Discovering the ILO

On Wednesday 26 April, Angelika Muller, Senior Specialist in Social Dialogue at the International Labour Organisation (ILO), came to talk to us about the organism in which she works.

Our prestigious speaker outlined the characteristics of this very special institution. First of all, in terms of its history, the ILO was created by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, after the First World War. It is one of the oldest international organisations and later became the first specialised agency of the United Nations. On its 50th anniversary, it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its important work throughout the world.

The ILO’s objective is very simple: to promote social justice and decent work. To achieve this, the organisation relies on 5 fundamental rights: the right to social dialogue and freedom of association, the right to health and safety, the guaranteed prohibition of forced labour, the prohibition of child labour and, finally, the prohibition of discrimination and inequality.

The other distinctive feature of the International Labour Organisation is its unique type of negotiation: the tripartite debate. In this type of discussion, there are not one or two delegates per country, but three groups of people per delegation.  The government, trade unions and employers from each country are then given the opportunity to take part in discussions on a wide range of topics, from green jobs to apprenticeships.

Finally, many of the issues will be addressed at the ILO’s annual conference in June, before being debated by FerMUN delegates at our next conference next year. The only thing we can look forward to now is discussing these issues in the ILO building itself!