What is the International Labour Conference?

The ILO’s tripartite constituents, representatives of governments, workers and employers, meet at the two-week ILC each June in Geneva. The ILO’s 187 Member States are each represented by a delegation of at least two government delegates, an employer delegate, a worker delegate, and their respective advisers.

The ILC has several main tasks. First is the drafting and adoption of new international labour standards (ILS), although this does not necessarily occur on an annual basis. Then, there is the revision, withdrawal and abrogation of outdated ILS. In the Conference Committee on the Application of Standards (CAS), the ILC supervises the application of Conventions and Recommendations at the national level. In addition, the Conference provides a forum where social and labour matters of global importance, such as the Future of Work, can be discussed. Furthermore, the ILC can pass resolutions that provide guidelines for the ILO’s general policy and future activities. Every two years, the ILC adopts the ILO’s biennial work programme and budget, which is financed by Member States. Every three years, the ILC elects the ILO Governing Body.

Why is the ILC relevant to business?

IOE member organisations nominate employer representatives to participate, thus ensuring the voice of business is taken into account in all the ILC debates. Any outcome, whether an international labour standard, resolution, declaration, initiative, policy, or programme can have an indirect or direct impact on national and regional policy discussions and regulatory frameworks, day-to-day management decisions and future business projects.

How does the IOE’s work in the ILC advance the agenda for business?

The IOE works with its members and ACT/EMP at the ILC to ensure that the outcomes of the discussions contribute to and support an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises by fostering the right conditions for employers to hire more workers and to contribute to job and wealth creation.