Special procedures - Article 19

The representation by employers’ or workers’ organizations is made

A representation can be made about ineffective observance of any ratified Convention.

Article 24 of the ILO Constitution permits “an industrial association of employers or workers” to make a representation to the Office alleging that any member State has failed to give effect to any Convention to which it is a party.

The member State must be bound by ratification to the Convention to which the allegation refers. This does not mean that the allegations must concern a State that is presently a member of the ILO as by virtue of article 1, paragraph 5, of the ILO Constitution, the withdrawal from the Organization shall not affect the continued validity of obligations under ratified Conventions.

Standing Orders concerning the procedure for examination of representations under  articles 24 and 25 of the ILO Constitution  have been adopted by the Governing Body. Together with the Introductory Note, they set down the procedure followed in treating representations.

New measures concerning the representation procedure

In 2018, the Governing Body took a range of measures to strengthen the effectiveness and transparency of the representation procedure.

  • Firstly, optional voluntary conciliation at the national level based on the agreement of the complainant and the agreement of the government, leading to a temporary suspension for a maximum period of six months of the examination of the merits of a representation. While the representation procedure does not require prior exhaustion of national remedies, efforts to reach conciliation at the national level could facilitate a resolution of the dispute at an early stage.
  • Secondly, members of ad hoc tripartite committees established to examine representations need to receive all information and relevant documents from the Office 15 days in advance of their meetings and members of the Governing Body should receive the final report of the ad hoc tripartite committees three days before they are called to adopt their conclusions.
  • Thirdly, the CFA will henceforth examine representations referred to it on freedom of association and collective bargaining matters by setting up ad hoc tripartite committees among its members in line with the procedures set out in the Standing Orders of the Governing Body for the examination of article 24 representations.
  • Fourth, all necessary measures will be taken to protect committee members from undue interference.

The Governing Body will review all the above measures after a two-year trial period.

For more information, see on the ILO website the overview of the representation procedure, articles 24 and 25 of the ILO Constitution, and the list of representations actually made. To know more about the article 24 procedure, a flowchart presentation is also available.