International Labour Organization (ILO)

International Labour Organization (ILO)

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the United Nations agency for the world of work. The only tripartite U.N. agency, since 1919 the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.

  • The ILO’s Secretariat has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and a global network of technical experts and field offices in more than 40 countries, including its Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean located in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.
  • The International Labour Conference (ILC) meets once a year to adopt new international labour standards and approve the ILO’s work plan and budget.
  • The Governing Body is the executive council of the ILO and meets three times a year in Geneva.

How We Work

The unique tripartite structure of the ILO gives an equal voice to workers, employers and governments to ensure that the views of the social partners are closely reflected in labour standards and in shaping policies and programmes.

Mission And Impact

The main aims of the ILO are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.

Origins And History

The ILO was founded in 1919, in the wake of a destructive war, to pursue a vision based on the premise that universal, lasting peace can be established only if it is based on social justice. The ILO became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946.

Promoting Decent Work for all

  • Creating jobs – promoting economies that generate opportunities for investment, entrepreneurship, skills development, job creation and sustainable livelihoods.
  • Guaranteeing rights at work – obtaining recognition and respect for the rights of workers. All workers, and in particular disadvantaged or poor workers, need representation, participation and laws that protect their rights.
  • Extending social protection – ensuring that women and men enjoy working conditions that are safe, allow adequate free time and rest, take into account family and social values, provide for adequate compensation in case of lost or reduced income and permit access to adequate healthcare.
  • Promoting social dialogue – strong and independent workers’ and employers’ organizations are central to increasing productivity, avoiding disputes at work and building cohesive societies.

More information on the ILO can be found here.