ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations

268th Session
Geneva, March 1997

Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards



Standard-setting policy: the strengthening of
ILO supervisory procedures



I. Measures relating to the ratification of core Conventions

II. Promoting the application of fundamental principles of the Constitution

III. Concluding remarks

Appendix: Existing ILO supervisory machinery


1. This paper is submitted in a climate of growing awareness and consensus, both within the ILO and in other international organizations, of the priority to be given to strengthening the ILO's supervisory system for the implementation of fundamental human rights within its mandate. The present discussions were launched by the Director-General's report to the Conference in 1994.(1) The strengthening of the supervisory machinery was approved in 1994 as an integral part of the Committee's work programme as part of follow-up on the Conference discussion that year, during which all groups of constituents expressed support for the basic principle. The Governing Body and the Committee have discussed this subject on three occasions since then,(2) and it has also been raised in the Working Party on the Social Dimensions of the Liberalization of International Trade. Outside the ILO, the 1995 World Summit for Social Development, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and most recently the Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization in Singapore in December 1996, have all recognized the importance of the ILO's work in this area. In view of the expectations for the ILO to act, it is important to make progress on this issue.

2. The Committee decided at the Governing Body's 267th Session (November 1996) to request the Office to provide a further paper for its present meeting, in order to proceed with the discussions on the subject.(3) In accordance with the wishes expressed, the present paper thus contains an inventory of possible approaches to the strengthening of the supervisory system, taking into account all the discussions so far.

3. A general preliminary observation seems important. Although views have differed, sometimes sharply, on how to proceed, the various options that have been discussed are not mutually exclusive. They tend to address different aspects of the problem, and a combination of different approaches can be contemplated. A distinction is therefore made below between proposals for strengthening the supervisory mechanisms for obligations deriving from a Member's ratification of Conventions and for related Constitutional obligations; and proposals for strengthening ILO mechanisms for the promotion of the fundamental principles of the ILO Constitution, whether or not the country concerned has ratified a particular Convention.

4. In order to assist these discussions, and taking account of a suggestion by the Government of the United States, a survey is found in the Appendix of the different possibilities offered by the ILO supervisory system as it presently functions.

I. Measures relating to the ratification of core Conventions

(a) Measures promoting ratification

5. As has been pointed out by a number of speakers in earlier discussions, one of the most effective ways to strengthen the supervisory system as concerns fundamental labour rights is to ensure that all member States have ratified the relevant Conventions. Since May 1995 the Director-General's initiative for the ratification of the seven Conventions concerned(4) has achieved significant progress, and a number of States have indicated that they intend to increase the number of ratifications further in the near future. A paper on this subject is before the Committee at its present session.(5)

6. In this context of encouraging ratifications, it is important to recall the Governing Body's decision of November 1995 to increase the frequency of reporting under article 19 of the Constitution on the fundamental human rights Conventions.(6) Under this system, countries that have not yet ratified one or more of these Conventions are asked to report in a four-year rotation on their intentions and, if appropriate, on the obstacles to ratification. This begins in 1997 with Conventions Nos. 29 and 105 on forced labour, and continues in 1998 with those on freedom of association, those on discrimination in 1999, and those on minimum age in 2000. The constitutional prerogative of the ILO to seek explanations from its member States as regards reasons for non-ratification is a unique feature among intergovernmental organizations, and it should be used in the most productive manner. For example, this new measure will allow employers' and workers' organizations to make their own reports on the obstacles to ratification and on the consequences of non-ratification. An active contribution by these organizations would assist the effort to devise concrete measures to overcome these difficulties. Such measures might be proposed by the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations and the International Labour Conference, as well as by the Governing Body to the extent that it might be involved.

(b) Concentrating the supervisory procedures on fundamental workers' rights

Restricted use of article 24

7. The Government of the United Kingdom has proposed that the procedure for handling representations under article 24 of the Constitution be restricted to cases involving fundamental human rights Conventions in order to strengthen the supervisory procedure. This would necessitate modifying constitutional provisions and the Standing Orders for the examination of representations.

