106th Session of International Labour Conference

The member States of the ILO meet at the International Labour Conference, held every year in Geneva, Switzerland, in the month of June.

Each member State is represented by a delegation consisting of two government delegates, an employer delegate, a worker delegate, and their respective advisers.

Every delegate has the same rights, and all can express themselves freely and vote as they wish. So it happens that worker and employer delegates sometimes vote against their government’s representatives or against each other. This diversity of viewpoints, however, does not prevent decisions being adopted by very large majorities, or in some cases even unanimously.

Many of the government representatives are cabinet ministers responsible for labour affairs in their own countries. Heads of State and prime ministers also take the floor at the Conference. International organizations, both governmental and others, attend as observers.

The Conference, which is often called an international parliament of labour, has several main tasks.

The 106th Session of International Labour Conference (ILC) was held from 5-16th June 2017.

Summary of the work of committees of the 106th International Labour Conference:

The Committee for labour migration recognized the urgency of strengthening labour migration governance – which is not only a timely and important topic, but also a critical one.

Fair and effective labour migration governance is key to maximizing the benefits of labour migration and minimizing the risks and social costs. While policies need to be tailored to the different realities of countries and migration corridors, cooperation among relevant government agencies at all levels is essential as is social dialogue. Such dialogue between governments, employers and workers helps respond to the changing needs of business and workers, while ensuring decent work opportunities for both migrant and national workers.

The Committee called upon the ILO to play a leadership role in promoting decent work in labour migration, including in the the process leading up to the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration due to be adopted in 2018.

The Conference Committee for Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work adopted a Resolution which calls on the ILO Director-General to prepare a plan of action to further promote ILO core labour standards around the globe.

The Committee held its discussions based on a report which identifies political will, effective labour market governance and inclusive social dialogue between governments, employers and workers as key to the promotion of basic labour rights and the achievement of the goals of the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization adopted by the International Labour Conference in 2008.

The conclusions also call on the ILO to pursue synergies between the follow-up to the 1998 Declaration and the work of the ILO supervisory mechanism with development cooperation.

The Committee on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations of the ILC adopted conclusions on 24 individual cases related to issues arising from the implementation of labour rights. This discussion was based on the annual report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations which is an independent body composed of legal experts charged with examining the application in law and practice of ILO Conventions and Recommendations by ILO member States.

The Committee also discussed occupational safety and health standards, based on a general survey concerning the promotional framework on OSH, construction, mines and agriculture. Recognizing the importance of the promotional framework for occupational safety and health, the Committee asked the International Labour Office to campaign for the ratification and implementation of Convention No. 187.

India at the International Labour Conference:

An Indian Tripartite Delegation led by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya participated in the ILC.

In a historic step towards eradication of Child Labour from the country, India ratified International Labour Organizations Convention No 138 (minimum age for employment) and Convention No 182 (worst forms of child labour) to symbolise its commitment and initiatives for eradication of child labour and attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 8.7 related with curbing of child labour.

Shri Bandaru Dattatreya handed the Instruments of Ratification to Mr. Guy Ryder, DG, ILO at the sideline event held in Geneva at the International Labour Conference, 2017 on 13th June 2017.

With ratification of these two core ILO conventions, India has ratified 6 out of 8 core ILO conventions, with the other 4 core ILO conventions relating to abolition of forced labour, equal remuneration and no discrimination between men and women in employment and occupation, thus reaffirming its commitment for promoting and realizing fundamental principles and right at work.