Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Essay on ILO Reform

Dear teacher and all!
I would be pleased for your comment....
Thanks you.....

Pannasastra University of Cambodia

The Department of Social Science and International Relations

Course: The United Nations System

Reform on International Labor Organization

Professor: Stan Starygin

Student’s name: Vong Dara

Student’s ID: 00436

Date: January 24, 2008


Reform on International Labor Organization

I. Introduction
1) Background of International Labor Organization
2) Mission and Objective of ILO
3) Objective: the study of the Topic
4) Literature Review
II. Body
Reform on ILO
III. Conclusion
Give an own opinion on ILO reform

Reform on International Labor Organization

I. Introduction

1) International Labor Organization background

International Labor Organization established in 1919 after World War ended, as a part of the Treaties of Versailles. The ILO has made signal contributions to the world of work and the International Labor held the first conference in Washington on October 1919, adopted six International Labor Conventions, which dealt with hours of work in industry, unemployment, and maternity protection, night work for women, minimum age and night work for young persons in industry.

The ILO headquarter was located in Geneva, Switzerland in 1920. Albert Thomas was the first Director of the International Labor Office. The ILO also as part of the League of Nations and became the formal relationship as a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1946. The ILO’s governing body consists of 56 members: 28 represent governments, 14 represent employers, and other 14 represent workers and non-permanent members are elected by the conference every three years. Now, ILO consists of 175 members.[1]

2) Mission and Objective of the ILO

The main objectives of the ILO are to improve labor conditions, promote productive employment and social progress, and raise living standards, and the primary goal of the ILO today is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.
In order reach this goal, the ILO seeks to promote employment creation, strengthen fundamental principles and rights at work; workers' rights, improve social protection, and promote social dialogue as well as provide relevant information, training and technical assistance. The mission of ILO is to help the country to build the institutions that are the barricade of democracy and to help them become accountable to the people.
The ILO formulates international labor standards in the form of Conventions and recommendations which is setting the minimum standards of basic labor rights includes freedom of association, the right to organize, collective bargaining, elimination of forced labor, equality of opportunity and treatment and other standards which is addressing the conditions across the entire field of work that related the issues.

In the following are the four strategic objectives:
a) Promote and realize standards and fundamental principles and rights at work;
b) Create greater opportunities for men and women to secure decent employment and income;
c) Enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection of all; and
d) Strengthen tripartite and social dialogue.[2]

3) Objective: the study of the Topic

I make up my mind to write this topic because I learned that ILO is an international organization to promote rights at work for every people and the entire world but ILO objective and mission are still cannot work properly because the working standards for the poor is still a big concern, the income are low, the working condition is bad, women and men treat unfair at work, and the unemployment is higher. Especially, most of times happened in the least developing countries. Subsequently this paper will give argument, recommendation, and make up some reform on ILO should set up more missions and take action deeply into the least developing countries in order to reach the objectives of the ILO which set out clearly in the objective.

4) Literature Review

Juan, Somavia, ILO Director General, said that “Social justice is the best way to ensure sustainable peace and eradicate poverty. And I believe in people coming together organizing, joining forces, making their voices heard.” Does ILO work appropriately to reach their objectives for all?[3]

II. Reform on ILO

According the constitution of the ILO which consists of 40 articles did not mention clearly about the duty of the state members of the ILO in order to promote rights at work, increase job opportunity for the citizens in term of decreasing unemployment, avoiding child labor, equality rights at work, setting standard of minimum wage for the developing countries and the developed countries, giving chance for development at work. In the ILO constitution just wrote about the procedure, voting, the conference, how to become the member of the ILO. Especially, ILO also did not mention about the special agencies in the developing country because it just set and standard labor law but the developing countries need to be different from the developed countries related the economic situation, government institution, and the citizens are completely different from the developing countries.
Therefore, ILO has to promote labor rights at work by reforming its constitutions nationally, regionally, and locally for a crucial attention to the least developing countries. For example, ILO has to reform on labor law nationally. According to labor challenges is happening to the poor nations with poor of human resources, natural resources, and less of accountable, and transparent government. These challenges cause the enforcement of the labor law within the country. Second, ILO has to reform rights at work regionally, of course the poor nations or country is divided into different regions such in Africa, Southeast Asia. These regions need to deal with different policies and law because the political, economical and the practical of law enforce are much concerning with that. Finally, the ILO has to reform the rights at work locally within the nations.

