The International Labour Organization (ILO) was created in 1919 as a means to promote social progress and overcome social and economic conflicts of interest through dialogue and cooperation.
Its unique tripartite structure brings together workers, employers and governments and gives them an opportunity to search for common rules, policies and behaviours from which all can benefit.
The ILO is a specialized technical agency of the United Nations system and the principal centre and authority in the international system on labour and social policy. It is devoted to advancing opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.
Its main aims are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue in handling work-related issues. Its 187 member States seek to ensure that International Labour Standards are respected both in principle and practice, assisted by a secretariat (the International Labour Office) headquartered in Geneva. To date, the ILO has adopted 190 Conventions and Protocols that set out basic principles and rights at work.
The ILO Country Office for Pakistan
The ILO Country Office for Pakistan was set up in 1970 in Karachi and later moved to Islamabad where it is housed in its own building on land donated by the Government of Pakistan. The ILO’s major work in Pakistan has covered a wide range of activities: promotion of International Labour Standards; prevention and elimination of child and bonded labour; job creation through employable skills; mainstreaming gender equality; strengthened labour market governance; employment and livelihoods recovery in response to conflicts and crises; expansion of social security schemes and social safety nets, especially in the informal economy and the promotion of tripartism and social dialogue.
Pakistan has been an important and active member State of the ILO since its inception in 1947, and has ratified 36 Conventions, including the eight core Conventions. Representatives of the Government, employers’, and workers’ organizations have served repeatedly on the ILO’s Governing Body over the years.
The CO-Islamabad supports the constituents in their efforts to achieve decent work and social justice in Pakistan.
One UN Reform Programme, “Delivering as One”
The ILO is a pro-active member of the One UN Reform Programme for “Delivering as One” in Pakistan. It also works with other UN system entities, multi- and bilateral agencies and non-governmental and civil society organizations to contribute to national economic and social development objectives and international commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other international instruments.
The ILO’s work in Pakistan has ranged from supporting the ratification of International Labour Standards to labour policy formulation, labour administration, labour and employment/industrial relations, occupational safety and health, social security, employable skills and vocational training, workers education, women workers rights, gender equality and non-discrimination at the workplace, elimination of child labour, prevention and elimination of bonded labour, migration, rural infrastructure and livelihood recovery, among others.