Standards Review Mechanism

Permanent mechanism established by the Governing Body in November 2011 to ensure that the ILO has a clear, robust and up-to-date body of international labour standards that respond to the changing patterns of the world of work, for the purpose of the protection of workers and taking into account the needs of sustainable enterprises. It operates through a tripartite working group which is composed of 32 members and a chairperson and meets annually for one week. Under paragraph 9 of its terms of reference adopted in October 2015, the SRM tripartite working group is mandated to review the international labour standards with a view to making recommendations to the Governing Body on: (a) the status of the standards examined, including up-to-date standards, standards in need of revision, outdated standards, and possible other classifications; (b) the identification of gaps in coverage, including those requiring new standards; (c) practical and time-bound follow-up action, as appropriate. 

To date, the SRM tripartite working group has had four meetings. It has completed the examination of 160 of the 235 instruments listed in its programme of work, including the review of 68 maritime instruments that were referred to the Special Tripartite Committee of the MLC, 2006 for expert consideration. It has recommended the abrogation or withdrawal of 10 Conventions, and the withdrawal of five Recommendations. It has identified gaps in coverage requiring standard-setting action in five areas: apprenticeships, biological hazards, chemical substances, guarding of machinery, ergonomics and manual handling. It has also adopted a simplified classification of standards.