection.
Night work of children and young persons Night Work of Young Persons (Non-Industrial Occupations) Convention, 1946 (No. 79) The revision of this Convention was recommended, as well as possibly the revision of other instruments on the night work of young persons [Night Work of Young Persons (Industry) Convention, 1919 (No. 6) and Night Work of Young Persons (Industry) Convention (Revised), 1948 (No. 90)], which will be examined by the Governing Body in March 1997.
Hours of work Sheet-Glass Works Convention, 1934 (No. 43)
Reduction of Hours of Work (Glass-Bottle Works) Convention, 1935 (No. 49)
The Working Party recommended that these Conventions should be included in a revision project should the revision of Conventions relating to hours of work and working conditions of shift workers be taken up.

(b) Requests for additional information

6. In the case of 11 Conventions, the Governing Body decided that additional information should be requested from the constituents in order to be able to evaluate more precisely the needs for revision of these instruments.

7. General Surveys. Concerning seven Conventions, the Governing Body decided to invite the member States to provide reports under article 19 of the Constitution and to ask the Committee of Experts to carry out a General Survey based on such reports:

Migrant workers Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 97)
Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975 (No. 143)
General Survey (requested for 1998)
Hours of work Hours of Work (Industry) Convention, l9l9 (No. 1) Hours of Work (Commerce and Offices) Convention, 1930 (No. 30) General Survey
(year to be determined)
Night work of women Night Work (Women) Convention, l9l9 (No. 4)
Night Work (Women) Convention (Revised), l934 (No. 41)
Night Work (Women) Convention (Revised), 1948 [and Protocol, 1990] (No. 89)
General Survey
(year to be determined)

8. Requests for ad hoc information. The Governing Body decided to invite member States to provide information on changes that may have occurred or possible difficulties inherent in a given Convention, legislation or national practice that could lead to the need for a revision of that Convention. This concerns the following four Conventions:

(i) Night work of young persons

(ii) Conditions of work

9. Particular cases. In the case of four Conventions relating to workers in non-metropolitan territories on subjects of relevance to a small number of member States, the Governing Body asked the Office to engage in consultations with the governments concerned.(2) These Conventions will be re-examined by the Working Party at a later stage, taking into account the outcome of these consultations.

III. Promotion of the ratification of revised Conventions

10. One of the terms of reference of the Working Party is to seek to renew and reinforce the coherence of the standard system of the ILO. Revisions have not always had the desired effect in all cases. The revising Conventions have not always been well ratified, while leaving in force the revised Conventions often closed to ratification. The Working Party has made proposals aimed at reactivating the ratification of these revised Conventions and the denunciation, at the same time, of the initial Conventions. Its main concern has been to avoid a member State deciding on an immediate denunciation of a Convention while postponing, until an uncertain later date, the ratification of the corresponding revised Convention. In this regard, during the discussions at the Working Party, both the Employers' and the Workers' members stressed that these two measures (ratification/denunciation) together constituted a balanced action that should not be disrupted, and that they should be taken concurrently.(3)

11. The Governing Body considered that 24 Conventions, out of the 71 examined, were no longer up-to-date. It decided to invite the States party to these Conventions to contemplate ratifying the recent Convention and denouncing, at the same time, the corresponding, previous Convention.

