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ILO Conventions: background and preparatory work

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ILO between the two world wars

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  1. Key documents

Establishment of the system of mutual supervision

The system of mutual supervision concerns the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations and the Conference Committee on the Application of Standards , both of which were established in 1926 by a resolution of the International Labour Conference (see 1926). The two Committees first deliberated in 1927.

The Committee of Experts and the Conference Committee examine the annual reports of the Member States on the measures taken to give effect to the provisions of the conventions to which they have acceded. This is the regular supervisory mechanism for the obligations arising from conventions and recommendations (articles 19 and 22 of the ILO Constitution).

Introduction of the double-discussion system

The double-discussion system comprises the mechanisms used to adopt international labour standards.

In 1924, a so-called “double-reading” system was introduced on a trial basis. It consisted in submitting draft conventions to a vote at two successive sessions of the International Labour Conference (ILC) and worked on the following principle: the vote cast at the first of the two sessions was considered as provisional only, so as to give the delegates and governments time to consider the provisions adopted at their leisure. Each government had the right to propose amendments before the final vote, one year later at the following ILC session.

In practical terms, the double-reading system left much to be desired. It was abandoned and replaced in 1926 by a new procedure known as “double discussion”. Every question continued to be deliberated over two years, but each round of deliberations was distinct in nature. The first session of the ILC considered the question in general; the second worked on the actual texts, in some cases adopting a convention or a recommendation.

This system was applied for the first time in 1927 and 1928. It has been maintained ever since with only a few changes.
  1. 1919-1939:
    ILO between the two world wars
    1. 1919
    2. 1920
    3. 1926
    4. 1927
    5. 1930
    6. 1932
    7. 1936
    8. 1939
  2. 1940-1945
  3. 1946-1959
  4. 1960-1988
  5. 1989-1998
  6. 1999-

ILO Century Project

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The ILO and the Quest for Social Justice

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Last update: 23.02.2015 ^ top