International labor standards are legal instruments drawn up by the ILO's constituents -- governments, employers and workers – which set out basic principles and rights at work. They are either conventions (legally binding international treaties that may be ratified by Member States) or recommendations (non-binding guidelines).
The ILO adopts standards in a unique legislative process that integrally involves its government, employer, and worker constituents from around the world. Countries then consider conventions for ratification, a formal procedure whereby a state accepts a convention as a legally binding instrument.
The Governing Body investigates complaints alleging that countries have failed to comply with conventions they ratified. It sometimes forms commissions of inquiry to examine complaints, and refers others to the Committee on Freedom of Association.
A committee of the Governing Body, the Committee on Freedom of Association investigates complaints alleging that countries have violated freedom of association standards or principles
The 1998 Declaration commits all Member States to respect and promote principles and rights regarding: (1) freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, (2) the elimination of forced or compulsory labor, (3) the abolition of child labor and (4) the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. It also provides mechanisms for following up on this commitment.
The ILO and Columbus School of Law hosted a one-day conference to address both the questions and criticisms surrounding the interpretation and application of international labor law to domestic disputes.
Working Conditions2 April 2013
A constitutional amendment guaranteeing equal rights for domestic workers in Brazil comes into force on 2 April. Several countries have now passed legislation protecting domestic workers – evidence that the momentum sparked by the ILO Convention on domestic workers is growing.