The International Labour Organization (ILO) - Structure



The International Labour Organization Ilo Structure 1891
Photo by: UBE

The principal organs of the ILO are the International Labour Conference, the Governing Body, and the International Labour Office, headed by a Director General.

International Labour Conference

The International Labour Conference is the organization's policy-making and legislative body, in which every member state is represented. It holds one session a year at ILO headquarters in Geneva.

Each member country sends to the International Labour Conference a national delegation consisting of four delegates. Two represent the government, one represents the country's employers, and one represents the country's workers. Alternates and advisers may be sent as well. Each delegate has one independent vote. Discussing this system of tripartite representation in 1959, the Director General noted that the ILO is "the only intergovernmental agency in whose work nongovernment delegates take part on an equal footing with government representatives as a matter of constitutional right. Representatives of employers' and workers' organizations are included in its policy-making, standard-setting, and executive machinery and participate, with full voting rights, in all these aspects of its work."

The government, employers', and workers' representatives to the conference act in many respects as three separate groups, functioning somewhat as political parties function in a national legislature: the three groups meet separately for informal discussions of strategy; they hold caucuses; and, voting separately, they elect the government, the employers', and the workers' delegates to the Governing Body and to tripartite committees. If the tripartite system is to function as intended, it is essential that employers' and workers' delegates be true representatives of their respective groups. The ILO constitution provides that governments must appoint these delegates in agreement with the "most representative" organizations of employers or workers "if such organizations exist."

Members of the ILO
(as of 20 June 2002)

Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Angola
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
Chile
China
Colombia
Comoros
Congo
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Costa Rica
Côte d'Ivoire
Croatia
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Fiji
Finland
France
Gabon
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Grenada
Guatemala
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iran, Islamic Republic of
Iraq
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kiribati
Korea, Republic of
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Latvia
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macedonia, Former Yugoslav
Republic of
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Mali
Malta
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mexico
Moldova, Republic of
Mongolia
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar
Namibia
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Russian Federation
Rwanda
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Lucia
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
San Marino
São Tomé and Príncipe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Suriname
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland
Syrian Arab Republic
Tajikistan
Tanzania, United Republic of
Thailand
Togo
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Venezuela
Vietnam
Yemen
Yugoslavia
Zambia

Governing Body

The Governing Body is the executive council of the ILO. It is composed of 56 titular members (14 representing employers, 14 representing workers, and 28 representing governments) and 66 deputy members (19 representing employers, 19 representing workers, and 28 representing governments).

Members of the Governing Body are elected by the corresponding groups in the International Labour Conference, except that 10 of the government representatives are appointed by countries that do not participate in the election of the other government representatives since these 10 countries are entitled to permanent seats as "states of chief industrial importance." The 10 governments permanently represented on the Governing Body are Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. The remaining government members, elected for three years by the 2002 conference were from Africa—Gabon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan; from the Americas—Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay; from Asia—Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia; and from Europe—Bulgaria, Lithuania, Norway.

The 14 employers' representatives on the governing body, elected for three years by the 2002 conference, included leading industrialists from Argentina, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Tunisia, United Kingdom, and United States.

The 14 members of the workers' group, elected in 2002 for three years, were ranking trade union officials from Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, and Venezuela.

Under amendments to the ILO constitution adopted by the International Labour Conference in 1986—to become effective when ratified or accepted by two-thirds of the members, including 5 of the 10 permanent members of the Governing Body—the members of the Governing Body will be increased to 112 (56 representing governments, 28 representing employers, and 28 representing workers) and the 10 permanent seats will be eliminated. As of 2002, this amendment had not yet entered into force.

Meeting several times a year, the Governing Body coordinates and in many ways shapes the work of the organization. It draws up the agenda for each session of the International Labour Conference; while the conference is empowered to change this agenda, it rarely does. The Governing Body appoints the Director-General of the International Labour Office. It examines the proposed budget submitted to it each year by the Director-General and approves it for adoption by the conference. The Governing Body also is responsible for convening the scores of other conference and committee meetings held under ILO auspices every year in various parts of the world and decides what action ought to be taken on their resolutions and reports.

