Recourse to preliminary contacts, direct contacts or tripartite missions may be had.
In handling an allegation, on-the-spot missions whereby a person entrusted by the Director-General – either an independent person or an ILO official – is sent to the country concerned in order to collect information on the facts relating to a case and/or to seek solutions to the difficulties encountered may take place.
Preliminary contacts may occur early on in the process of treating the matter. They are used for complaints of a particularly serious nature and require the prior approval of the Chair of the CFA.
Its possible purposes are:
- to transmit to the competent authorities in the country the concern to which the events described in the complaint have given rise;
- to explain to those authorities the principles of freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining involved;
- to obtain from the authorities their initial reaction, as well as any comments and information with regard to the matters raised in the complaint;
- to explain to the authorities the special procedure in cases of alleged infringements of trade union and employers’ organization rights, and in particular the direct contacts method which may
- subsequently be requested by the government in order to facilitate a full appraisal of the situation by the CFA and the Governing Body;
- to request and encourage the authorities to communicate as soon as possible a detailed reply containing the observations of the government on the complaint.
Direct contacts may occur either during the examination of the case or at the stage of the action to be taken on the recommendations of the Governing Body. They can only be established at the invitation of the government concerned, or at least with its consent.
On certain occasions, and normally after in-depth examination of the case, the CFA may propose to the government concerned to accept a tripartite mission with the purpose to assist in the resolution of the outstanding issues.