International Labour Organization
The ILO was created in 1919, as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if it is based on social justice.
The Constitution was drafted between January and April, 1919, by the Labour Commission set up by the Peace Conference, which first met in Paris and then in Versailles. The Commission, chaired by Samuel Gompers, head of the American Federation of Labour (AFL) in the United States, was composed of representatives from nine countries: Belgium, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States. It resulted in a tripartite organization, the only one of its kind bringing together representatives of governments, employers and workers in its executive bodies.
The Constitution contained ideas tested within the International Association for Labour Legislation, founded in Basel in 1901. Advocacy for an international organization dealing with labour issues began in the nineteenth century, led by two industrialists, Robert Owen (1771-1853) of Wales and Daniel Legrand (1783-1859) of France.
The driving forces for ILO's creation arose from security, humanitarian, political and economic considerations. Summarizing them, the ILO Constitution's Preamble says the High Contracting Parties were moved by sentiments of justice and humanity as well as by the desire to secure the permanent peace of the world...'
There was keen appreciation of the importance of social justice in securing peace, against a background of exploitation of workers in the industrializing nations of that time. There was also increasing understanding of the world's economic interdependence and the need for cooperation to obtain similarity of working conditions in countries competing for markets. Reflecting these ideas, the Preamble states:
- Whereas universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice.
- And whereas conditions of labour exist involving such injustice hardship and privation to large numbers of people as to produce unrest so great that the peace and harmony of the world are imperilled; and an improvement of those conditions is urgently required.
- Whereas also the failure of any nation to adopt humane conditions of labour is an obstacle in the way of other nations which desire to improve the conditions in their own countries.
The areas of improvement listed in the Preamble remain relevant today, for example:
The areas of improvement
- Regulation of the hours of work including the establishment of a maximum working day and week
- Regulation of labour supply, prevention of unemployment and provision of an adequate living wage.
- Protection of the worker against sickness, disease and injury arising out of his employment
- Protection of children, young persons and women.
- Provision for old age and injury, protection of the interests of workers when employed in countries other than their own.
- Recognition of the principle of equal remuneration for work of equal value.
- Recognition of the principle of freedom of association.
- Organization of vocational and technical education, and other measures.
The accession of the Sultanate of Oman in the International Labor Organization
The Sultanate of Oman joined the International Labor Organization (1994) under the Royal Decree No. (10/94) on 9/1/1994. And since its accession to the organization, the Ministry of Manpower and annually participates in all conferences held periodically in Geneva in July of each year and in the presence of the three production parties (governments - employers - and workers).
The Sultanate of Oman's participation in these conferences and the technical committees of them, had been set up to highlight the importance of the role of the Sultanate at the international level in issues and labor issues that are discussed have resulted in the Sultanate's efforts in this regard, it was recently chosen to represent the states of West Asia as an alternate member of the Board of Directors Organization for a period of 3 years (2002 to 2005).
The participation in the organization have contributed to the formation of greater coherence between the Ministers of Labor and the GCC on the one hand and between the ministers of the Arab group in the organization through the consolidation of a common vision for the Gulf and Arab level, and side-meetings of the Ministers of the Asia-Pacific and the meetings of the Non-Aligned contributed to the creation of a common ground for the most common issues that are addressed in international conferences.
The Sultanate of Oman has joined the organization since the ratification of the two basic pillars:
- Convention (No. 29) in 1930 on forced labor by Royal Decree No. (75/1996) dated 25/9/1996.
- Convention (No. 182) in 1999 on the prohibition of the worst forms of child labor by Royal Decree No. (38/2001) dated 24/4/2001.
The Ministry in the preparation of periodic reports on the extent of the Sultanate's commitment to the content of the conventions on the basis of the Constitution of the Organization, and prepare annual reports on the extent of the Sultanate's commitment to the content of the "Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work" and other conventions in the light of the decision of the Governing Council.
It should be noted that the Ministry had benefited in previous years of training programs organized by the Organization in a Gulf Arab states or the status of Turin in Italy.
Also benefited recently organized a team of experts to prepare a study on manpower planning in the Sultanate to promote the aim of the planning and development of human resources in the Sultanate of Oman to ensure the provision of appropriate staff to work in both quantity and quality in the workplace and in the proper time, and the ministry is now translating the recommendations of appropriate work programs and activities to achieve the objectives of manpower planning.
Given that the ILO is a specialized organizations of the United Nations, and the Sultanate as a member of the Organization of the United Nations and its presence in the organization is not only a reflection of the role of the Sultanate in the international issues and labor issues, in addition to the Sultanate to benefit from international expertise in the organization and strengthening the role of the Arab world especially the issue of Palestine, which is one of main topics at the meetings of the Organization, it is important to continue membership in the International Labor Organization.