The Importance of the ILO in International Processes: the Centenary of the International Organization


The article considers the centenary of the ILO and analyzes the main transformations of the organization in the context of deepening globalization in recent decades; there have been significant changes in the ILO’s norms and standards. The article reveals the main problem of the ILO, which remains the task of increasing the number of ratifications of conventions for global proliferation of ILO’s standards in most member-states, and the ILO’s efforts to address the problem are also analyzed. It is shown that it is not yet possible to solve the problem of the low level of ratifications of many conventions which set standards in the most important areas of social and labor development. It is substantiated that an insufficient level of ratification can lead to a loss of control over the political consequences of the measures taken by the ILO. The problems of the fragmentation of international law and the consequences of fragmentation in the proliferation of norms and programs related to the rights of employees, labor standards and labor market regulation patterns are analyzed. The fragmentation fostered by both state and non-state international and transnational subjects is deteriorated by contradictory interpretation of common law. The article reveals the main problems of applying the latest ILO recommendation (2015) on the transition from the informal to the formal economy, that, as the author posits, should not be forced, because in the modern world the informal economy encourages the reduction of poverty by allowing to work those who cannot be employed in the formal economy. The reason lies in the tax system, which in many countries imposes an excessive burden on entrepreneurs. The article notes that the implementation of the green initiative and The Green Jobs Programme contributes to the expansion of the formal employment sector in developing countries. The ILO recommendation No. 204 is evaluated in the article as excessive in terms of the scope of activities in modern society. The main conclusion of the article connects the slowdown of ILO's norms-making activities in recent decades with the instability of the system and the lack of noticeable progress in the process of ratifying conventions.


International Labour Organization; conventions; global economy; ratification; labour; employment; international labour standards; Millennium Development Goals; green jobs; digital labour platforms.

Authors: Alexander Tkachenko

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