Major activities performed by the International Labour Organisation are discussed below:
1). Acceptance of International Standards: Acceptance of international standard is the most phenomenal practice which is very common to several activities performed by ILO. Progressive efforts are made to decide on the new tools for setting standards, though the Recommendations and Conventions are the key tools to do so.
These measures involve:
- Reports and resolutions that are presented during regional technical meetings and regional conferences.
- Reports and resolutions accepted by institutions expressing the opinions and concerns of specific economic sector or industry.
- Results and resolutions accepted try conferences and expert committees.
- Model codes on several issues.
- Resolutions that are accepted by institutions dealing with social security issues.
2). Creation of International Standards of Labour: Creating international standards for labour on several social and labour issues is a crucial activity of ILO. These standards are decided by accepting the Recommendations and Conventions.
Various areas, like, social policy, industrial relations, employment of children and women, conditions of work, labour administration, basic human rights, matters affecting special categories of workers and employment come under the ambit of these Recommendations and Conventions.
3). Promotion of Employment: Higher level of productive employment is what countries are seeking, ILO helps countries in this regard. The attempts of ILO in this context are:
- Examining the effect of alternative development strategies for short and long term.
- Assisting the working of labour markets with the help of suitable procedures and rules.
- Eradication of biasness against certain group and shielding mainly the susceptible group.
- Meeting the challenges, such as, income, organisational needs and employment of the unorganised labour that form the major portion of the labour force in developing countries.
- Promoting productivity in informal and formal sectors of various industries.
- Reacting to the amplified migratory stress due to inequalities in global development, demographic changes and structural alteration.
- Aiding and managing the shift of economies from State-run to market-oriented economies.
4). Collection and Distribution of Information and Publication: Another important function of ILO is to collect and distribute information. ILO has always been a publishing house and depository of data regarding social and labour issues.
It accumulates data on a global basis regarding the social and labour issues and makes this data accessible to the associated countries. The data collected by ILO is globally considered as a reliable and authentic source of information. The function related to accumulation of data is affected and strengthened by research.
Various authentic reports on issues related to society and labour are published by ILO. Other publications include: workers’ education materials, technical guides on specialised topics, text-books on management, standard reference works, codes of practice on occupational safety and health.
5). Research and Studies: Various studies and research particularly related to labour and social issues are accomplished on the basis of data and results published by ILO. Several other areas that come under its ambit are manpower development, industrial relations, industrial safety and health, social security and working conditions.
6). Training: In the area of training, ILO acts as an advisor, which is its primaiy role. ILO has recognised the area of training as an area of great importance. ILO provides the assistance of its professionals and experts to public and private trainers, governments and social partners in designing several training programmes, like women and special target groups, vocational training, apprenticeship training, etc.
ILO’s International Training Centre at Turin in Italy is dedicated to the growth of human resource grounded on the belief that “such an investment in human capacity is the most efficient means of social advancement and assuring the future of developing countries or those in transition”.
7). Improvement of Working Conditions and Working Environment: With the aim of enhancing the conditions of the workplace, ILO has incorporated several activities in an integrated way. These activities include studies and research, accumulation and dispersion of information, technical cooperation, and international standards of labour.
Various Recommendations and Conventions with the purpose of attaining the goals. ILO also provides consultancy services to its member countries, whosoever asks for it and also develops training programmes to support the activities of all the member countries.
8). Development of Social Institutions: In this context the ILO’s programmes is related with:
- Labour administration,
- Advancement in industrial relations and labour laws,
- Cooperatives and rural institutions,
- Formulating employers’ and employees’ organisation
- Workers’ education.
Some other activities of ILO relate to such areas as:
1) Instituting Industrial Committees.
2) Joining regional programmes.
3) Encouraging global respect and adherence of human rights and rights at work.
4) Installing cooperative ties with other international associations having any relations with its schemes, procedures and policies.
5) Developing special programs for groups of workers expressly handicapped like migrants, children, disabled and women.