1. Home
  2. Knowledge Base
  3. International Labour Organization (UN) Definition

International Labour Organization (UN) Definition

International Labour Organization Definition

The International Labour Organization is an agency established by the United Nations. The most important concept or working mechanism of this bureau is to bring reforms and improvements in the overall working environment of Labour market globally. The mandate of the agency is to promote conditions and create an environment that can increase social justice for the labourers. The agency advocates standard labour rights globally. The International Labour Organization is responsible to outline and design any changes in global working conditions of labour. All the procedural work is performed in the presence of its members who are from 187 countries. ILO provides full authority to labour market representatives and directors of partner governments to contribute to any changes in International Labour Organization standards.  

A Little More on What is the International Labour Organization – ILO

In 1919, ILO, (International Labour Organization) was established and later in 1946 integrated to the UN with a special status of an agency. The main mission of the organization is to play a mediator’s role among governments, commercial organizations and Labourers. It stresses that the labour can enjoy every type of freedom, impartiality, safety and human status during their employment.

The International Labour Organization is responsible to promote labour status internationally. Its field offices are in Arabian Gulf, East Asia, the Caribbean, the Pacific, American territories and in the African region. The agency facilitates with training on job standards with justice, gives technical assistance for projects in member countries, evaluates labour data and publishes the relevant study, and on regular basis arranges programmes and seminars to evaluate serious social as well as labour matters. In 1969, the International Labour Organization secured the NPP ( Nobel Peace Prize).

References for International Labor Organization

Academic Research on International Labour Organization (ILO)

  • The International Labour Organization and the quest for social justice, 1919-2009, Rodgers, G., Lee, E., Swepston, L., & Van Daele, J. (2009). Book Samples, 53. This paper investigates certain key ideas that the ILO has grasped, designed and implemented, evaluates the history and highlights in what ways they were considered according to the settings of the history and several areas. The International Labour Organization focuses on unique ideas with the help of which we can understand why sometimes ILO brought success and at other times faced hardships. However, in the past ninety years, the organization achieved its goals facing every type of political or financial disturbances.    
  • A global alliance against forced labour? Unfree labour, neo‐liberal globalization and the International Labour Organization, Lerche, J. (2007). Journal of Agrarian Change, 7(4), 425-452. This study discusses an international alliance opposed to the forced labour and the role of ILO against unfree labour and neo-liberal worldwide scale. International Labour Organization is trying and leading global alliance opposed to the forced labour. This paper reviews techniques of the International Labour Organization to reduce forced labour, current academic debates concerning Indian bound labour and present experimental working strategies in the forced Indian labour market. The ILO restricts bound labour but present academic work does not produce any substitute because the attention is on unconcerned models. It is required to initiate certain analysis that explores the processes of free and bound labour. The case studies of the Indian labour market are the primary focus of this research and how the panorama of neo-liberal globalization has links with this investigative approach.
  • The International Labour Organization and the struggle against forced labour from 1919 to the present, Maul, D. R. (2007). Labour History, 48(4), 477-500. This paper explains the struggle of the International Labour Organization to counter forced labour from 1919 until today. Since 1919, from its founding, ILO (the International Labour Organization) has focused on its aim of global elimination of forced work. This paper investigates the contribution and role of ILO in relation to its use as a platform for public dialogue towards the historically changing spectrum that distinguishes free labour from forced labour, and its role and struggles in the 20th century being an autonomous body to counter forced labour practices. Analysing ILO’s struggles in three diverse and unique periods (wartime age, Cold War era and decolonization time period) will highlight and lead to the debate on global organizational influence towards shaping the modern world.  
  • Engineering social peace: networks, ideas, and the founding of the International Labour Organization, Van Daele, J. (2005). International review of social history, 50(3), 435-466. In 1919, a group of leading scholars, politicians and social experts formulated a new global organizational structure concerning labour politics. Before this, a number of pioneers of this organization ILO had taken social steps. All these leaders were familiar with each other from the previous private network where they shared social ideas. The crucial factors in its organization were IALL (International Association for Labour Legislation) as well as political networks. This concept of makeable society became important in postwar society. Being a new discipline, ILL contributed largely to apply social reforms practically.  This paper also addresses the changes appeared in PPC (Paris Peace Conference) as a result of political and diplomatic interferences. So the study shows a link in idealism and realism.
  • The International Labour Organization, Standing, G. (2010). New Political Economy, 15(2), 307-318. This paper provides information about the ILO (International Labour Organization) and a political economy as a result of the establishment of ILO.
  • A matter of principle’? EU foreign policy in the International Labour Organization, Riddervold, M. (2010). Journal of European Public Policy, 17(4), 581-598. This paper is about the significance and contribution of the European Union and its foreign policy in finalising powerful MLC (Maritime Labour Convention). Because of the financial significance of shipping for several European Union members, the EU boosts its financial interests and trading spectrum in ILO (International Labour Organization). As the European Union promotes and contributes to improve human rights; hence, the it upholds a stronger position regarding MLC and that after EU application costs of ship-owners as well as national administration would increase significantly. We can conclude that ethical debate, supporting a notion that establishing international law to protect rights, is particularly significant to mobilize the European Union for the promotion of a convention of upper standards.
  • The international trade-union movement and the founding of the International Labour Organization, Tosstorff, R. (2005). International Review of Social History, 50(3), 399-433. The principles of ILO (International Labour Organization) commonly lay stress on the role of politicians and social reformists. Regardless of the responsibility of the participants, however, in reality, the global labour movement initiated all such process. During the 1st World War era, the global labour movement presented a complete and concise program to safeguard the labour class, and that was considered as compensation to the working class for its support to war. In 1919, the program was highly supported by politicians who wanted to enforce social stability in the post-war period. However, the implementation and results of this program were not according to the expectations of labour unions because there was no compliance with their demands. On the contrary, politicians offered an institution to achieve the best outcome. Regardless of sheer disappointment and fierce criticism, however, IFTU (International Federation of Trade Unions) swiftly patronized itself to these frameworks.

Was this article helpful?