12. This concerns the following Conventions:

Subject matter Conventions proposed for ratification Conventions proposed for denunciation
Hours of work Hours of Work and Rest Periods (Road Transport) Convention, 1979 (No. 153) Hours of Work and Rest Periods (Road Transport) Convention, 1939 (No. 67)
Paid leave Holidays with Pay Convention (Revised), l970 (No. 132) Holidays with Pay (Agriculture) Convention, 1952 (No. 101)
Social security Medical Care and Sickness Benefits Convention, 1969 (No. 130) Sickness Insurance (Industry) Convention, 1927 (No. 24)
Sickness Insurance (Agriculture) Convention, 1927 (No. 25)
Invalidity, Old-Age and Survivors' Benefits Convention, 1967 (No. 128) Old-Age Insurance (Industry, etc.) Convention, 1933 (No. 35)
Old-Age Insurance (Agriculture) Convention, 1933 (No. 36)
Invalidity Insurance (Industry, etc.) Convention, 1933 (No. 37)
Invalidity Insurance (Agriculture) Convention, 1933 (No. 38)
Survivors' Insurance (Industry, etc.) Convention, 1933 (No. 39)
Survivors' Insurance (Agriculture) Convention, 1933 (No. 40)
Employment Promotion and Protection against Unemployment Convention, 1988 (No. 168) Unemployment Provision Convention, 1934 (No. 44)
Maintenance of Social Security Rights Convention, 1982 (No. 157) Maintenance of Migrants' Pension Rights Convention, 1935 (No. 48)
Employment of women Night Work (Women) Convention (Revised), 1948 [and Protocol, 1990] (No. 89) or
Night Work Convention, 1990 (No. 171)
Night Work (Women) Convention, l9l9 (No. 4), and/or
Night Work (Women) Convention (Revised), l934 (No. 41)
Minimum age Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Minimum Age (Non-Industrial Employment) Convention (Revised), 1937 (No. 60)
Dockworkers Occupational Safety and Health (Dock Work) Convention, 1979 (No. 152) Protection against Accidents (Dockers) Convention, 1929 (No. 28)

13. In a few cases, although the Convention has not been formally revised, the Governing Body decided to promote the ratification of a recent Convention and the denunciation, at the same time, of a previous Convention. Such a decision was taken with respect to the following Conventions:

Subject- matter Conventions proposed for ratification Conventions proposed for denunciation
Night work Night Work Convention, 1990 (No. 171) Night Work (Bakeries) Convention, 1925 (No. 20)
Employment of women Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995 (No. 176) Underground Work (Women) Convention, l935 (No. 45)(7)
Migrant workers Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 97) Inspection of Emigrants Convention, 1926 (No. 21)
Indigenous workers Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169) and/or Social Policy (Basic Aims and Standards) Convention, 1962 (No. 117)
Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 97)
Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975 (No. 143)
Recruiting of Indigenous Workers Convention, 1936 (No. 50)
Contracts of Employment (Indigenous Workers) Convention, 1939 (No. 64)
Contracts of Employment (Indigenous Workers) Convention, 1947 (No. 86)
Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169) Penal Sanctions (Indigenous Workers) Convention, 1939 (No. 65)
Abolition of Penal Sanctions (Indigenous Workers) Convention, 1955 (No. 104)

14. The invitation to member States to ratify a more recent Convention and to denounce, at the same time, the previous Convention, would be accompanied by a request for information on possible obstacles and difficulties encountered that could prevent or delay the ratification of recent instruments.

15. The Governing Body has also emphasized that the implementation of these decisions implied that the member States would engage, beforehand, in tripartite consultations, particularly taking into account the procedures provided for in the framework of the Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 144), and the Tripartite Consultation (Activities of the International Labour Organisation) Recommendation, 1976 (No. 152).

IV. Promotion of the ratification of up-to-date Conventions

16. In a certain number of cases, the Governing Body considered that the ratification of up-to-date Conventions should be encouraged. This concerns the following Conventions:

(i) Hours of work

(ii) Social security

(iii) Dockworkers

(iv) Plantations

17. The member States are invited to inform the Office, if appropriate, of the possible obstacles and difficulties encountered with regard to ratification, as well as of the possible needs for revision of these Conventions.

V. Shelving, abrogation or prospects for withdrawal of Conventions

18. The Governing Body considered that certain Conventions no longer corresponded to current needs, and that they had become outmoded or obsolete. It accordingly decided to shelve, with immediate effect the 25 following Conventions:

19. In the context of the ratification of revising or recent Conventions, the Governing Body requested the member States to denounce most of the above shelved Conventions. This is however not the case for three Conventions: Conventions Nos. 43 and 49, which the Governing Body proposed for revision (see above, paragraph 5); Convention No. 34 (revised by Convention No. 96), for which the Governing Body wished to await the outcome of the work at the Conference in 1997 aiming at the adoption of a new revised Convention on fee-charging employment agencies. Furthermore, the Conventions treated in paragraphs 12 and 13 have not all been shelved. This is the case for Conventions Nos. 24, 25 and 44 (social security), Nos. 4, 41 and 45 (employment of women) and No. 101 (paid leave), as the Governing Body considered that these instruments maintained their value on an interim basis for national action.

