Feb. 19, 2019 -- The International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Monday that in its centenary year, 2019, it is urging its 187 member states to ratify at least one additional ILO convention or protocol.
"Since its founding in 1919, ILO international labor standards have improved the working lives of millions of people," said the ILO in a statement.
From eliminating forced and child labor to ensuring the rights of seafarers and promoting gender equality, the ILO said its 189 conventions and 205 recommendations adopted by the organization's member states over the last 100 years had formed the bedrock of the ILO and its mandate.
It noted, however, that "many issues in the world of work remain, and with new challenges being created by globalization and cross border activities, international labor standards are needed more than ever."
It said that "ratifications and the full application of ILO global labor standards will ultimately lift up millions of workers whose livelihoods today, like 100 years ago, are facing substantial challenges."
"The implementation of international labor standards ensures that no one will be left behind in the world of work," said Corinne Vargha, director of the International Labor Standards Department.
To gauge progress towards this goal, the ILO will track all 2019 ratifications in real time on a new dashboard.
More than 30 member states have already made a head start, having signed conventions or protocols in 2019 or ratified instruments that will enter into force this year.
Governments, employers' and workers' representatives negotiate ILO conventions.
The ILO noted that conventions on child labor contributed to the reduction in the number of children working from 246 million in 2000 to 152 million in 2016.
It also said that conventions on working time had placed limits on working hours and the working week.
"The Maritime Labor Convention -- which currently covers more than 90 percent of the world's gross shipping tonnage -- has improved working conditions for many seafarers," said the ILO.