Judgment No. 3726
1. IOM shall pay the complainant 50,000 United States dollars in material damages.
2. IOM shall pay the complainant 10,000 United States dollars in moral damages.
3. IOM shall pay the complainant 1,000 United States dollars in costs.
4. All other claims are dismissed.
The complainant challenges the decision to dismiss her claim for compensation on account of labour exploitation and compulsory labour.
complaint allowed; compensation; forced labour
The Tribunal has explained its purview when a party relies on the violation of a right under an ILO Convention as follows:
“The complainant contends that the ILO acted in breach of its own international instruments when it did not renew his contract. He specifically refers to ILO Convention No. 158 and Article 3.2(c) of ILO Recommendation No. 166. [...] [T]hese instruments create obligations for Member States and do not apply to the relationships between the ILO and its officials. These latter relationships are governed by the terms of the contracts into which the person entered with the ILO and by the rules and regulations of the ILO, as interpreted and applied by the Tribunal’s case law (see, for example, Judgment 2662, under 12).” (Judgment 3448, consideration 10.)
However, the prohibition on forced labour is not confined to the Forced Labour Convention. It is also one of the fundamental principles and rights at work, as recognized in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, 1998, which is accepted by all ILO Member States through their membership of the ILO. The Tribunal already considered in Judgment 1333, consideration 5, that:
“The law that the Tribunal applies in entertaining claims that are put to it includes not just the written rules of the defendant organisation but the general principles of law and basic human rights.”
Accordingly, the complainant’s claim for compensation on the ground that she was subjected to compulsory labour and labour exploitation will be considered.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 1333, 2662, 3448
applicable law; ilo instruments; forced labour
The complainant refers to a number of international conventions. As indicated in the foregoing paragraph of this judgment, their terms are only enforceable between the States Parties, but the general principles enshrined therein may also apply to staff relations.
applicable law; international instrument
[A]s has been stated, in Judgment 3135, consideration 14, for example, staff members of international organizations have a duty to acquaint themselves with the rules and regulations which apply to them and cannot rely on lack of knowledge of them.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3135
duty to be informed; ignorance of the rules; duty to know the rules
[T]he Tribunal does not consider that the general nature of clause 11 renders it illegal, as the complainant submits, but considers that the IOM Administration, with the knowledge of the ICSC job classification system, would have been aware that such a clause permits it to assign only such additional tasks and responsibilities to the complainant as were compatible with her G.5 grade.
terms of appointment
IOM has not disputed that the five subject tasks that were assigned to the complainant occasioned her to perform duties and responsibilities which were above her G.5 grade. An international organization is required to respect the grading structure and grades of its staff members. The following was accordingly stated in Judgment 808, consideration 22:
“In sum the Director-General may assign the staff as the Organisation’s interests require provided he respects their grades and the grading structure. Transfer does not depend on their consent and they must be willing to put their hand to any work that suits their grade, their qualifications and the terms of their appointment.”
The complainant seems to invite the Tribunal to reclassify her post in relation to her performance of the subject tasks, but the Tribunal has no authority to do so (see Judgment 3284, consideration 12).
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3284
competence of tribunal; order; post classification
[The Tribunal] can grant damages if it is not disputed that the complainant performed work beyond her current grade (see, for example, Judgment 3284, considerations 14 and 17). The Tribunal therefore determines that the complainant is entitled to material damages for the tasks that she performed above her G.5 grade, and that she is entitled to moral damages for the prejudice that she suffered by IOM’s breach.
ILOAT Judgment(s): 3284
moral injury; order; post classification; grade; material damages; retroactivity; reclassification