International Labor Organization
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency that works with member nations in order to promote labor standards and decent work for all. The ILO was originally created under the defunct League of Nations, and transferred to the United Nations upon that body’s creation in 1946. It was the first specialized agency under the UN. The ILO received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969.
The ILO, unlike other UN agencies, is controlled by a tripartite system, in which three groups representing governments, employers, and workers dialogue in order to achieve solutions. The ILO has a Governing Body that adopts the annual program and budget of the agency, and is comprised of 28 government representatives, 14 worker representatives, and 14 employer representatives.
Each June, the ILO organizes the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Also called the Parliament of Labor, this meeting decides upon ILO policy and budgeting. Each member state currently sends four representatives to the conference. Of the 193 member nations to the UN, 185 belong to the ILO. The United States withdrew from the ILO between 1977 and 1980 over disputes that communist nations could not truly send tripartite representation. In 1982, the ILO created the International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor with the goal of combatting underage labor around the world.