Significantly, to promote rights at work, ILO has to work directly with the community where they are working by set up special agencies to observe and report what the employers have been done for their employees because most of the labor issues are abused by the employers and the law enforcement is weak related to the intervention of the government actor to take action against the abuses of labor law. In addition, ILO has to find and regulations to put pressure on the government to struggle against unemployment within the country as much as possible.

Therefore, the ILO has to reform its constitution to broaden the rights and the duty of the state to the implementations the law and make law to punish the employers who violate the labor law, and recommend to the state members to observe the labor issue, to facilitate to ILO agencies in order to create more job for their people, and set up more agencies of the ILO; especially to the developing country like in Cambodia.

For example, Cambodian is currently facing challenges in the rural remote area, they can earn less than one dollar a day and sometimes worst than that. But, Cambodian government did not put any effort to reduce the poverty and the ILO agencies in Cambodia never come out and deal with these problems properly. Furthermore, ILO can take any actions immediately to solve the rights abuses at work very well.
Thus, the ILO should set up any agents available to observe and investigate the case of abusing rights at work and firing from work without any specific causes of the problems.

III. Conclusion

From my point of view, ILO needs to be reformed any policies particularly for dealing with developing countries and ISO needs to work locally, nationally, and directly with community and cooperate with the institutions of the government charge with labor and make them enforce the labor law to promote, respect, intervene, and resolve the labor issues with the developing countries.
More importantly, the local government has to put the effort and fight against unemployment and create more jobs for their own people and nation to reduce poverty and the government has to cooperate with the ILO agencies, any non-governmental organizations in charge with labor, and local trade unions to protect, promote, respect, and resolve labor abuses and strike against the unemployment to reduce poverty for the better living conditions and prosperity life as the whole through the globe.

[1] ILO/Origin_ and history
[2] Labor Organization


Rattana Vandy said...

Hi man

You should take part of ILO constitution since you say much about it.
For reference, you have three sources that I think it is not much to support your statement.

Thank you man

onzemardy said...

hi dara! within your article you have mentioned much on the work and the reforming of ILO as well as the suggestion for the government.. but i think within your article you should also have to mention above the programme of ILO also, such like in Cambodia, you should place the program call "better Factory" too. because that activities have worked and help lots of activities and increasing the worker condition to be better\... this program have already done well and also showed in the cambodia TV channel... therefore it would be better if you could include this and also make it as source for your article and reforming...

sok ly said...

Criticism of ILO reform
In reform on ILO part, you suggest that ILO should reform on labor law nationally. I don’t understand you mean. Why you want to reform and how to reform it.
You also suggest ILO to punish the employers who violate the labor law by making law. This idea doesn’t useful to protect the employee. ILO doesn’t have direct enforcement to the employers. What ILO has just the indirect enforcement such as influence government to protect the employee? Moreover, the job to making law to punish the employers is the job of government. For example, Cambodia has the Labor Law to protect the employee. Thus, there is no need for ILO to make law. What ILO should do is to influence the government to protect the employer by implements the Labor Law.
You said Cambodian government did not put any effort to reduce the poverty. Where do you get this information? As I know Cambodian government has the rectangle strategies which include the policy to fight against poverty.

Chhun Sokha said...

Hi friend!
Your writing is a bit short but it makes enough sense. That is why I do not have so many opposing ideas, only saying it would be much better if you added more sources and expanded your writing. In addition, I also expect that the Cambodian government would cooperate more with other NGOs agencies, especially ILO to improve working conditions and unemployment for all Cambodian improvement and development.

Stan Starygin said...


The background section of the paper is fine and reads fairly well.

The reform section, on the other hand, is a different story altogether. The constitutional argument you took on is doubtless valid, however, I didn't get a feeling that it was well-articulated. For instance, I wasn't sure what you meant by arguing that the ILO needs to "work closely with the communities" when almost every developing country has a national ILO office and deals with the specific context of that country. Were suggesting that more offices be built? If so, after reading your paper, I am not clear about where and what purpose these offices would serve if they indeed were built.

I believe it was a good line of argumentation that you had selected and much could have been done with it, had you employed the rights means of doing it.