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Singapore Declaration of ILO


The 17th Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) set ten-point priorities of national action under the Singapore Declaration.


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Singapore Declaration
  2. Key points
  3. International Labour Organization (ILO)

About Singapore Declaration

  • It aims to raise awareness of the need for member nations to address the problems of declining worker salaries, inflation, and unemployment.
  • The delegates who represented regional governments, employers, and labour unanimously decided to adopt it.
  • Members concurred that social dialogue is crucial for addressing labour market issues and figuring out how to deal with crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, and the current economic situation.

Key points:

  • Promoting freedom of association will ensure that everyone has access to labour protection.
  • Recognition of the right to collective bargaining as an enabler of decent work, including for those in disadvantaged circumstances and those working in the informal economy
  • Reducing gender disparities, raising women’s employment rates, supporting equal compensation for labour of comparable worth, balancing work and obligations, and encouraging women to take on leadership roles.
  • Create and implement policies and programmes for an inclusive labour market that support demographic changes and life transitions.
  • Promote and expedite a seamless transition from the informal to the formal economy by making concerted, continuous efforts in this direction.
  • Improve governance structures and regard for migrant workers’ right to freedom of association
  • Bolster the resilience and protection of social and employment systems
  • Expanding social protection to all workers, guaranteeing universal access to comprehensive, adequate and sustainable social protection for all.

International Labour Organization (ILO)

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social justice and promote decent work by setting international labour standards.
  • It was the first specialised agency of the UN.
  • The ILO has 187 member states: 186 of the 193 UN member states plus the Cook Islands are members of the ILO.
  • In 1969, the ILO received the Nobel Peace Prize for improving fraternity and peace among nations, pursuing decent work and justice for workers, and providing technical assistance to other developing nations.

ILO’s Tripartite Structure:

  • Unlike other United Nations specialized agencies, the International Labour Organization has a tripartite governing structure that brings together governments, employers, and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.
  • The tripartite structure is unique to the ILO where representatives from the government, employers and employees openly debate and create labour standards.
  • The structure is intended to ensure the views of all three groups are reflected in ILO labour standards, policies, and programmes, though governments have twice as many representatives as the other two groups.

The Functions of the ILO

  • Creation of coordinated policies and programs, directed at solving social and labour issues.
  • Adoption of international labour standards in the form of conventions and recommendations and control over their implementation.
  • Assistance to member-states in solving social and labour problems.
  • Human rights protection (the right to work, freedom of association, collective negotiations, protection against forced labour, protection against discrimination, etc.).
  • Research and publication of works on social and labour issues.

Objectives of the ILO

  • To promote and realize standards and fundamental principles and rights at work.
  • To create greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment.
  • To enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all.
  • To strengthen tripartism and social dialogue.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023