The International Labour Organization is the United Nations agency for the world of work. It sets international labour standards, promotes rights at work and encourages decent employment opportunities, the enhancement of of social protection and the strengthening of dialogue on work-related issues. The ILO has a unique structure, bringing together governments, employers’ and workers’ representatives.
The ILO has 187 member States and is the oldest UN agency. The ILO Secretariat has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and a global network of technical experts and field offices in more than 40 countries. The International Labour Conference (ILC) meets once a year to adopt new international labour standards and to approve the ILO’s work plan and budget. The Governing Body is the executive council of the ILO and meets three times a year in Geneva.
The ILO works on job creation by promoting economies that generate opportunities for investment, entrepreneurship, skills development and sustainable livelihoods. It strives to obtain recognition and respect for the rights of workers. All workers, in particular disadvantaged or poor workers, need representation, participation and laws that protect their rights. ILO is committed to extend social protection. Women and men should enjoy working conditions that are safe, allow adequate free time and rest, take into account family and social values, provide for adequate compensation in case of lost or reduced income and permit access to adequate health care. ILO also supports strengthening workers’ and employers’ organizations as they are central to increasing productivity, avoiding disputes at work and building cohesive societies.