The ILO Bureau for Workers Activities (ACTRAV)

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1 The ILO Bureau for Workers Activities (ACTRAV)

2 As the main link between the International Labour Office and workers, the Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV) coordinates all the activities of the Office related to workers and their organizations, both at headquarters and in the field. The International Labour Organization (ILO), whose executive secretariat is the International Labour Office, is the only tripartite agency of the United Nations. In it, governments, as well as employers and workers are represented on an equal footing. They benefit equally from the services of the Organization. The ILO tripartite approach provides a means of solving social disputes through dialogue. It promotes workers rights, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining as well as "social dialogue" between worker and employer organizations and governments in the Organization's member States. 1

3 ACTRAV A Mission Goals A Team Actions A Source of Information Conventions Contacts

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5 Mission ACTRAV s mission is to maintain close relations with the trade union movement throughout the various countries of the world, and to provide trade unions with the support of the International Labour Office in endeavours to strengthen their influence by promoting activities which defend and advance the rights of workers. ACTRAV Is the link between the International Labour Office and one of its key stakeholders : the trade union movement ; Ensures that the concerns of trade unions are incorporated into all the activities of the International Labour Office ; Enables trade union organizations to make full use of the potential of the Office ; Enables the Office to count on the support of trade unions in promoting and attaining its goals. 4

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7 Goals Social justice, fundamental rights at work, the defence and expansion of social protection, full employment and equality of treatment are the overarching goals of the ILO, and are summarized in the concept of Decent Work. ACTRAV contributes to the attainment of these objectives by supporting trade union activities in a wide range of fields : Strengthening the labour movement : Promoting fundamental rights and principles at work ; Collective bargaining and social dialogue ; Combatting the exploitation of child labour ; Improving working conditions and the environment ; Fighting unemployment and underemployment ; Worker education and training, especially through the ILO s Training Centre in Turin. 6

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9 A Team Much more than a department of officials, ACTRAV brings together a team of trade unionists representing the world s various regions ; experienced in the work of international trade union solidarity, and in strengthening the labour movement. Our specialists work from the Office s Geneva headquarters, as well as from its regional offices in the field where they contribute to awareness of trade unionism. The ACTRAV team : Prepares the case files that will help worker representatives develop their positions and arguments for the Annual Conference of the ILO, the Governing Body, regional and sectoral conferences and in the Office s various activities ; Assists worker delegates as they take part in these activities ; Infuses a trade union perspective into the work of other departments and divisions of the Office ; Raises awareness of union initiatives and activities in other departments and sectors in the ILO ; Follows up and analyses trends in national, regional, industry-based and international trade union movements. Uses its resources and expertise to help strengthen and develop workers organizations. 8

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11 Actions ACTRAV s work concept, which includes an active presence in the field, training or information seminars, cooperation projects, briefings, studies, and publications, is an action dynamic designed to promote the fundamental rights of workers, values of social justice and concepts of equality. ACTRAV is stepping up its activities : International campaigns to promote the ratification of ILO Conventions ; Organizing meetings and seminars on subjects of interest and topicality to workers ; Preparing representations to ILO Member governments to secure the respect and implementation of their commitments ; Project implementation and technical cooperation and assistance in the field ; Training of trade union leaders ; Conduct of specific programmes pertaining to labour issues. 10

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13 A Source of Information Thanks to its close ties with trade union organizations across the world, its presence in the field in various regions, and its training activities, ACTRAV is at the centre of a vast network of information on the trade union movement. This information is placed at the service of the International Labour Office and its constituents, and the public at large, through the media, universities, and NGOs. The principle vehicles for this information are : The International Journal of Labour Research, published by the Bureau for Workers Activities. It provides an overview of recent research on labour and social policies from trade union researchers and academics around the world. The International Journal of Labour Research is multidisciplinary and will be of interest to trade union researchers, labour ministries and academics of all relevant disciplines industrial relations, sociology, law, economics and political science. It is published twice a year in English, French and Spanish. The ACTRAV web pages (http://www.ilo.org/workers) constitute a wealth of information on the activities of the International Labour Office, targeted at workers, and offering links to national, regional, and international trade union organizations, as well as to other UN agencies. Human Rights at Work, a regular online bulletin on ACTRAV activities. A wide variety of publications, manuals, brochures, and practical guides on a broad spectrum of issues of interest to workers. 12

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15 Conventions ILO Fundamental Conventions All Members, even if they have not ratified the Conventions in question, have an obligation arising from the very fact of membership in the Organization to respect, to promote and to realize, in good faith and in accordance with the Constitution, the principles concerning the fundamental rights which are the subject of those Conventions. ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, The ILO fundamental Conventions are : Freedom of Association Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention, 1948 (No. 87). Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98). Forced Labour Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105). Discrimination Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111). Child Labour Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182). 14

16 Freedom of Association Workers and employers, without distinction whatsoever, shall have the right to establish and, subject only to the rules of the organisation concerned, to join organisations of their own choosing without previous authorisation. Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87), Article 2 Workers shall enjoy adequate protection against acts of anti-union discrimination in respect of their employment. Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98), Article 1 (1) Discrimination Each Member shall, by means appropriate to the methods in operation for determining rates of remuneration, promote and, in so far as is consistent with such methods, ensure the application to all workers of the principle of equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value. Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100), Article 2 (1) Each Member for which this Convention is in force undertakes to declare and pursue a national policy designed to promote, by methods appropriate to national conditions and practice, equality of opportunity and treatment in respect of employment and occupation, with a view to eliminating any discrimination in respect thereof. Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111), Article 2 15

17 Conventions Forced Labour Each Member of the International Labour Organisation which ratifies this Convention undertakes to suppress the use of forced or compulsory labour in all its forms within the shortest possible period. Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), Article 1 (1) Each Member of the International Labour Organisation which ratifies this Convention undertakes to suppress and not to make use of any form of forced or compulsory labour. Child Labour Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105), Article 1 Each Member for which this Convention is in force undertakes to pursue a national policy designed to ensure the effective abolition of child labour and to raise progressively the minimum age for admission to employment or work to a level consistent with the fullest physical and mental development of young persons. The minimum age specified in pursuance of paragraph 1 of this Article shall not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling and, in any case, shall not be less than 15 years. Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), Articles 1 and 2 (3) Each Member which ratifies this Convention shall take immediate and effective measures to secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency. For the purposes of this Convention, the term child shall apply to all persons under the age of 18. Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182), Articles 1 and 2 16

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19 Contacts Whether it is the situation regarding industrial accidents in Tonga ; the arrest of a trade unionist in Latin America ; or actions taken by African trade unions to combat HIV/AIDS, ACTRAV will be able to put you in touch with the persons who are most knowledgeable about the matter and who can furnish you with information. The ACTRAV network spans the globe : The major international trade union confederations accredited to the ILO ; The major international industry-based trade union federations (construction, services, power, metal-working, transport, food, agriculture etc.) ; Over 500 national trade union organizations ; Through ACTRAV, the other departments and specialized divisions of the International Labour Office ; ILO and ACTRAV representatives in the field ; The ILO s Training Centre in Turin, which plays a key role in workers education activities. 18

20 Contacts Contacts for the ILO Bureau for Workers Activities (ACTRAV) in Geneva : 4, route des Morillons 1211 Geneva 22 - Switzerland T F Contacts for ACTRAV at the ILO International Training Centre in Turin : Viale Maestri del Lavoro, Turin - Italy T F

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