Article 19, paragraphs 5-7, of the ILO Constitution authorizes the Governing Body to ask member States to report about the position of their law and practice in regard to the matters dealt with in unratified Conventions and in Recommendations. Member States are asked to show the extent to which effect has been given or is proposed to be given to any provisions of the selected instrument(s). In practice, a set of instruments on a particular subject matter is often selected by the Governing Body for reporting each year.
Reports – and the subsequent “General Survey” synthesizing and analysing the contents of these reports which is prepared by the CEACR – are helpful to promote ratification, induce countries to take a look at where they stand in relation to the ratification and implementation of instruments, including by giving effect to their contents even in the absence of ratification (also to provide due recognition of efforts undertaken), guide the implementation of the instruments, and evaluate the impact and relevance of ILS.
More information on General Surveys, which allow to clarify the scope of the instruments, to analyse the difficulties indicated by governments as impeding their application or ratification, and to identify means of overcoming these difficulties, is available in the “Finding Aid on General Surveys” of the ILO library.
The Governing Body usually makes its selection of instruments at its meeting in October/November, on the following basis:
- only a small number of instruments on a subject matter are selected to enable an in-depth examination of the selected instruments and not to overburden national administrations which have to prepare the reports; and
- the subjects chosen are of current interest.