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Part II. International Human Rights System. 8/11previousTable of Contentsnext

7. The International Labour Organization (ILO)


PART I. National Frameworks for the Protection of Rights of Persons with Disabilities
PART II. The International Human Rights System
1. Introduction to the International Human Rights System
1.1 Exhaustion of Local Remedies
1.2 Disability Rights at the International Level
2. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
2.1 Review of provisions
2.2 Reporting Procedure Under the ICCPR
2.3 Emergency procedure Under the ICCPR
2.4 Individual Communication Procedure
3. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
3.1 Review of provisions
3.2 1503 Procedure Under the ICESCR
4. The Convention on the Rights of the Child
4.1 Review of provisions
4.2 Reporting Procedure
4.3 Thematic Consideration of Issues
4.4 Missions
5. The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
5.1 Review of Provisions
5.2 Reporting Procedure
5.3 Exceptional Reporting Procedure
5.4 Complaint Procedure
6. The Convention Against Torture, and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment
6.1 Review of provisions
6.2 Reporting Procedure
6.3 Investigative procedure
6.4 Individual Complaints Procedure
7. The International Labour organization (ILO)
7.1 The Complaint Procedure
7.2 ILO Provision on the Rights of the Migrant Worker
8. Other International Norms and standards
9. Other International Mechanisms
10. Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
10.1 Persons with Disabilities and Armed Conflicts
10.2 Human Rights in Times of Emergency
10.3 Civilian Persons Hors de Combat
10.4 Special Protection for the Wounded and Sick
10.5 Victims of Land Mines and Armed Conflicts
PART III. The Regional Human Rights System
PART IV. Towards a Rights Based Perspective on Disability
PART V. Rights of Special Groups with Disabilities

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) was founded in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles. The only element of the League of Nations to survive World War II, the ILO is now a specialized agency of the United Nations. It has its own constitution and membership and its own organs, budget and staff. It has concluded an agreement with the United Nations, which governs their mutual relations and cooperation.

7.1 The Complaints Procedure

There are four types of complaint procedures under the ILO Constitution and conventions:

  1. Representations (articles 24, 25 and 26 (4) of ILO Constitution);
  2. Complaints (articles 26-to 29 and 31 and 34);
  3. Special Procedures for freedom of association (Conventions No.87, 98);
  4. Special surveys on discrimination.

Usually the ILO procedures are not available to individual complainants- only to a government, a trade union, an employees association or a delegate to the ILO. The procedures tend to be used most often in cases in which there is an allegation of a widespread violation of rights.

A complaint must also be based on an ILO convention that the country in question has ratified. A complaint may be brought by:

  1. governments
  2. delegates to the International Labour Conference and
  3. the Governing Body of the ILO.
The Governing Body then decided whether or not to appoint a Commission of Inquiry. The report of the Commission of Enquiry is then sent to the Government concerned, published and transmitted to the Governing Body. The Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations follows up on implementation of the recommendations. The government(s) concerned may refer the complaint to the International Court of JusticeI for final decision.

7.2 ILO Provisions on the Rights of the Migrant Worker

Several Conventions and Recommendations provide for the protection of persons with disabilities.

Article 6 of the Convention concerning Migration for Employment (Revised) (ILO Convention No.97) states:

"Each Member for which this Convention is in force undertakes to apply, without discrimination in respect of nationality, race, religion or sex, to immigrants lawfully within its territory, treatment no less favourable than that which it applies to its own nationals in respect of the following matters:
(b) social security (that is to say, legal provision in respect of employment injury, maternity, sickness, invalidity, old age, death, unemployment and family responsibilities, and any other contingency which, according to national law regulations, is covered by a social security scheme)…"

The Recommendation conccerning Migrant workers, 1975 (ILO Recommendation No. 151) states in Part B, article 20 that "…all appropriate measures should be taken to prevent any special health risks to which migrant workers may be exposed."

Article 5 of the Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation (ILO Convention No. 111) provides: " Any Member may, after consultation with representative employers' and workers' organisations, where such exist, determine that other special measures designed to meet the particular requirements of persons who, for reasons such as sex, age, disablement, family responsibilities or social or cultural status, are generally recognised to require special protection or assistance, shall not be deemed to be discrimination."

The provisions of the Convention concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons), 1983 (ILO Convention No. 159), Recommendation concerning Vocational Rehabilitation of the Disabled, 1955 (ILO Recommendation No. 99) and the Recommendation concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons), 1983 (ILO Recommendation No. 168) apply to all disabled workers. These Conventions (and Recommendations) aim to protect disabled workers in order to help them to participate in national policies on vocational rehabilitation and employment.

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