20. Ratification of shelved Conventions is no longer encouraged and their publication in Office documents, studies and research papers is to be discontinued. Shelving also means that detailed reports on the application of these Conventions are no longer requested. However, it leaves intact the right to invoke provisions relating to representations and complaints under articles 24 and 26 of the Constitution. It also allows employers' and workers' organizations to continue to make comments in accordance with the regular supervisory procedures, and the Committee of Experts to review these comments and to request, if appropriate, detailed reports under article 22 of the Constitution. Finally, shelving has no impact on the status of these Conventions in the legal systems of the member States that have ratified them.

21. Requests for additional information. The Governing Body further decided to postpone the shelving of five Conventions concerning which it considered that additional information was necessary. With regard to Conventions Nos. 24, 25 and 44 (social security), the State parties are invited to inform the Office on the possible difficulties inherent in the Convention, legislation or national practice that could impede or delay the ratification of the more recent Conventions, namely the Medical Care and Sickness Benefits Convention, 1969 (No. 130), and the Employment Promotion and Protection against Unemployment Convention, 1988 (No. 168). The decision regarding shelving of two Conventions relating to workers in non-metropolitan territories (Conventions Nos. 82 and 83) will be re-examined in the light of consultations to be held with the member States concerned.

22. Prospects for the abrogation or withdrawal of Conventions. In November 1996, the Governing Body decided to place on the agenda of the 85th Session of the Conference (1997) the question of amendment to the ILO Constitution, with a view to add to article 19 a new paragraph 9 enabling the Conference to abrogate, by a majority of two-thirds of the votes of delegates present, any Convention that has lost its purpose or that no longer makes a useful contribution to attaining the objectives of the Organization. Prior to its consideration by the Conference, the Governing Body should, as far as possible, reach a consensus on such decision, or, if such a consensus cannot be reached, take a decision by a four-fifths majority of its members.

23. The Governing Body retained three shelved Conventions as candidates to a possible abrogation. These include the following Conventions:

24. Five of the Conventions examined by the Working Party have not entered into force. This is the case with respect to Conventions Nos. 31, 46, 51, 61 and 66. It has been decided to place on the agenda for the Conference in 1997 the question of a possible amendment of the Standing Orders of the Governing Body and the Standing Orders of the International Labour Conference with a view to establish a procedure for the withdrawal of a Convention which has not entered into force.

25. The Director-General would expect the full cooperation from all units and officials concerned, and in particular from the specialists in the multidisciplinary teams, in the follow-up on the decisions taken by the Governing Body, which are of crucial importance to the credibility and the efficiency of the standard system of the Organization.

1. GB.264/9/2, GB.265/8/2 and GB.267/9/2.

2.

3. The technical modalities for denunciation vary from one instrument to the other. For certain Conventions, the ratification of a revising Convention shall, ipso jure, involve the immediate denunciation of the initial Convention. In the case of other Conventions, denunciation following the ratification of a revising Convention is not automatic. Furthermore, technically the registration of a denunciation can only be made during a given period of time. However, the Governing Body wished to stress the political decision to be taken by the Governments, in consultation with the social partners, and not on the technical modalities that vary considerably according to the Convention.

4. The Governing Body invited the States party to Convention No. 45 to contemplate ratifying Convention No. 176 and possibly denouncing Convention No. 45.


