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Special procedures - Complaints to the CFA

The government provides observations

The government provides observations on allegations, supported by documentary evidence. A hearing of the parties may exceptionally occur.

Since the CFA meets only three times a year, the Office systematically seeks to have the relevant government make observations on the allegations. Follow-up special communications may sometimes be necessary.

  • The CFA follows a practice of drawing the special attention of the Governing Body to specific cases it has examined because of the extreme seriousness and urgency of the matters dealt with therein. It does so by highlighting these cases in a special paragraph in the introductory part of its report, under the heading “Serious and urgent cases which the Committee draws to the special attention of the Governing Body”. Special communications may be sent by the Director-General following up on these cases.
  • The CFA follows a practice of issuing “urgent appeals” if, despite the time which has elapsed since the submission of the complaints or the issuance of its recommendations on at least two occasions, it has not received the observations of the governments in a particular case. “Urgent appeals” are equally found in a special paragraph in the introductory part of its report. Advance warnings of a potentially forthcoming “urgent appeal” equally feature in the introductory part of the report. Click to see examples in paras 6 and 7 of the CFA report. The government is warned that at its following session the CFA may examine the complaint even in the absence of a reply, i.e. by default.
  • Action to secure a reply may be taken by the Chair, on behalf of the CFA, during the Governing Body or the International Labour Conference through contacts made with the representatives of the government concerned.

ILO field offices may be called on to hasten the sending of government observations on complaints.

As clarified in the “Rules for relations with the government concerned” in the Procedures for the examination of complaints alleging violations of freedom of association, the replies from governments should not be limited to general observations, but they should be detailed.