Governments’ very first reports on newly ratified Conventions need to be detailed. They need to respond to each and every question of a report form specifically developed for the particular Convention and approved by the Governing Body. The report forms set out the substantive provisions of the Conventions on which information has to be provided, and include specific questions as to some provisions. A general commentary on the structure and content of these report forms is available to the ILO constituents. Subsequent reports are simplified, providing information on any changes made to laws and practices in applying the ratified Convention. In order to further clarify the distinction between the two types of reports, and with a view to facilitating their submission, the Governing Body has recently approved a report form for simplified reports. Click to see the new report form for simplified reports.
All reports, whether detailed or simplified, need to:
- indicate the employers’ and workers’ organizations to which copies of the reports have been addressed, as required by article 23, paragraph 2, of the ILO Constitution;
- include the text of any observations made by employers’ and workers’ organizations, where these observations have not already been forwarded to the Office;
- include any comments that the government wishes to make on the observations received; and
- respond to any comments made by the supervisory bodies on the application of the Convention concerned.
The reports requested from each country from year to year are listed in the NORMLEX database, along with CEACR comments to which replies have to be provided.
Detailed reports also need to be provided where they are explicitly requested by the supervisory bodies or, at the initiative of the member State, if there have been significant changes in the application of a ratified Convention, such as the adoption of substantial new legislation.
All reports on ratified Conventions have to reach the Office each year between 1 June and 1 September at the latest. Governments are encouraged to send them by email (NORM_REPORT@ilo.org) and can submit them in batches.
When it receives governments’ reports, the Office checks to see whether they contain information and documents in reply to any comments of the CEACR or conclusions of the CAS. If they do not, without entering into the substance of the matter, the Office will draw the attention of the government concerned to the need for a reply. The Office also writes to governments concerned when reports are not accompanied by copies of relevant legislation, statistics or other documentation at issue and these are not otherwise available, and asks them to send such documentation. Reminders are sent to governments which do not transmit their reports on time.
Furthermore, according to a recently established practice, the CEACR issues “urgent appeals” to governments using the following criteria:
- failure to send reports for the third consecutive year;
- failure to reply to serious and urgent observations from employers’ and workers’ organizations for more than two years; and
- failure to reply to repetitions relating to draft legislation when developments have intervened.
As a result, repetitions of previous comments will be limited to a maximum of three years, following which the Convention’s application will be examined in substance by the CEACR on the basis of publicly available information, even if the government has not sent a report, thus ensuring a review of the application of ratified Conventions at least once within the regular reporting cycle.
Click to see a flowchart tool and a checklist tool which can help governments with the reporting obligation under article 22 of the ILO Constitution, including when they need to follow up on conclusions of the CAS concerning Conventions they have ratified.
In the context of the Standards Initiative, the Governing Body has recently requested the Office to implement a pilot project for the establishment of baseline reports on the Promotional Framework or Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187), and a few other technical Conventions. This project aims, among other things, to facilitate the fulfilment of reporting obligations by member States and to achieve gains in terms of effectiveness, quality and efficiency.