International Labour Office and Director-General

The International Labour Office in Geneva, headed by the Director-General, is the ILO's headquarters and its permanent secretariat. In April 2000, its staff consisted of about 1,900 persons from more than 110 countries in Geneva and in 40 field offices.

During World War II, when for a time Switzerland was entirely surrounded by Axis forces, the International Labour Office and a skeleton staff were temporarily moved to Montreal, where, thanks to the hospitality of the Canadian government and McGill University, the office was able to continue its more urgent work.

The International Labour Office services the sessions of the conference, the Governing Body, and the various subsidiary organs and committees. It prepares the documents for these meetings; publishes periodicals, studies, and reports; and collects and distributes information on all subjects within the ILO's competence. As directed by the conference and the Governing Body, it carries out ILO operational programs that have been decided on in various fields.

The ILO has had nine Directors General—Albert Thomas, France, 1919–32; Harold Butler, UK, 1932–38; John G. Winant, US, 1939–41; Edward J. Phelan, Ireland, 1941–48; David A. Morse, US, 1948–70; Wilfred Jenks, UK, 1970–73; Francis Blanchard, France, 1973–89; Michel Hansenne, Belgium, 1989–99; Juan Somavia, Chile, 1999 to present.

User Contributions:

1
fatoye
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Aug 29, 2007 @ 5:17 pm
I WANT TO GET THE VARIOUS LABOUR ACTION IN SIX SECTORS OF NIGERIA ECONOMY OVER THE PAST TEN YEAR TILL DATE. THE CAUSE AND THE WORKABLE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM.
2
owolabi akeem f.
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Sep 2, 2007 @ 11:11 am
I AM A STUDENT OF UNIVERSITY OF ADO-EKITI (UNAD)SO IHAD ASSIGNMENT CONCERNING THIS INFORMATION PLS SHOW ME
3
owolabi akeem f.
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Sep 2, 2007 @ 11:11 am
I AM A STUDENT OF UNAD I WANT TO GET THE VARIOUS LABOUR ACTION IN SIX SECTORS OF NIGERIA ECONOMY OVER THE PAST TEN YEAR TILL DATE. THE CAUSE AND THE WORKABLE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM.
4
EMAD
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Oct 12, 2009 @ 3:03 am
i would like to know about the ILO evaluation of Yemen, and yemen's contribution in ILO'S budget
5
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Oct 23, 2010 @ 3:03 am
Thankx for providing important information, as i am studunt of labour studies from MILS
6
Sophia
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Dec 1, 2010 @ 2:14 pm
The triparite system sound very interesting. But can you tell me what Contries like Britain, Singapore, France and Canada are doing to adapt to the globalisation impact. What lessons we in the Caribbean can learn from them?
7
Sylvia Kinyamu
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Jul 18, 2011 @ 7:07 am
Am a student at Kenya Methodist University. This info was quite helful during my revision. Keep sharing. Thanks.
8
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Oct 24, 2011 @ 3:03 am
Plz give me a full diagram structure based on the international labor organisation TOPIC.
9
pascal nzeyimana
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May 18, 2012 @ 3:03 am
I'm a student in National University of Rwanda in faculty of law, i would like just to know about the organization,functioning, and competence of international labour organization.
10
Elmon Dhlomo
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Dec 11, 2012 @ 11:23 pm
I am an employee of a research institution. I would like information on the structure and function of ILO.
11
adnan majeed
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Dec 23, 2012 @ 1:01 am
i am the student of IUST ͵ kashmir͵ Can u plzz give me the full structured mechanism of ILO
12
DIM KELL'S
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May 24, 2013 @ 4:16 pm
I am a student of IRIC in cameroon,just to find out the different organs of the ILO and the activities undertook by the ILO from the year 2000 till date...

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