70 Years of the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association: A Reliable Compass in Any Weather

The Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA) has focused for the past seven decades on promoting respect for freedom of association across the globe, setting a standard to guide all ILO Member States in the achievement of social justice and universal peace.

The contributions in this celebratory volume highlight the diverse aspects of the CFA’s broad impact on respect for this fundamental right, based on careful consideration of specific country situations and the guidance that it has provided. A recurrent theme in many of the contributions is the pioneering role of the CFA from the outset in linking freedom of association with respect for basic civil liberties.

The first four articles examine the context of the creation of the Committee and the important impact it has had on customary international law (jus cogens), while the subsequent contributions focus on its regional significance and influence in specific cases, even when confronted with ongoing challenges, and the particular issues faced in organizing the informal economy.

The volume closes with a reminder of the importance of the gender dimension of freedom of association and how the CFA could be better used to attain freedom of association for all.