International Labour Relations
International Labour Organisation
About the Organisation
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) was formed in 1919 and became a United Nations (UN) agency in 1946.
The ILO's primary role is to formulate international labour standards in the form of conventions and recommendations; these set the minimum standards for basic labour rights and other labour-related issues.
The ILO is unique as it is the only UN organisation with a tripartite structure; government states, employers and workers all have a voice in shaping ILO policies and programmes.
The ILO Governing Body (GB) is ILO's executive body. The ILO GB meets in Geneva three times a year to establish the ILO programme and budget, and to make decisions on ILO policies. The ILO GB also elects the Director-General of the ILO.
Singapore's Membership in the ILO
Singapore has been a member of the ILO since its independence in 1965. Singapore was re-elected as a Deputy Member of the ILO GB for the current three-year term from 2005 to 2008.
To date, Singapore has ratified 20 ILO Conventions, including five Core Conventions. They cover the four key areas of employment standards: child labour; forced labour; collective bargaining and equal remuneration.
Singapore ratified its most recent Core Convention – Minimum Age Convention (C138) – on 7 November 2005.
ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting
Singapore hosted the 19th ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting (ALMM) held at Shangri-La Hotel from 3 to 6 May 2006.
The meeting was attended by ministers and senior officials responsible for labour from the ASEAN Member Countries as well as the People's Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
Occupational safety and health was a central theme of the meeting. The ministers discussed and reaffirmed their commitment to collaborate on labour and employment issues, with a view to alleviating poverty within the region and ensuring economic growth with equity.
MOU on Labour Cooperation
The Governments of Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Labour Cooperation at the sidelines of the conclusion of the four-nation Free Trade Agreement, Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement on 18 July 2005.
The signing of the MOU provided a forum for the four countries to come together and engage in meaningful consultations and dialogue on labour issues of mutual interest.
A platform was also established for the tripartite partners of the four countries to participate in programmes and activities with the aim of enhancing cooperation and the economic and social well-being of workers in the respective countries.