ILO Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work


The ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work is a landmark document adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1998. It reaffirms the ILO’s commitment to the principles and rights at work, which are considered fundamental and universal.

The Declaration consists of four core principles that are considered fundamental to the world of work. These principles are:

  1. Freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining: This principle emphasizes the right of workers and employers to form and join organizations of their own choosing, without any interference. It also recognizes the importance of collective bargaining as a means of determining terms and conditions of employment.
  2. The elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor: This principle condemns any form of forced labor, including slavery, debt bondage, and trafficking in persons. It calls for the elimination of these practices and the protection of individuals from any form of coerced labor.
  3. The abolition of child labor: This principle asserts that all children have the right to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or interfere with their education. It calls for the elimination of child labor and the provision of appropriate education and social support for children.
  4. The elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation: This principle promotes equality of opportunity and treatment in employment, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction, or social origin. It aims to eradicate discrimination and promote fair and inclusive workplaces.

The Declaration recognizes these principles as fundamental rights that are part of the ILO’s mandate and should be respected by all member states, regardless of whether they have ratified the relevant ILO conventions. It also encourages member states to pursue a national policy designed to promote the principles and rights enshrined in the Declaration.

The ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work serves as a guide and framework for the development of national labor laws and policies, as well as for the ILO’s work in promoting social justice and decent work worldwide. It reflects the ILO’s commitment to promoting social progress and protecting the rights of workers and contributes to the broader agenda of sustainable development.

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