Germany is a key ILO member State, which has served on the ILO’s Governing Body since 1954. Germany and the ILO work together to promote social and economic well-being by improving living and working conditions worldwide. Germany has ratified 85 Conventions and two Protocols, including all eight Fundamental and four Governance Conventions as well as 73 Technical Conventions.

Germany's strategic contribution to the ILO

Germany funds the ILO through:

  • Assessed contributions paid by all ILO member States by virtue of their membership, which constitute the ILO’s core funding or regular budget. From 2015 to 2018 Germany contributed over US$ 100 Million.
  • Voluntary core funding contributions provided by eight ILO donors as a pool of un-earmarked, flexible resources allocated by the ILO to strategic areas and emerging priorities. For 2018-19, Germany’s contributions totaled US$ 1.2 million.
  • Voluntary, non-core funding contributions provided as earmarked funds for priority programmes and projects in addition to assessed contributions. From 2015 to 2018, Germany contributed more than US$ 110.6 million.
Germany became the biggest contributor to ILO’s voluntary funding in 2018, tripling its contributions compared to 2017. Its contributions focus on supporting projects in response to the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, financed through the German Development Bank KfW. Funding also supports ILO’s work on the elimination of child labour, the promotion of labour standards in global supply chains, and employment injury insurance. 

Germany’s support to ILO interventions

The Germany-ILO Partnership 

The ILO  cooperates closely with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, (BMAS) the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)  and KfW Development Bank. Germany also contributes to the ILO through the Junior Professional Officer Programme and the secondment of officials.

In March 2019, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder and Dr Mueller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) signed two agreements to further reinforce their partnership:

  • A Memorandum of Understanding outlining their cooperation in response to the Syrian refugee crisis, which aims to enhance resilience, reduce tensions, and support sustainable development in affected countries. Joint activities work to advance access to decent employment opportunities in host communities through improvements in infrastructure, community assets, public services and the environment. 
  • A Joint Declaration of Intent with a particular geographical focus on Africa that prioritises the elimination of child labour, particularly in Africa's high-risk and information sectors, and employment promotion in cooperation with the private sector as well as the improvement of working conditions, productivity and occupational safety and health in global supply chains through capacity building, social dialogue, and wage-setting processes.

Germany's development cooperation priorities

German development policy covers a wide range of topics, such as poverty, education, democracy, displacement, health, climate protection, social standards, the economy. A detailed list of topics covered can be found here and a list of Germany's cooperation countries is available here.