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The ILO and Pakistan

42 3 14

AS the world celebrates the centenary of the International Labour Organisation, with events that began on Jan 9 and that will end on March 13, this is an appropriate time for Pakistan to ponder the question of how far it has enabled its workers to enjoy the benefits of standards for their rights set by this agency of the United Nations.

Human rights activists in developing countries treat ILO conventions as human rights standards that were defined earlier than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. With its slogan of social justice as a prerequisite to peace and progress, the ILO has made a sterling contribution towards creating an order based on respect for the rights of all members of the human family.

The first generation of ILO conventions adopted under the aegis of the League of Nations survived the latter’s demise. The organisation received a boost from a reorientation of its goals at the Philadelphia Conference in 1944 when the prospect of victory impelled the Allies to acknowledge the aspirations of the colonised peoples for self-determination and of the workers for a better return on their labour. Later on, the United Nations adopted the ILO conventions and made the organisation one of its principal specialised agencies.

The International Labour Organisation has come a long way since it adopted its first convention in 1919.

Though not as radical in its outlook as the socialist campaigners for its creation wished it to be, and despite the compromises forced by conservative powers when it was established and also later on, the ILO has served the world........

© Dawn