The International Labour Organization (ILO), the agency of the United Nations that deals with labour issues, is seeking ratification of its eight conventions covering fundamental labour standards by 2015. The ILO Core Conventions are as follows:
- Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)
- Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention, 1948 (No. 87)
- Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98)
- Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100)
- Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105)
- Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111)
- Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138)
- Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)
These fundamental labour standards conventions provide the framework within which wages and working conditions are determined in member countries that have ratified the conventions. Unless a convention is passed and ratified by its members, the ILO has no mandate to monitor its application and enforcement.
Ratification of a convention is voluntary; however, the ratification makes the convention a legal obligation. Ratifying countries commit themselves to applying the convention in national law and practice and reporting on its application at regular intervals. In addition, representation and complaint procedures can be initiated against countries for violations of a convention they have ratified.
For more, read my latest post on Slaw.