Standing committee to examine fundamental human rights cases under articles 24 and 26

8. This proposal, which would, of course, relate only to cases in which governments had ratified the Conventions in question, has been mentioned previously without any in-depth examination. Under it, a standing committee of the Governing Body would be established to examine representations under article 24 of the Constitution, and perhaps also complaints under article 26, alleging non-observance of fundamental labour rights on questions other than freedom of association. This is similar to the way in which the Governing Body handles (and will no doubt continue to handle) representations under article 24, and complaints under article 26 at a preliminary stage, relating to Conventions on freedom of association, by referring them to the Committee on Freedom of Association. The establishment of such a procedure might be a speedier and more rational way of handling the increasing volume of such cases, by permitting a reduced number of Governing Body members from all three groups to sit on article 24 committees and to develop expertise in relation to fundamental labour rights.

(c) Assistance from the Office

9. Emphasis has been placed in previous discussions on the need for additional assistance to member States and to the social partners. The Office has offered assistance to allow governments and the social partners in countries that have not ratified these Conventions, to examine the obstacles to ratification and ways to overcome them, as well as to improve their implementation once ratified. A certain number of countries have so far taken advantage of this offer, and assistance has been provided in each instance in which it has been requested, or discussions are under way to find the most appropriate way of providing it. The Director-General again recalled in his letter of December 1996 to member States on the ratification of the fundamental ILO Conventions, that such assistance is available through the Multidisciplinary Teams. While it forms a normal part of the work of these teams, and thus will in any case continue beyond the present special effort on ratification, special attention has been devoted to it lately. The availability of this kind of assistance should be seen as an integral part of all the possibilities outlined in this paper.

II. Promoting the application of fundamental principles of the Constitution

10. Much of the discussion so far has focused on the question of how to promote the fundamental human rights principles of the ILO Constitution, in cases in which a Member has not ratified the Conventions that the Conference has adopted on a particular subject. In line with an important principle of international law, reflected in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, an international labour Convention is binding only on States that have ratified it. At the same time, the discussions have shown a general acceptance of the proposition that certain fundamental principles in the ILO Constitution -- including the Declaration of Philadelphia which forms part of it -- are binding on Members of the ILO as a direct result of their acceptance of the Constitution. This proposition is the legal basis for the application, of the procedure of the Governing Body Committee on Freedom of Association, to countries that have not ratified the relevant Conventions as well as to those that have.

11. The following paragraphs outline the discussion so far, first, on the question of whether or not there is indeed a legal basis for the establishment of similar mechanisms relating to other fundamental labour rights; and secondly, in the case of any fundamental right for which such a legal basis is considered to exist, on the content of the right or rights to be promoted through the mechanism; and finally, on the actual procedure to be used.

12. A document before the Committee at its previous session(7) affirmed that the freedom of association precedent indicated that the "Organization has the power to promote the Constitution's objectives and principles by a procedure which brings to light the degree to which the practice of the Members may vary from the principles to which they have voluntarily subscribed in becoming Members of the Organization".(8) That document noted that the constitutional basis for a procedure concerning discrimination was clear(9), and that although this was less obvious in relation to forced labour, the prohibition of this practice was inherent in or could be derived from the Declaration of Philadelphia.

13. The Worker members considered that this was a sufficient basis for moving ahead to a new procedure. The Employer members, however, felt that the constitutional basis for extending this precedent to other subjects - in particular forced labour -- is not sufficiently explicit. Some governments took one of these positions, and some the other. It is thus apparent that it will be necessary to come to agreement on what the fundamental principles of the Constitution are in this respect.

