What are ILO conventions and core labour standards?

A part of the United Nations, the ILO has set minimum standards that should be a right for every worker, all over the world.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is a tripartite organisation consisting of trade unions, governments and companies, and is part of the United Nations system. In 1998, the ILO produced the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. In the Declaration, ILO member states agreed that they should all respect, promote, and realise core labour standards (whether they have been ratified or not).

  • The core labour standards consist of five standards, laid out in eight conventions:
  • Freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining (Convention No. 87 & No. 98)
  • The elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour (Convention No. 29 & No. 105)
  • The effective abolition of child labour (Convention No. 138 & No. 182)
  • The elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation (Convention No. 100 & No. 111)

The CCC calls upon companies to respect, in addition to these, the following internationally recognized labour rights: the right to a living wage based on a regular working week that does not exceed 48 hours; humane working hours with no forced overtime; a safe and healthy workplace free from harassment; and a recognised employment relationship with labour and social protection. These rights have also been laid down in ILO conventions and recommendations and in the UN declaration on human rights and are essential to workers in the garment industry.