ILO’s Convention 182
23-08-2020 No Comments » UPSC - IAS Bhavesh Singhal

For Prelims: Its member States, Headquarters, Reports published by ILO, features of the Convention 182.

Mains: Its roles and responsibilities, aims and objectives, the significance of ILO while delivering the Social Justice.

Convention 182

The pandemic (COVID-19) has been emerging with the widespread job losses, deterioration of work conditions, decline in household income, temporary school closures, The recent decision of the Kingdom of Tonga (situated in South Pacific Ocean) to ratify ILO Convention 182 is a welcome step. Convention 182 which prohibits human trafficking, sexual exploitation of children, deployment in armed conflicts, and other conditions that comprise their overall well-being becomes the first Convention to be ratified universally in ILO’s 101 years long history.

Convention 182 and Child Labour

ILO defines child labour as exploitation or an act that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity. Child labour is a bad practice which exists not in a particular region but also in the entire globe. Child labour is harmful to their physical and mental development. ILO’s Conventions 182th and 138th deals directly with this practice.

With all the work of ILO and other NGOs, data shows that there are still 152 million children who are trapped in this practice and 72 million of them are engaged in hazardous work. Thus, the universal ratification of a global labour standard may be an occasion for celebration.

ILO: An Overview

ILO refers to the International Labour Organization, a specialized agency of United Nations founded in 1919, is the first and oldest UN specialized agency with a mandate to advance social and economic justice by setting up the International Labour Standards. The ILO has 187 member states (186 UN members and Cook Islands). The International Labour Organization’s head office is situated in Geneva, Switzerland.


ILO is the only tripartite U.N. agency. ILO also emphasizes gender equality at work. It brings the governments, employers, and workers of 187 Member States together in a way so that they can set the labour standards, formulate and develop the policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all men and women.

The main aims and objectives of the ILO are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection, and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.

ILO also publishes Global Wage Report, World Employment and Social Outlook Report, and World Social Protection Report.

Composition of ILO

International Labour Organization is consists of 56 titular members (28 governments + 14 employers + 14 workers) and 66 deputy members (28 governments + 19 employers + 19 workers).

Out of 28 governments in titular role 10 are fixed, others are elected. India holds the permanent titular seat in ILO. Employers and workers are elected every three years on individual basis.

ILO and Labour Standards

ILO sets international Labour standards by using Conventions that are drawn up by its tripartite members i.e. governments, employers, and workers. These are then adopted by International Labour Conference which meets annually.

ILO has 189 Conventions which are non-binding in nature. Once a member state ratifies a convention then it becomes a legally binding instrument. ILO conventions are generally used as a tool or reference to bring national laws in line with international standards.

Even though all 189 conventions of ILO are important to achieve decent work for all but, in 1998, ILO adopted the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Right to Work. This declaration included 8 core Conventions as fundamental principles and commits members to promote and respect them.

8 Core Conventions of ILO

  1. Forced Labour Convention (Convention Number – 29)
  2. Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (Convention Number – 105)
  3. Equal Remuneration Convention (Convention Number – 100)
  4. Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention (Convention Number – 111)
  5. Minimum Age Convention (Convention Number – 138)
  6. Worst forms of Child Labour Convention (Convention Number – 182)
  7. Freedom of Association and Protection of Right to Organised Convention (Convention Number – 87)
  8. Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention (Convention Number – 98)

It is unfortunate that there are only 135 members who have ratified these 8 core Conventions which shows that we have a long way to go.

India, ILO and convention 182

India is a founding member of the ILO. It also holds permanent membership of ILO’s Governing Body since 1922.

India has ratified 6 out of 8 core Conventions of ILO. Convention 182 being the latest which has been ratified in 2017.

Two conventions which are not ratified by India are:

  1. Freedom of Association and Protection of Right to Organised Convention – The 87th ILO convention.
  2. Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention – The 98th ILO Convention.

The main reason for not ratifying these fundamental conventions is the restrictions imposed on government servants for example – their right to strike, their choice to openly criticize the government (s), right to freely join foreign organisations, etc.

Fun Facts: International Labour Organisation (ILO) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969.

June 12 is observed as the World Day against Child Labour since 2002.

Read this also: DELSA organises first ever online Lok Adalat.

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