ILO in Marshall Islands

Located in the North Western Pacific Ocean under the Micronesian group of islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) gained independence on the 21st October 1986 and joined the United Nations (UN) on the 17 September 1991 where it is classified as a Small Island Developing State. On the 3rd July 2007, RMI joined the ILO. Since joining the ILO eight years ago, RMI has ratified two ILO Conventions – the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 on the 25 September 2007, and Convention 185 – Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention on the 24 August 2011.

Whist there is no formal tripartite set up in the Marshall Islands, the ILO has identified the following tripartite partners to work with: the Labour Division (under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), the Marshall Islands Chamber of Commerce and the Teachers' Union. Since joining in 2007, other partners the ILO has worked with in addition to the tripartite partners include the College of Marshall Islands on the National Human Resource Development Policy; the Ministry of Health, Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI) and the National Aids Council on HIV&AIDS in the workplace; and the tripartite partners on their labour law review, particularly those relating to the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC).

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) has a Country Work Plan with the ILO and its 2014-15 priorities are as follows:
  • Human Resource Development – creating more decent employment opportunities particularly for young women and men in RMI and through migration. RMI has the largest youth unemployment rates (62 per cent) in the Pacific.
  • Labour law reform – bring a new member of the ILO, RMI is looking at ensuring that its labour laws, particularly those relating to MLC, are in compliance to ILS and RMI has the capacity to implement, and
  • Strengthening the Employers’ and Workers’ organizations