International Labour Organization
The International Labour Organization (ILO) was established in 1919 in Paris, by Article 13 of the Versailles Treaty. The ILO had appeared as a result of social reforms and labour movement of 19th century. The ILO became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946. In 1864, when the First International was held in London, leaders of the organization called upon the world community to improve labour conditions.
In 1900 the International Association for Labour Legislation was established. It collected and published labour laws of different countries. At the end of the First World War, European and American trade unions had strong influence and demanded for voting rights when signing peace treaty. On the Paris Peace Conference the International Commission for Labour Legislation was founded. This gave trade unions right to take part in negotiations. The aim of the commission was to keep peace not only between nations but also between classes of one country. This aim remained in the rules of the ILO where it was written: “It is only social justice that can provide long term peace all over the world”.
What is unique about the ILO is that it is the only 'tripartite' United Nations agency: it brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape policies and programs promoting Decent Work for all.
The main aims of the ILO are: promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.
Since 1919, the ILO holds annual conferences. During the conferences such matters as fair remuneration of labour, eight-hour working day, equal payment for both men and women, fight against child labour, employment discriminations, etc. were discussed, and a big number of Conventions and Recommendations were worked out.
As an autonomous organization under the UNO, the ILO seeks for improvement of labour conditions and living standards and providing of economic and social stability. In 1969, the ILO received the Nobel Peace Prize for strengthening solidarity between nations. Under the foundation of the ILO headquarters in Geneva the document with the following words was bricked up: “If you want peace cultivate justice”. The ILO has made a lot to realize the principle. It has given nations an example of dialogue and peaceful policy, worked out different projects concerning labour conditions, ecology, social safety, agriculture, women’s work, etc.