As the ILO celebrates its centenary in 2019, it is time to reflect on the many life-changing events linked to the ten decades of ILO history.
The organization played a role in key historical stages – the Great Depression, decolonization, the establishment of Solidarno in Poland, the victory over apartheid in South Africa – and today in building an ethical and productive framework for a fair globalization.
It was created in 1919, as part of the Treaty of Versailles [PDF 837KB] that ended World War I, to reflect the belief that comprehensive and lasting peace can only be achieved if it is based on social justice.
The International Labor Organization is dedicated to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labor rights, and it pursues its founding mission that social justice is essential to achieving comprehensive and lasting peace.
The only tripartite United Nations agency, the International Labor Organization that brings together governments, employers and workers’ representatives from 187 member states, to set labor standards, establish policies and create programs that promote decent work for all women and men.
Today, the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda helps advance the economic and working conditions that give all workers, employers and governments a stake in lasting peace, prosperity and progress.
In support of its goals, the ILO offers unparalleled expertise and knowledge about the world of work, with nearly 100 years of responding to the needs of people everywhere for decent work, livelihoods and dignity. They serve their triple components – and society as a whole – in many ways, including:
- Formulate international policies and programs to promote basic human rights, improve working and living conditions, and enhance employment opportunities
- Create international labor standards backed by a unique system to oversee their implementation
- A broad program of international technical cooperation formulated and implemented in active partnership with constituents, to assist countries in putting these policies into practice in an effective manner.
- Training, education and research activities to help advance all of these efforts