Outline and critically evaluate the debate around International Labour Standards from the perspectives of both developing and developed countries with particular reference to the role of the International Labour Organisation.
Labour standards are those rules and regulations that are applied to the way workers are treated in a particular organisation. The term has a wide scope encompassing child labour, forced labour, rights of labours to organise trade unions, minimum wages, strikes, health and safety conditions and working hours.
International labour organisation
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) was founded in 1919, in the wake of a destructive war, with a vision that was universal, and in an effort that a long lasting peace could be established only if it was based on social justice as stated in ILO (2015). The international Labour Organisation works under the United Nations, as it is a subsidiary to it. There are four key objectives that ILO is trying to achieve and are as follows:
- Encouraging fundamental principles and standards and rights at work
- Providing ample opportunities for both men and women to earn a living by a decent employment
- Providing social protection to all parties involved
- To strengthen social dialogue and the relation between the three parties involved (governments, employers and workers) according to ILO
Ever since its creation, ILO has maintained and developed a system of international labour standards that are aimed at promoting opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work. Provided the conditions of freedom, equity, security and as well as dignity. In todays globalised economy, international labour standards are an essential component in the international frame work for ensuring that the growth of the global economy.
The global economy today has grown to a scale unprecedented in the short history. After being aided by new technologies, capital, people and goods are moving between countries with an ease and at a speed that have created an interdependent global economic network affecting virtually every person on the planet.
This globalisation has generated opportunities and benefits for many, however, at the same instance millions of workers and employees around the world have had to face new challenges. This globalized economy has displaced workers and businesses to newer locations, and resulted in sudden accumulation of capital and is the source of financial instability in certain regions. The advent of technology created newer jobs and newer modes of doing work, therefore, creating more jobs in the market.
The role of ILO is to specify the standards that should be followed by all nations regarding their labour practices. In 1919, the nations involved in the Treaty of Versailles created the International Labour Organisation in recognition of the fact that the conditions of labour involves such hardship, injustice and privation to such a large number of people as to produce unrest so great that the harmony and peace of the world are imperilled according to (Fried 1947).
To tackle issues like these, the newly formed organisation established amechanism of international labour standards, which are international conventions and the recommendations laid out by the representatives of governments, employers and workers around the world, encompassing all matters related to work. The founders of the ILO recognised that the fast moving global economy needed a clear set of rules to ensure that the economic progress went hand in hand with social justice, prosperity and most importantly peace for all.
The ILO has created a comprehensive Decent Work Agenda which takes up many of the same challenges that it faced at its inception. The Agenda aims to accomplish decent work for all by promoting social protection and dialogue, and employment creation with respect for international labour standards.
The labour standards have enlarged into a more comprehensive system of instruments on work and social policy, which are backed by a supervisory system designed to address all sorts of problems in their application at a national level. They act as a legal component in the ILOâ€™s strategy for ensuring that people can work in dignity and safety………………………
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