14. Obviously, there could be no objection to clarifying the constitutional basis for further action if this were considered necessary. Several means can be contemplated for doing this, either through further discussion or through some more concrete means. The Employer members have referred to the desirability of the Conference adopting a declaration of fundamental principles in order to provide a sound basis for additional action within the supervisory system, including the possibility of incorporating such a declaration into the Constitution. They have stated that such a declaration should embody the essence of the core Conventions and of the principles in the Constitution and the Declaration of Philadelphia. They have stressed that this is not intended to dilute the core Conventions, and that it is intended as an aid to, and an interim step towards, their ratification. The Worker members have stressed the danger of adopting a declaration of this kind in the absence of progress in actually strengthening the ILO's supervisory machinery. They have stated their fear that, in such circumstances, a mechanism based on the principles of the Conventions, rather than on the Conventions themselves, could set those Conventions aside and constitute a step backwards. In the light of the additional explanations provided by the Employer members, in particular in the Working Party on the Social Dimensions of the Liberalization of Trade, and the assurances given by them that there was no such intention, the Worker members accepted that the adoption of such a declaration be examined among other measures within the framework of the present paper.

15. The principle of adopting a statement of fundamental rights has been discussed on previous occasions. The original ILO Constitution of 1919 contained a reference to some of these rights in its article 41, the so-called "workers' clauses". These were thought no longer necessary when the Declaration of Philadelphia was incorporated into the Constitution in 1946 and were dropped from the Constitution, but were not formally abrogated. The Declaration of Philadelphia itself was first adopted as a resolution by the Conference, and then incorporated into the Constitution in the 1946 amendments. At its 48th Session, in 1964, the Conference adopted a resolution concerning freedom of association which inter alia invited the Governing Body to study the possibility of including in the Constitution certain essential principles contained in Conventions Nos. 87 and 98; the Governing Body considered the matter but decided not to proceed further. Similar language was adopted in a resolution concerning trade union rights and their relation to civil liberties at the 54th Session of the Conference in 1970, but again the Governing Body decided that it was not desirable to proceed further. The Resolutions Committee of the 63rd Session of the International Labour Conference discussed in 1977 the desirability and feasibility of incorporating into the Constitution "the essential principles contained in international standards concerning the protection of human and trade union rights", and the resolution adopted at the outcome of this discussion stated that "freedom of association and non-discrimination are basic principles of the ILO's Constitution and their furtherance constitutes a constitutional obligation for all member States."(10) The Worker members have promoted in recent years the establishment of a "World Charter of Workers' Rights".

16. The question of the form of a statement of fundamental rights would have to be discussed if it is decided to proceed with this option. There are various possibilities. One is the actual incorporation of the statement in the Constitution. This would be legally necessary if the intention is to place on ILO Members obligations which do not yet exist independently of ratified Conventions. The instrument of amendment concerned would require ratification by two-thirds of the Members, including five of the States of chief industrial importance, before entering into force. The other main possibility would be a declaration that is intended simply to enunciate or clarify the content of the principles which, although not expressly stated in the Constitution, are considered by Members, acting collectively through the Conference, to be inherent in membership of the International Labour Organization, and consequently binding on all Members. This was done with the Declaration on Action Against Apartheid in 1964, for instance. This Declaration was based on the constitutional principle of protection against discrimination, and gave rise to a procedure of reporting to the Conference, but was not incorporated into the Constitution. A declaration of this kind could be an act adopted by the Conference on the basis of a specific item placed on its agenda or, while retaining the form of a solemn declaration, could perhaps be adopted as a resolution proposed in accordance with article 17 of the Conference Standing Orders. The advantages and disadvantages of these two procedures would need to be carefully weighed if it were decided to propose that the Conference adopt a declaration of this kind.

