105th Session of the International Labour Conference, 30 May - 11 June 2016

Evaluation of the 2016 Declaration

Conference paper | 10 June 2016

105th International Labour Conference to review the impact of the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization

The ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization will be the subject of a major evaluation of its impact by the International Labour Conference in June 2016.

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Purpose of the Declaration and its evaluation

The landmark ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization is a powerful reaffirmation of ILO values and ILO’s key role in helping to achieve progress and social justice in the context of globalization. The Declaration promotes decent work through a coordinated approach to achieving four strategic objectives: employment, social protection, social dialogue, and fundamental principles and rights at work. The impact of the Declaration, in particular the extent to which it has contributed to promoting the aims and purposes of the Organization through the integrated pursuit of the strategic objectives, is the subject of a Conference review in 2016.

The International Labour Conference adopted the Social Justice Declaration on 10 June 2008 together with a Resolution on strengthening the ILO’s capacity to assist its Members’ efforts to reach its objectives in the context of globalization. The Social Justice Declaration is the third major statement of principles and policies adopted by the International Labour Conference. It builds on the Declaration concerning the aims and purposes of the ILO (Declaration of Philadelphia) (1944) and the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998) .

The Declaration is the outcome of tripartite consultations that started in the wake of the Report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization. By adopting this text, the governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations of the ILO’s 187 member States commit to enhance the ILO’s capacity to advance these goals through the Decent Work Agenda. The Declaration institutionalizes the concept of decent work recognized since 1999, placing it at the core of the Organization’s policies to reach its constitutional objectives.

Report for the Conference evaluation

The report submitted for the Conference’s evaluation of the Declaration’s impact contains information on –
  • actions or steps taken as a result of the Declaration, which may be provided by tripartite constituents through the services of the ILO, notably in the regions, and by any other reliable source;
  • steps taken by the Governing Body and the Office to follow up on relevant governance, capacity and knowledge-based issues relating to the pursuit of the strategic objectives, including programmes and activities of the ILO and their impact;
  • the possible contributions of other interested international and regional organizations to the integrated approach to decent work.
The information for the report has been gathered from ILO member States, international organizations and ILO offices worldwide as well as external sources.

For the text of the questionnaire sent to Member States, and the questions and answers for use in replying to the questionnaire, see -

Arrangements for the Conference discussion

The Social Justice Declaration provides that interested multilateral organizations and other interested entities may participate in the Conference discussion at the invitation of the Governing Body. In the light of its evaluation, the Conference may draw conclusions regarding the desirability of further evaluations or the opportunity of engaging in further courses of action.

Context of the Conference evaluation

The 2016 Conference evaluation, undertaken eight years after the adoption of the Declaration, offers a strategic opportunity for the Organization to consider the coordinated approach to the decent work objectives in a global context that has changed, particularly following the financial and economic crisis which arose after its adoption. It will be important to consider the relevance of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the changing environment of international development cooperation in assessing further action that may be appropriate.

The Conference evaluation is intended to address the main objectives of the Social Justice Declaration in the context of more recent developments to reinforce the ILO’s key role in helping to achieve progress and social justice in a constantly changing environment.