As a natural consequence of its tripartite structure, the ILO was the first international organization to associate the social partners directly in its activities. The participation of employers’ and workers’ organizations in the supervisory mechanisms is recognized in article 23, paragraph 2, of the ILO Constitution, which provides that reports and information submitted by governments in accordance with articles 19 and 22 must be communicated to the representative organizations.
In practice, representative employers’ and workers’ organizations may submit to their government’s comments on the reports concerning the application of ILS. They may, for instance, draw attention to a discrepancy in law or practice regarding the application of a ratified Convention. Furthermore, any employers’ or workers’ organization may submit comments on the application of ILS directly to the Office. The Office will then forward these comments to the government concerned, which will have an opportunity to respond before the comments are examined by the CEACR, except in exceptional circumstances.
In accordance with the established practice, in March, representative organizations of employers and workers receive comments addressed to their governments and to which governments will need to reply with reports on the application of ratified Conventions in the current year.
These organizations can:
- consider whether there are any Conventions on the application of which they will want to make observations to the CEACR in the course of the regular reporting cycle;
- determine if and how the CEACR has considered any of their comments on the application of the Convention submitted previously; and
- prepare for the tripartite consultations on questions arising out of reports on ratified Conventions required under the Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 144), where the Convention has been ratified.
A Handbook of procedures relating to international labour Conventions and Recommendations describing the procedures operating within the ILO in relation to the adoption and implementation of ILS, including the contribution of any employers’ and workers’ organizations to the reporting system, is available in the ILO website. Click to see a checklist tool helping social partners to take action.