Appendix II

Ratifications registered between 1 November 1995 and 28 February 1997

Conventions Country Date of ratification
Fundamental Conventions
Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) Estonia 07.02.1996
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87) Moldova, Republic of
South Africa
Mozambique
Zambia
12.08.1996
19.02.1996
23.12.1996
02.09.1996
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98) Moldova, Republic of
South Africa
Mozambique
Nepal ambia
12.08.1996
19.02.1996
23.12.1996
11.11.1996
02.09.1996
Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) Estonia 10.05.1996
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105) Estonia
Georgia
Czech Republic
07.02.1996
23.09.1996
06.08.1996
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111) Moldova, Republic of 12.08.1996
Priority Conventions
Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 [and Protocol, 1995] (No. 81) Moldova, Republic of 12.08.1996
Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No. 122) Moldova, Republic of Mozambique 12.08.1996
23.12.1996
Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 144) Moldova, Republic of Mozambique
Jamaica
12.08.1996
23.12.1996
23.10.1996
Updated Conventions revising earlier Conventions
Fee-Charging Employment Agencies Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 96) Argentina 10.09.1996
Holidays with Pay Convention (Revised), 1970 (No. 132) Czech Republic 23.08.1996
Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) El Salvador 23.01.1996
Labour Statistics Convention, 1985 (No. 160) Canada
Panama
11.11.1995
03.04.1996
Night Work Convention, 1990 (No. 171) Czech Republic
Portugal
06.08.1996
27.11.1995
Protection of Workers' Claims (Employer's Insolvency) Convention, 1992 (No. 173) Austria 20.12.1996
Other Conventions that have been examined or on which the Working Party has made recommendations
Social Policy (Basic Aims and Standards) Convention, 1962 (No. 117) Czech Republic 12.08.1996
Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169) Dominica
Guatemala
22.02.1996
05.06.1996
Employment Service Convention, 1948 (No. 88) Moldova, Republic of 12.08.1996
Labour Clauses (Public Contracts) Convention, 1949 (No. 94) Norway 12.02.1996
Protection of Wages Convention, 1949 (No. 95) Moldova, Republic of 12.08.1996
Workers' Representatives Convention, 1971 (No. 135) Estonia
Moldova, Republic of
Cyprus
Mongolia
07.02.1996
12.08.1996
03.01.1996
08.10.1996
Occupational Cancer Convention, 1974 (No. 139) Belgium 11.10.1996
Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration) Convention, 1977 (No. 148) Guatemala
Kazakstan
22.02.1996
30.07.1996
Labour Administration Convention, 1978 (No. 150) Namibia 28.06.1996
Labour Relations (Public Service) Convention, 1978 (No. 151) Greece 29.07.1996
Collective Bargaining Convention, 1981 (No. 154) Greece
Guatemala
Suriname
17.09.1996
20.10.1996
05.06.1996
Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155) Kazakstan 30.07.1996
Termination of Employment Convention, 1982 (No. 158) Portugal
Namibia
27.11.1995
28.06.1996
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) Convention, 1983 (No. 159) Bolivia
Cuba
19.12.1996
03.10.1996
Asbestos Convention, 1986 (No. 162) Belgium 11.10.1996
Chemicals Convention, 1990 (No. 170) Brazil 23.12.1996
Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents Convention, 1993 (No. 174) Armenia 03.01.1996
Other Conventions
Food and Catering (Ships' Crews) Convention, 1946 (No. 68) Equatorial Guinea 23.04.1996
Accommodation of Crews Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 92) Equatorial Guinea 23.04.1996
Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention, 1958 (No. 108) Estonia
Czech Republic
Sri Lanka
11.12.1996
06.08.1996
24.11.1995
Prevention of Accidents (Seafarers) Convention, 1970 (No. 134) Brazil 25.07.1996
Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1976 [and Protcol, 1996] (No. 147) India
Croatia
26.09.1996
19.07.1996
Repatriation of Seafarers Convention (Revised), 1987 (No. 166) Guyana 10.06.1996
Working Conditions (Hotels and Restaurants) Convention, 1991 (No. 172) Guyana 20.08.1996
Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents Convention, 1993 (No. 174) Armenia 03.01.1996
Part-Time Work Convention, 1994 (No. 175) Mauritius 14.06.1996

Denunciations registered between 1 November 1995 and 28 February 1997

Conventions Country Date of registration of the denunciation
Conventions that have been shelved or revised
Night Work (Bakeries) Convention, 1925 (No. 20) Peru 18.06.1996
Fee-Charging Employment Agencies Convention, 1933 (No. 34) Argentina 19.09.1996
Holidays with Pay Convention, 1936 (No. 52) Czech Republic 23.08.1996
Convention concerning Statistics of Wages and Hours of Work, 1938 (No. 63) Canada
Panama
22.11.1995
03.04.1996


Updated by VC. Approved by NdW. Last update: 26 January 2000.