ILO 100: A century of advancing social justice & promoting decent work

2019 marks the century year of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations agency that sets international labour standards and promotes social protection and work opportunities for all. Created in 1919 in the aftermath of the First World War, the ILO has spent 100 years advancing social justice and promoting decent work, changing the working lives of millions of people across the globe. The ILO has 187 member states: 186 of the 193 UN member states in addition to the Cook Islands. 

In its 100 years, the ILO has produced a series of legally-binding international labour standards, dealing with a range of issues from labour inspection to freedom of association, the right to organize and collectively bargain, equal pay, forced labour and discrimination.

In January, the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work launched its landmark report, marking the start of a year of global events to mark the achievements of the ILO’s first 100 years and to look ahead to the next. 

Read more about the ILO centenary, here.

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11 April 2019

ILO marks 100th anniversary with 24-hour global tour of events

Author: ILO

"The ILO 24-Hour Global Tour", 11 April 2019

On 11 April 2019, a day-long series of events spanning four continents marked the ILO's 100th anniversary. Events were held in 24 cities across the world, starting in Fiji and ending in Lima. The full schedule of events can be found here.

Relive the celebrations and watch the highlights here.

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10 April 2019

UN Secretary-General gives remarks to celebrate ILO's 100th anniversary

Author: ILO

"Secretary-General's remarks to General Assembly on the 100th Anniversary of the International Labour Organization", 10 April 2019

A century ago... global leaders came together... and affirmed a principle that echoes to this day... “Universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice.”...
Working people were demanding fair treatment and dignity in work, adequate wages, an eight-hour working day and freedom of association. The nations of the world knew they must cooperate to make it happen. And so the International Labour Organization was born...
Workers, employers, and governments come together through dialogue for shared solutions... Through conflict and peace, democracy and dictatorship, decolonization and the Cold War, globalization and turbulence, the ILO has played a central role in the struggle for social progress...
We are living in a time of profound uncertainty, disruption and technological transformation... We need to mobilize governments and all actors like never before...
Let us make the most of this pivotal anniversary to renew our collective commitment to international cooperation, to peace and to social justice...

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22 January 2019

ILO launches landmark report on the Future of Work

Author: ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work

"A human-centred agenda needed for a decent future of work", 22 January 2019

The ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work  has called on governments to commit to a set of measures in order to address the challenges caused by unprecedented transformational change in the world of work...

Among the ten recommendations are: 

  • A universal labour guarantee that protects fundamental workers’ rights, an adequate living wage, limits on hours of work and safe and healthy workplaces.

  • Guaranteed social protection from birth to old age that supports people’s needs over the life cycle.

  • A universal entitlement to lifelong learning that enables people to skill, reskill and upskill.

  • Managing technological change to boost decent work, including an international governance system for digital labour platforms.

  • Greater investments in the care, green and rural economies.

  • A transformative and measurable agenda for gender equality.

  • Reshaping business incentives to encourage long-term investments.

...It outlines the challenges caused by new technology, climate change and demography and calls for a collective global response to the disruptions they are causing in the world of work. 

Artificial intelligence, automation and robotics will lead to job losses, as skills become obsolete. However, these same technological advances, along with the greening of economies will also create millions of jobs – if new opportunities are seized...

The report is the culmination of a 15-month examination by the 27-member commission... made up of leading figures from business and labour, think tanks, academia, government and non-governmental organizations...

Download the report, here.

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17 January 2019

UK signals commitment to ensure decent work in fishing by ratifying ILO Fishing Convention

Author: International Labour Organization

"UK joins efforts to ensure decent work in the fishing sector", 16 January 2019

The United Kingdom has deposited the instrument of ratification of the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No.188)  with the ILO, marking the first ratification of any Convention in the ILO’s Centenary  year. The United Kingdom, a major actor in the European fishing sector, is the 13th Member State of the ILO to ratify Convention No. 188. The United Kingdom fishing sector... includes more than 6,000 vessels and 12,000 fishers.

... UK Under Secretary of State for Transport, Nusrat Ghani, [said]... the UK has supported the ILO’s work... to protect and promote fishers’ rights. “Fishing remains one of the most dangerous industries in the UK, which is why I met MPs and industry last year to encourage measures for fishers to be safer at sea. But more can be done,” she added...

Convention No.188 will enter into force for the United Kingdom on 8 January 2020, one year after its ratification...

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3 January 2019

ILO video recalls 100 years of promoting decent work & challenges ahead

Author: International Labour Organization

"The ILO Centenary – Why it matters to us all", 2 January 2019

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder marks the start of the ILO’s second century of service to the world of work by recalling its first 100 years and pointing to the challenges that face us all in shaping the future of work we want.

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