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Countries heed call to ratify labour conventions: ILO

Sep '19
Pic: ILO
Pic: ILO
Sixty one nations have ratified International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions or protocols since 2018, following a call for every member to ratify at least one international labour standard to mark the ILO centenary. That implies a third of the members have heeded the call, amplified by the ‘One for All’ Centenary Ratification Campaign early this year.

“We have been very encouraged by the response of countries to the Centenary Ratification Campaign,” according to Corinne Vargha, director of ILO’s international labour standards department.

“We sometimes take for granted the eight-hour working day, paid maternity leave or minimum wages but these are institutions rooted in our international standards. The ratifications coming in suggest these institutions add real value to our lives and that of future generations, but also that there is still room to do better,” an ILO press release quoted her as saying.

International labour standards are at the core of the ILO’s work. Since its founding in 1919, 190 conventions and 206 recommendations have been adopted by the International Labour Conference (ILC) on issues from child labour to working time and the rights of seafarers. The latest are the landmark Convention and Recommendation on Violence and Harassment in the workplace , which were adopted at the centenary ILC in June this year.

While these international labour standards have improved the working lives of millions of people, many issues in the world of work remain. New forces are also transforming the workplace, including technological development, climate change, demographic shifts and globalization, making international labour standards as relevant as ever, the ILO release said.

Since the launch of the campaign at the start of the ILO’s centenary year, 50 new ratifications have been registered and 44 ‘instruments’ have entered into force, after being ratified last year. (DS)

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