The International Labour Organization (ILO) was established in 1919, as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I. The main objective of the establishment was to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if it is based on social justice. The Constitution was drafted between January and April 1919 by the Labour Commission set up by the Peace Conference, which first met in Paris and then in Versailles. The ILO became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946. The ILO has 187 member-states.
ILO is the international organization responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards. It is the only 'tripartite' United Nations agency that brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape policies and programmes promoting “Decent work for all”. This unique arrangement gives the ILO an edge in incorporating 'real world' knowledge about employment and work.
ILO activities are carried out through its three main bodies composed of representatives of governments, employers, and workers – the International Labour Conference, the Governing Body and the Office which is carrying out the functions of Secretariat. Besides, there are ILO Regional Offices for Africa, Latin Americas and the Caribbean, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe and Central Asia. Regional meetings of the ILO member States are held periodically to examine matters of special interest to the regions concerned.
The International Labour Conference sets the international labour standards and the broad policies of the ILO. It meets annually in Geneva. Often called an international parliament of labour, the Conference is also a forum for discussion of key social and labour questions.
The Governing Body is elected every three years. It takes decisions on ILO policy, decides the agenda of the International Labour Conference, adopts the draft Programme and Budget of the Organization for submission to the Conference, and elects the Director-General.
The International Labour Office is the permanent secretariat of the International Labour Organization. It is the focal point for International Labour Organization's overall activities, which it prepares under the scrutiny of the Governing Body and under the leadership of the Director-General.
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder was elected by the ILO Governing Body and took office on 1 October 2012. In 2016 Mr. Ryder was re-elected for the same position and started the next term on 1 October 2017.
The Republic of Azerbaijan is a full member of ILO since 19 May 1992.
Azerbaijan has joined 57 Conventions of the Organization which covers basic rights in the field of labour and employment. Azerbaijan improved its national legislation on the relevant field in accordance with advanced world standards on the basis of these Conventions. The reports on the work done in the field of solution of issues arising from these documents are submitted regularly to the ILO.
Azerbaijan’s positive experience gained in the implementation of joint projects created an opportunity for the adoption of the next "Decent Work Country Program for 2016-2020" between the Government of Azerbaijan and the ILO on 30 September 2016. Along with taking important steps in the implementation of the Program, in accordance with the principles of the ILO, the Trilateral Commission on Social and Economic Issues was founded in the country. “Decent work for all” is a key objective for the Government's efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the ILO provides support to Azerbaijan to implement the 2030 Agenda in line with comprehensive employment policy of the Government.
The first priority of the Programme signed by the ILO and the Azerbaijani constituents is to promote decent employment opportunities and quality jobs for inclusive growth. Two other priority areas identified in the Decent Work Country Programme - in continuity with the former DWCP – focus on employment, working conditions, occupational safety and health, and social dialogue. At the same time, the new DWCP places a greater emphasis on labour administration and labour inspection.
The Government of Azerbaijan carried out reforms in order to improve labour and social protection systems, automated systems in these areas (insurance-pension system, an electronic registration system on notifications of labour contract, Single Electronic Application and Nomination Sub-System for targeted state social assistance, Medical-Social Expertise and Rehabilitation Subsystem.
On 15 December 2017, representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (MLSPP) of Azerbaijan, ILO and UNDP signed a Letter of Intent making a commitment to developing joint cooperation in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda in Azerbaijan and supporting the MLSPP in the implementation of the National Employment Strategy and expanding the country’s self-employment programme.
A number of international events were held in the Republic of Azerbaijan as a result of close cooperation with the ILO. Due to the presidency to the Regional Alliance of Labour Inspections, 3rd Conference of the Regional Alliance of Labour Inspections was organized on 18-19 November 2010 in Baku. The Conference was supported by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of Azerbaijan, the International Association of Labour Inspections, ILO and World Bank. The issues such as secure and safe work conditions, the protection of labour rights of workers’, the implementation of legislation and international standards, and increasing the activity of social partners’ were discussed during the Conference.
International Conference “The management system of labour security and health: sustainable improvement methods” dedicated to the World Labour Protection Day was held with the support of ILO and World Bank “Project of the development of social protection” on 26 April 2011 in Baku. The presentations regarding the establishment of State Labour Inspection Service, the effective cooperation with the EU member-states on the specific components of the World Bank project with a view to improve labour inspection in Azerbaijan, as well as launching of Twining project aimed at strengthening of labour safety were demonstrated in the Conference.
Azerbaijan regularly participates at the International Labour Conferences with the tripartite delegation led by the Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Population. The delegation includes the President of the National Confederation of Employer’s Organizations, the Head of Trade-Unions Confederations, as well as the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Azerbaijan to United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva.
During the 106th session of International Labour Conference held in June 2017 in Geneva the Republic of Azerbaijan was elected as a titular member of the Governing Body of the ILO for the period of 2017-2020. At the same time the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the UN Office at Geneva Amb. Vaqif Sadiqov was elected as Vice-Chairperson of the Government Group for the period of June 2017 - June 2018.
Representation of Azerbaijan in the ILO Governing Body allows close participation in the ILO activities, its policy decision-making and promotion of progressive initiatives at the international level in the field of labour.