Labour and Social Policy SectionEnlarge image (© StV-AT)
The principal function of the Labour and Social Policy Section is to maintain close contact with the International Labour Organization (ILO). The ILO is one of the few specialized agencies of the United Nations system which are older than the United Nations Organization itself. Established in 1919 in the framework of the Treaty of Versailles, the ILO is operational in Geneva since 1920.
The Federal Republic of Germany ranks third among the largest financial contributors in the ILO behind the United States of America and Japan and the assessed contribution apart, makes voluntary financial contributions in the area of technical cooperation. The aim of Germany’s involvement is to support the ILO in its drive to strengthen the social dimension of globalization and to foster the creation of decent work for all. In this respect the ILO’s being associated with G20 governance has particular support from Germany.
The long history of the ILO shows remarkable achievements: core union rights (freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining), reduction of working hours, maternity protection, and the ILO standards providing for abolition of child labour and elimination of forced labour.
In the United Nations family the ILO represents a unique international tripartite forum of governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations, its four strategic objectives being:
- promotion and realization of fundamental principles and rights in the workplace
- creation of opportunities for women and men to secure decent employment and income
- enhancement of coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all
- strengthening of tripartism and social dialogue
In Germany dialogue between the government and the social partners, the employers’ and workers’ organizations, has a historical tradition. Freedom of association and the right to free collective bargaining can be found as cardinal elements in the social market economy scheme.
Against the background of a solid record of social partnership the German government and the social partners share a special interest in advancement worldwide of these ideas as well as in striving for dialogue at the international level.
The Labour and Social Policy Section liaises with the bureaus and departments of the ILO as well as with the international umbrella organizations of the social partners ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) and IOE (International Organization of Employers).