17. The next question on which agreement would need to be sought is the subject-matter of the rights to be promoted or the point of reference for them. The Employer members have based their proposal, mentioned above, on a statement on fundamental rights discussed in an employers' meeting in 1996, reflecting the basic principles contained in Conventions Nos. 29, 87, 98, 100, 105 and 111. On the other hand, the World Charter of Workers' Rights mentioned above would consist of Conventions Nos. 29, 87, 98, 100, 105 and 111 themselves, "complemented by others whose inclusion is justified by [the ILO's] constitutional principles and objectives".(11) The Governing Body has come to agreement in recent sessions that these instruments, together with the subject of child labour (at present represented by Convention No. 138) are the core standards of the Organization, and this should therefore be taken into consideration if a list of fundamental principles is drawn up.

18. A certain number of speakers have referred in earlier discussions to a possible new procedure as contemplating the "extension" to non-ratifying countries of the obligations contained in Conventions. As already indicated, this is not legally permissible. The Committee on Freedom of Association procedure, for example, is based directly on the constitutional principles of freedom of association and protection of the right to bargain collectively. The Conventions themselves are not therefore the legal basis of that procedure, but are rather a point of reference. There could be a similar relationship in the case of any new mechanism that might result from the present discussions.

19. Once the precise points of reference or the subject-matter of a right or rights are established on the basis of principles agreed to form an essential part of the Constitution, the final step would be to devise a procedure for their promotion. Following the Director-General's suggestion that consideration could be given to establishing, for other basic social rights, procedures similar to that relating to freedom of association, discussions have taken place earlier on the possibility, supported by the Worker members, of a procedure under which complaints could be made of violations of the constitutional principles concerning discrimination and forced labour, whether or not the country concerned had ratified the Conventions that the Conference has adopted on the same subjects. (In a variant, the Government of Germany, supported by the Government of Hungary, stated in the previous discussion(12) that it was ready to envisage a prudent extension of the supervisory mechanism to instruments concerning forced labour, which, it stated, included the prohibition of child labour at least in its most intolerable forms.) The Governing Body would, under this hypothesis, establish a tripartite committee from among its members to examine such complaints, which could be submitted by governments or by employers' and workers' organizations. Its powers would be based on a mandate given by the Conference in accordance with the Constitution.

20. A different proposal was put forward by the Employer members in November 1996, both in the Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards and in the Working Party on the Social Dimensions of the Liberalization of International Trade. While not fully developed as a procedure, the proposal contained the following elements: a new procedure should review the position of those countries that have not yet ratified the core Conventions, as to the implementation and observance of the fundamental principles; it should fully involve the ILO's constituents, but be different from the Committee on Freedom of Association; it could involve reports from member States, and observations from employers' and workers' organizations; it should use the existing supervisory machinery and could involve examination by the Conference Committee on the Application of Standards; it should be based on constitutional principles; and it should not be based on complaints, though "representations" of some kind from the ILO's constituents might be envisaged. If this idea were pursued, the different options for using the existing supervisory machinery -- in the framework of the Conference, the Governing Body and the Committee of Experts -- would also have to be examined.

21. There has been a consensus from the beginning of the discussions on strengthening the supervisory procedures that any new procedure that might be established would remain separate from the Committee on Freedom of Association, and that no steps taken in this connection would weaken or compromise that procedure.

22. It may be useful in this respect to consult the appendix to this paper outlining the present supervisory machinery. This indicates that a wide variety of bodies and mechanisms already exists. The Committee may wish to consider, in the event that it decides to proceed with the establishment of a new procedure, whether that should entail the creation of new supervisory bodies or the adaptation of the mandates of existing bodies for the purposes outlined here.

23. The idea outlined above in paragraph 20 in fact coincides to a certain extent with a procedure that is already envisaged in the Constitution but has not so far been fully utilized. Paragraph 6 above referred to the recent new use that has been made of article 19, for periodic reporting on intentions and obstacles in regard to the ratification of the core Conventions. However, article 19 (in para. 5(e)) also gives the Governing Body power to request reports, from non-ratifying countries, on "the extent to which effect has been given, or is proposed to be given, to any of the provisions of the Convention" concerned. As the Constitution is now worded, this procedure could not be used to ascertain respect for fundamental constitutional principles as such, since it is directed towards Conventions. Nor does the text provide for it to be initiated by a "representation". However, if there were an agreed statement of fundamental principles, it could be directed to obtaining information on respect for provisions of Conventions that embody principles recognized as fundamental, and thus provide the supervisory bodies with the basic material for additional action.

