In 1969, the organisation received the Nobel Peace Prize for improving peace among classes, pursuing decent work and justice for workers, and providing technical assistance to other developing nations. The rationale behind the tripartite structure is the creation of free and open debate among governments and social partners. The governing body decides the agenda of ilo convention 182 pdf International Labour Conference, adopts the draft programme and budget of the organization for submission to the conference, elects the director-general, requests information from member states concerning labour matters, appoints commissions of inquiry and supervises the work of the International Labour Office. Juan Somavía was the ILO’s director-general from 1999 until October 2012, when Guy Ryder was elected as his replacement.
This governing body is composed of 28 government representatives, 14 workers’ representatives, and 14 employers’ representatives. Ten of the government seats are held by member states that are nations of “chief industrial importance”, as first considered by an “impartial committee”. The nations are Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. The terms of office are three years. The ILO organises the International Labour Conference in Geneva every year in June, where conventions and recommendations are crafted and adopted.
Also known as the “parliament of labour”, the conference also makes decisions about the ILO’s general policy, work programme and budget. Each member state has four representatives at the conference: two government delegates, an employer delegate and a worker delegate. All of them have individual voting rights, and all votes are equal, regardless of the population of the delegate’s member state. The employer and worker delegates are normally chosen in agreement with the “most representative” national organizations of employers and workers. Usually, the workers’ delegates coordinate their voting, as do the employers’ delegates. Through July 2011, the ILO had adopted 189 conventions. If these conventions are ratified by enough governments, they become in force.
However, ILO conventions are considered international labour standards regardless of ratification. When a convention comes into force, it creates a legal obligation for ratifying nations to apply its provisions. Every year the International Labour Conference’s Committee on the Application of Standards examines a number of alleged breaches of international labour standards. Governments are required to submit reports detailing their compliance with the obligations of the conventions they have ratified. Conventions that have not been ratified by member states have the same legal force as recommendations. In 1998, the 86th International Labour Conference adopted the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. The ILO asserts that its members have an obligation to work towards fully respecting these principles, embodied in relevant ILO conventions.
The ILO conventions which embody the fundamental principles have now been ratified by most member states. Recommendations do not have the binding force of conventions and are not subject to ratification. Recommendations may be adopted at the same time as conventions to supplement the latter with additional or more detailed provisions. In other cases recommendations may be adopted separately and may address issues separate from particular conventions. As of April 2016, the ILO has 187 state members. 186 of the 193 member states of the United Nations plus the Cook Islands are members of the ILO.
The ILO constitution permits any member of the UN to become a member of the ILO. To gain membership, a nation must inform the director-general that it accepts all the obligations of the ILO constitution. Other states can be admitted by a two-thirds vote of all delegates, including a two-thirds vote of government delegates, at any ILO General Conference. Members of the ILO under the League of Nations automatically became members when the organisation’s new constitution came into effect after World War II.
League of Nations agency during the interwar. While the ILO was established as an agency of the League of Nations following World War I, its founders had made great strides in social thought and action before 1919. The core members all knew one another from earlier private professional and ideological networks, in which they exchanged knowledge, experiences, and ideas on social policy. World War I euphoria, the idea of a “makeable society” was an important catalyst behind the social engineering of the ILO architects. As a new discipline, international labour law became a useful instrument for putting social reforms into practice. Over the course of the First World War, the international labour movement proposed a comprehensive programme of protection for the working classes, conceived as compensation for labour’s support during the war.