The US: A Leading role in the ILO

The ILO is strategically important to the United States' effort to strengthen competitiveness, extend democratic values worldwide and ensure global peace and prosperity. The US and the ILO have long shared common interests in helping to secure universal human rights through improvements in global living and working conditions. Both the US and the ILO have pledged to instill awareness and respect for democratic principles.

As the largest member state and donor of the ILO, the US contributes 22 percent of the ILO’s regular budget each biennium. In 2016, contributions received accounted for approximately $95 million. In addition, the US is the single-largest donor of ILO extra budgetary technical cooperation projects, with over $22 million in funding awarded in 2015.

The US is a member of the ILO Governing Body which is the executive body of the International Labor Office (the Office is the secretariat of the organization). The Governing Body meets three times a year to make decisions on ILO policy, determine the agenda of the International Labor Conference (ILC), and adopt the draft program and budget of the ILO. The US holds one of the ten titular government seats which are permanently held by states of chief industrial importance (along with Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom). Other government members are elected by the ILC every three years and the last election was in June 2011.

The US has ratified 14 of 189 ILO Conventions, including two of the ILO's core labor standards: No. 105 on the Abolition of Forced Labor and No. 182 on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor. It actively participates in ILO-sponsored meetings and events throughout the year.