24. One possible scenario could involve adopting a declaration or resolution at the 1998 session of the Conference, whereby the Conference decides which principles are of such a fundamental character that their promotion -- irrespective of the ratification of the corresponding Conventions -- should be given special priority. In examining the possibility of adopting a declaration or resolution, the Governing Body could, parallel to this examination, contemplate a new procedure by which conformity with the agreed constitutional principles could be assessed, in order to promote improved respect for them. The examination of such a procedure would have to cover its effect on the functioning of the present mechanisms, the way in which "representations" by employers' and workers' organizations and by governments could be made, and the time-frame and modalities for dealing with specific situations.

25. The Government of the United States has proposed that the ILO carry out "country reviews" on compliance with core labour standards, and has indicated that it would be prepared to be examined first, on the understanding that all will follow.(13) These country reviews would be carried out, under this proposal, for every member State of the Organization, regardless of whether they had ratified the relevant Conventions. The modalities for carrying out such reviews have not yet been addressed.

26. Other possibilities may also be discussed for promoting constitutional principles, with or without the aid of an explicit agreement as to the content of these principles. As indicated above, different means of attaining these objectives may be contemplated, which are not mutually incompatible. One such possibility could be the submission by the Director-General of a report on respect for fundamental human rights, which would be based on the work of the supervisory bodies.

III. Concluding remarks

27. This document provides a range of possibilities for strengthening the ILO's supervisory procedures concerning fundamental labour rights, and some or all of them could form the basis for further development. In accordance with the mandate for this paper, it does not anticipate the results of the discussion, but simply recalls in a systematic way proposals made during the discussions so far, sometimes referring to their constitutional context, alluding to their main implications and pointing out questions or alternatives that would need to be considered in depth if it were decided to take any given proposal further. The Office is of course ready to prepare more detailed material in the light of discussions in the Committee and the Governing Body, to the extent that such material is necessary. Some of the proposals would in fact require little elaboration, while others would require more. The only comment the Office considers it essential to make is that the various proposals do not appear to be mutually exclusive. Some could be implemented in parallel; others might be elaborated in a complementary way, but without any one measure necessarily being regarded as a prerequisite to the implementation of any other. The Committee is therefore asked to indicate the ways in which the ILO can move forward to take advantage of the opportunities now open to it to protect and promote fundamental workers' rights.

Geneva, 19 February 1997.


Existing ILO supervisory machinery

The ILO's existing machinery has evolved over time from the foundations laid down in the Constitution, and from the functions assigned by the Conference and the Governing Body. The various bodies and functions outlined below form a unified whole.

1. Submission to the competent authorities

Under article 19 of the Constitution, all member States are required, within one year of the adoption of a Convention or a Recommendation, or 18 months for federal States and in exceptional cases, to bring the instrument "before the authority or authorities within whose competence the matter lies, for the enactment of legislation or other action" (paragraph 5(b) for Conventions, and 6(b) for Recommendations). No further obligations exist as to unratified Conventions, except in regard to reports on unratified Conventions and Recommendations (see below).

2. Reports on ratified Conventions

When a Convention has been ratified, a State is required under article 22 of the Constitution to submit periodic reports on its law and practice under the Convention. Reporting periods have been modified on several occasions, and reports are now due at intervals of two or five years, though reports can be requested more frequently if necessary. General reports are due annually. Note that there are now more than 6,400 ratifications, resulting in nearly 2,000 reports each year.

In the case of non-metropolitan territories (NMTs), States are required under article 35 of the Constitution to report, as under article 22, on the application of Conventions that they have declared applicable to these territories. There are around one thousand declarations of application to NMTs.

