International Labour Organization

Improving working conditions over the years has occupied the minds of many people. The need for an organization to improve the working conditions was pursued by two Welsh and French social reformers, Robert Owen and Daniel Legrand. The first major step in this direction was the establishment of an international conference in 1890 with representatives of 14 countries in Berlin. At this conference, proposals were made for the development of regulations on the minimum age for employment, improvement of working conditions for women and adolescents. In 1898 another conference was held in Brussels. And in 1900, the International Society for the Legal Protection of Workers was established. Finally, after World War I, when the peace conference was held at the Palace of Versailles, International Labor Organization (ILO) established to support workers` rights and create favorable working conditions and adequate facilities for employment and living standards for workers throughout the world. The goal of this organization was to establish social justice, freedom and economic security and to create equal opportunities for all nations, as well as to formulate international rules and regulations, optimize international labor standards and ensure their employment.
The ILO Act was drafted by the Labor Commission at the International Peace Conference between January and April 1919. The commission was composed of representatives from nine countries: Belgium, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The result of this meeting was the creation of a tripartite organization, which was the only organization that set government representatives, employers, and workers in one place. ILO is the eighth chapter of the Versailles Treaty.
At the beginning of its establishment, about 45 countries became members of the International Labor Organization. The first meeting of the International Labor Organization was attended by two representatives of the government and employers and workers from each member state who met on October 29, 1919. The meeting addressed issues related to the first six topics of the International Labor Act on working hours in industry, unemployment, protection of pregnant women, minimum working age, and night work for adolescents in the industry.

Currently, about 180 countries are members of this organization. Iran has been a member of the International Labor Organization since the first year of its formation, and in 1945, for the first time, a full delegation from Iran participated in the International Labor Conference.
The organization`s meetings are held in June each year in Geneva, workers and employers representatives express their views.
In 1944, the organization held meetings in Philadelphia, USA, following which the Philadelphia Declaration was adopted, according to which the International Labor Organization was obliged to pursue the following issues in countries around the world:
• Employment of all people and increase the standard of living
• Employing workers with jobs that fit their capabilities
• Creating the necessary facilities for training workers
• Provide opportunities for progress and ways for all people to be fair, in terms of wages, difficult work, and working conditions
• Creating favorable cooperation between workers and employers
• Support workers` health in all jobs
• Providing welfare facilities for children and mothers
• Development of social insurance for all workers and provision of complete medical treatment
• Provide appropriate food and culture and cultural facilities and healthy recreation
• Creating equal facilities for training workers
• Organization of the International Labor Organization
The organization has a general assembly, an executive board, a permanent secretariat, and other parties.

1- General Assembly

This assembly is convened once a year with the participation of member representatives. Each member state sends two representatives of the government, one representative of the employer, and one representative of the workers to the assembly. Each of these representatives can have their technical advisors. One chairman and three vice-chairmen are elected for each session of the General Assembly.
The main activity of the General Assembly is to establish a minimum standard for the working and living conditions of workers. The criteria adopted by the representative of the General Assembly shall be included in the Agreements and Instructions of the International Labor Organization and shall be adopted by a majority of the votes of the General Assembly. Creating conditions for these recommendations should be approved and implemented by the country`s authorities. The instructions of the International Labor Organization are for the government`s attention and their guidance in providing occupational health and social welfare of workers. It does not have to go beyond the approval of the legislature. Member States are required to notify the International Labor Organization of the approval or non-approval of the Instructions. These reports are reviewed by a committee of experts. Another task of the Assembly is to elect the members of the Executive Board, to approve the program and budget, and to determine the policy regarding the executive proposals or the representatives of the countries.

2. Executive Board

The Executive Board of the International Labor Organization shall be elected by the General Assembly every three years. The executive board consists of 56 people, of which 28 represent the government, 14 represent the workers and 14 represent the employers. Out of 28 government representatives, 10 are elected by the industrialized countries and another 18 are elected by the representatives of other countries.

3. International Labor Office

This office is the secretariat of the organization and is responsible for administrative and clerical affairs and providing the means for holding the assembly. The unit is headed by the general director of the International Labor Office and is based in Geneva.
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