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Chair of ILO Governing Body: India

  • 24 Oct 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

After 35 years, India has assumed the Chairmanship of the Governing Body of International Labour Organization (ILO).

Key Points

  • Labour & Employment Secretary Apurva Chandra has been elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Body of the ILO for the period October 2020-June 2021.
  • The Chairperson of the Governing Body of ILO is a position of international repute. The Governing Body (GB) is the apex executive body of the ILO.
    • GB meets thrice a year, in March, June and November. It takes decisions on ILO policy, decides the agenda of the International Labour Conference, adopts the draft programme and budget of the organisation for submission to the conference, and elects the Director-General.
    • The broad policies of the ILO are set by the International Labour Conference, which meets once a year in June, in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Chandra will be presiding over the upcoming Governing Body’s meeting, to be held in November 2020.
    • It will provide a platform to apprise participants of the transformational initiative taken by the government in removing the rigidities of the labour market, besides making intention clear about the universalisation of social security to all workers in the organised or unorganised sector.
    • The four codes on wages, industrial relations, social security and occupational safety, health and working conditions are expected to improve ease of doing business and safeguard the interest of workers.

International Labour Organization

  • The only tripartite United Nations (UN) agency, since 1919, the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.
  • The ILO became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946.
  • The principal means of action in the ILO is the setting up the International Labour Standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations.
    • Conventions are international treaties and are instruments, which create legally binding obligations on the countries that ratify them.
    • Recommendations are non-binding and set out guidelines orienting national policies and actions.
  • It received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969.
  • It releases the annual World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) Trends report.
  • India and ILO:
    • India, a Founding Member of the ILO, has been a permanent member of the ILO Governing Body since 1922. The first ILO Office in India started in 1928.
    • India has ratified 41 Conventions of the ILO, which is much better than the position existing in many other countries.
    • India has ratified six out of the eight-core/fundamental ILO conventions. These conventions are:
      • Forced Labour Convention (No. 29)
      • Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No.105)
      • Equal Remuneration Convention (No.100)
      • Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention (No.111)
      • Minimum Age Convention (No.138)
      • Worst forms of Child Labour Convention (No.182)
    • India has not ratified the two core/fundamental conventions, namely Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87) and Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98).
    • The ILO expressed deep concern at the changes that many Indian states made to labour laws to boost economic activities, which slowed down due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Source: PIB

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