The International Labour Organization (ILO) was founded in 1919. It became the first specialized agency of the United Nations in 1946 and has 187 member States. The ILO is committed to promoting human and labour rights, pursuant of its founding principle that social justice is essential to universal and lasting peace.
The ILO sets international labour standards, promotes rights at work, including the right to a safe and healthy working environment, and advocates for decent employment opportunities, enhancement of social protection and the strengthening of social dialogue on work-related issues. These objectives are prioritized in Goal 8 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on Decent Work and Economic Growth.
The ILO has a unique governance structure, bringing together governments, employers’ and workers’ representatives to jointly set international labour standards and to implement policies and programmes promoting decent work for all. Today the ILO has over 600 development cooperation programmes in more than 100 countries that provide assistance to member States and aim to improve people’s lives.
The ILO’s Secretariat has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and a global network of field offices in more than 40 countries.