International Labour Conference celebrates its centenary

published 7 June 2019 updated 12 April 2024

Education International brings the voice of teachers and education personnel to the 108th session of the International Labour Conference.

The Education International (EI) delegation will be composed of education union leaders from Botswana, France, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal, Turkey and USA. Held every year in June in Geneva, Switzerland, the International Labour Conference (ILC) gathers together representatives of 182 governments and of workers’ and employers’ national organisations, from 10 to 21 June. The Conference of the International Labour Organisation is the only UN agency with a tripartite constituency. It is the global labour parliament where labour policy priorities are discussed, new standards are adopted and their implementation is supervised.

An EI representative will address the ILC Plenary on the 14 June.

2019 will mark the Centenary of the ILO and the adoption of the Declaration on the Future of Work.

Respect of labour standards

As every year, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Committee on the Application of Standards (CAS) will review the implementation – in law and practices – of labour standards and cases of trade union rights violations in 25 countries.While the list of countries to be reviewed by the Committee is still subject to negotiations, six countries are already known: Turkey, Ethiopia, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar and Nicaragua

The EI delegation will ensure that a spotlight is shined on the rights situation in the education sector, especially where teachers are deprived of trade union rights, including mechanisms for collective bargaining. EI welcomed the inclusion of Turkey as an automatic case for discussion. In Turkey, over 130,000 workers have been dismissed after the failed coup in July 2016, and among them, 28,000 teachers and academics. Between September 2016 and August 2017, 1,620 teachers, members of the EI affiliate Eğitim Sen, have been dismissed, including 48 members of the teacher union Committee.

CEART Committee

The report of the Joint ILO–UNESCO Committee of Experts on the Application of the Recommendations concerning Teaching Personnel (CEART) will be presented at the CAS Committee on 11 June. Already formally adopted, the CEART report will be an opportunity for education unionists to highlight issues pertaining to our profession. EI will be the spokesperson for the Workers’ Group.

Other items on the agenda:

ILO Centenary: As it celebrates its 100th anniversary, the ILO has adopted 7 initiatives (future of work, end poverty, women at work, green and just transition, visibility of the standards, engage with enterprises and reform ILO’s governance) that aim at equipping the Organization to take up successfully the challenges of its social justice mandate in the future.

New standard on Violence and harassment in the world of work: The discussions on a new standard on Violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work will continue this year, prior to its adoption.

ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work: The Commission has produced an landmark report on how to achieve decent and sustainable work opportunities for all at a time of unprecedented change and challenges in the world of work. The report will be discussed at the ILC in view of the adoption of a Declaration on the Future of Work.