States are required under article 23, para. 2, of the Constitution to communicate copies of their reports to the most representative organizations of employers and workers in their countries, and these organizations may comment on these reports. An obligation also exists under Article 5(d) of the Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 144) to hold regular consultations with these organizations on "questions arising out of reports to be made to the International Labour Office under article 22 of the Constitution".

3. Reports on unratified Conventions and on Recommendations

Under article 19(5)(e) and (6)(d) of the Constitution, the Governing Body may request reports from each member State on "the position of its law and practice in regard to the matters dealt with in the (Convention or Recommendation), showing the extent to which effect is given, or is proposed to be given, to any of the provisions of the (Convention or Recommendation)". In the case of Conventions, the State shall also indicate "the difficulties which prevent or delay the ratification of such Convention." These reports are examined by the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (see below), and form the subject of a "General Survey" which is examined each year by the Conference.

In addition, under the procedure adopted in 1996 by the Governing Body, States which have not ratified one or more of the ILO's fundamental Conventions (Nos. 29 and 105 on forced labour, Nos. 87 and 98 on freedom of association, Nos. 100 and 111 on discrimination, and No. 138 on minimum age for employment or work) are asked under article 19 of the Constitution to report at four-yearly intervals on the obstacles to ratification.

4. Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations

The Committee of Experts was created in 1926 by the International Labour Conference, holding its first meeting in 1927, to examine the reports submitted by Governments and by employers' and workers' organizations under articles 19, 22 and 35 of the Constitution. It is a body of 20 independent legal experts, appointed by the Governing Body on the nomination of the Director-General, which meets once a year in Geneva. It issues a report which consists of --

The Committee of Experts also adopts Direct Requests, which for reasons of economy are sent direct to governments but are not put before the Conference. The Observations and Direct Requests are published in the annually-updated ILOLEX database on CD-ROM (and soon available on line), and it is planned also to include the General Surveys in future editions.

5. The Conference Committee on the Application of Standards

One of the standing committees of the International Labour Conference at its annual session is the tripartite Committee on the Application of Standards. It discusses the report of the Committee of Experts, and usually calls before it the representatives of some governments whose situation is mentioned in the Experts' report in order to examine their situation more closely.

6. Representations under article 24 of the Constitution

The Constitution provides for a "representation" to be made "by an industrial association of employers or of workers that any of the Members has failed to secure in any respect the effective observance within its jurisdiction of any Convention to which it is a party". If it considers that the representation is receivable, the Governing Body usually establishes a tripartite committee from among its members to examine the representation and to make any recommendations it may consider appropriate.

7. Complaints under article 26 of the Constitution

The Constitution also provides, in article 26, that "Any of the Members shall have the right to file a complaint with the International Labour Office if it is not satisfied that any other Member is securing the effective observance of any Convention which both have ratified". The Governing Body may, if it thinks fit, refer complaints to a Commission of Inquiry, usually composed of three independent persons. "The Governing Body may adopt the same procedure either of its own motion or on receipt of a complaint from a delegate to the Conference." Commissions of Inquiry usually hold hearings and make on-the-spot investigations before making their conclusions and recommendations.

8. Special procedures on freedom of association

The Committee on Freedom of Association is a tripartite committee of the Governing Body, established by agreement with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1950. It may examine complaints from workers' and employers' organizations that member States of the ILO are not respecting basic principles of freedom of association. These complaints may be examined whether or not the country concerned has ratified the ILO's Conventions on the subject, as the procedure is based on constitutional principles. If the country has ratified the Conventions, the Committee's conclusions receive follow up from the Committee of Experts.

The Fact-Finding and Conciliation Commission on Freedom of Association was also created by agreement with ECOSOC, at the same time as the Committee on Freedom of Association. It may examine the same kind of complaints as the CFA, but to do so requires the consent of the government concerned. It may also examine complaints of violations of freedom of association against non-member States of the ILO -- and has done so on several occasions -- when such complaints are forwarded to it by the United Nations and the country consents. Panels of the Commission are formed of three independent experts appointed by the Governing Body.

