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  • ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations. Its membership consists of signatory States, of which there are
  •  ILO’s main purpose is to raise world labour standards by building up a code of international law and practice. It forms policies and programmes to help improve working and living conditions, enhance employment opportunities and promote basic human rights.
  • ILO’s labour standards, when adopted, serve as guidelines for individual countries to put these policies into action.



  •  The ILO Conference convenes annually. Each Member State is represented by two government delegates plus an employer delegate and a worker delegate.
  •  Conference’s main job is to examine social problems and adopt international labour standards in the form of ILO conventions and recommendations.



  •  Of over 160 adopted ILO conventions, more than 30 have been maritime conventions, the most important being the Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 147), known as ILO 147.
  •  ILO maritime conventions usually require ratification measured by a certain percentage of world tonnage.
  • As with IMO conventions, a great deal of merchant shipping legislation has been enacted by member nations specifically to give effect to ILO Conventions.
  • ILO Conventions adopted are binding on every member State which ratifies them.
  • ILO has no enforcement powers of its own, but provisions are contained in ILO 147 to allow for port State control
  • Texts of ILO Conventions and Recommendations, and comments of the Supervisory Bodies (“ILOLEX”) can be accessed at the ILO website (www.ilo.org) by clicking on “International Labour Standards”.


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