9. Direct contacts

Under a procedure adopted in 1964, a country may request direct contacts to discuss questions raised by the supervisory bodies. In such cases, the Director-General appoints a representative -- who may be an official of the Office or an independent person -- to discuss the situation with the government concerned and with the tripartite partners in the country. In such cases, the operation of the supervisory system is suspended for one year to allow a solution to the difficulty to be found.

10. Special studies on discrimination

In 1973 the Governing Body adopted a procedure for special studies on discrimination, which has not yet been used successfully. Under this procedure, a request for a special study may be submitted by a member State or by an organization of employers or of workers on specific questions that concern them. If the government concerned agrees to such a study, the Director-General is to examine with it the arrangements for carrying it out. It is not confined to countries having ratified any particular ILO Conventions.

11. Multinationals

A special "Procedure for the examination of disputes concerning the application of the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy" was adopted in 1980 and updated in 1986. It provides for requests for interpretations of the Declaration by the Governing Body's Subcommittee on Multinational Enterprises. This procedure is not for the examination of the application of standards, but to examine the Declaration itself.

12. Ad hoc procedures

The ILO has, from time to time, also carried out various ad hoc procedures. These include the long series of Director-General's reports on the effect given to the Declaration concerning Action Against Apartheid (no longer prepared), and on the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories; both were, or are, submitted direct to the Conference for discussion. Other procedures, including various kinds of special studies, have been used on various occasions.

13. Assistance by the International Labour Office

The International Labour Office provides considerable assistance to its constituents to apply international labour standards. This is most often done through the Multidisciplinary Advisory Teams, either in response to requests from governments or from employers' or workers' organizations, or as part of the routine work of the Office in advising member States. All technical cooperation and assistance provided by the Office should be in harmony with standards, and one of its important objectives is always to facilitate the ratification or application of ILO standards. The advisory and assistance work of the Office is closely integrated with the supervisory machinery.

1 Defending Values, Promoting Change, Report of the Director-General, International Labour Conference, 81st Session, 1994. See especially pp. 52 et seq.

2 GB.264/6 (November 1995); GB.265/LILS/7 (March 1996); and GB.267/LILS/5 (November 1996).

3 GB.267/9/2, paras. 79 and 80.

4 Forced Labour, 1930 (No. 29), Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize, 1948 (No. 87), Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining, 1949 (No. 98), Equal Remuneration, 1951 (No. 100), Abolition of Forced Labour, 1957 (No. 105), Discrimination (Employment and Occupation), 1958 (No. 111) and Minimum Age, 1973 (No. 138).

5 GB.268/LILS/7.

6 GB.264/LILS/5, para. 53.

7 GB.267/LILS/5, para. 22.

8 GB.267/LILS/5, para. 14.

9 Indeed, this was earlier cited as a justification for the adoption by the Conference in 1964 of the Declaration on Action against Apartheid. See, e.g., Proceedings, International Labour Conference, 48th Session, 1964, pp. 791 and 792.

10 Resolution concerning the promotion, protection and strengthening of freedom of association, trade union and other human rights, operative paragraph 2(a), International Labour Conference, 63rd Session, 1977.

11 See GB.261/5/27 (November 1994), para. 32: and The ILO Towards the 21st Century, Memorandum submitted by the Workers' group of the Governing Body, November 1993, p. 29.

12 GB.267/9/2, paras. 19 and 43.

13 Other countries, including Chile, Finland, Jordan, the Republic of Korea and Switzerland have agreed to be the subject of studies aimed in particular at examining how and to what extent they have been able to translate the benefits of economic development resulting from trade liberalization into parallel progress in social development. These "country studies" are thus distinct from the "country reviews" proposed by the United States.

Updated by VC. Approved by NdW. Last update: 26 January 2000.