NATIONAL LEGAL RESEARCH DESK
The Consultative Committee members of the Ministry of Labour & Employment have urged the Government to ensure due patronage to the traditional skill while going for the ratification of Conventions adopted by the International Labour Organisation (IlO) on Labour issues, especially in the arena of Child Labour. The members have also called for expediting the cause of providing a minimum pension of Rs. 1000 per month to the EPF beneficiaries as well as to ensure proper registration of workers in the unorganized sectors particularly the construction workers.
The meeting of Consultative Committee of Labour & Employment Ministry which held yesterday evening was convened for providing in insight to the members of the various conventions of ILO as ratified by the Government of India on time to time. Speaking on the occasion, Union Labour & Employment Minister Shri Mallikarjun Kharge who chaired the meeting, said India, a Founding Member of the ILO, has been a permanent member of the ILO Governing Body since 1922. ILO has now expanded its membership to 185 nations. The first ILO Office in India started in 1928. The decades of productive partnership between the ILO and its constituents has mutual trust and respect as underlying principles and is grounded in building sustained institutional capacities and strengthening capacities of partners. It has a two-directional focus for socio-economic development: overall strategies and ground-level approaches.
The Minister said the approach of India with regard to International Labour Standards has always been positive. The ILO instruments have provided guidelines and useful framework for the evolution of legislative and administrative measures for the protection and advancement of the interest of labour. It has always been the practice in India that we ratify a Convention when we are fully satisfied that our laws and practices are in conformity with the relevant ILO Convention. The ILO has so far adopted 189 Conventions and 201 Recommendations. Out of 189 ILO Conventions, India has so far ratified 43 Conventions which includes 4 (four) core or fundamental human rights Conventions.
He said we have ratified 4 core conventions and 3 priority/governance conventions. The 4 core conventions ratified by us are Forced Labour Convention (No.29), Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No.105), Equal Remuneration Convention (No.100) and Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention (No.111), and the 3 priority conventions ratified are Labour Inspection Convention (No.81), Employment Policy Convention (No.122) and Tripartite Consultations (International Labour Standards) (No.144). Even where for certain reasons where we may not be in a position to ratify a Convention, we have generally voted in favour of the Convention reserving its position as far as its future ratification is concerned.
The journey of ILO over the last more than nine decades has been eventful and full of important milestones. However, the primary function of ILO is standard setting and their application. Many of the ILO Conventions are outdated and need to be revised as identified by Cartier Working Party. Even the core conventions have failed to achieve universal ratification due to lack of flexibility. Our concern is that ILO should undertake in-depth analysis to put in place a standards strategy which encourages steps like progressive ratification of a Convention. The choice of topics for future standard setting should be widened according to the requirements of all ILO member states having diverse socio-economic conditions. In the years to come, ILO must maintain its leadership in the subjects related to labour since it has the unique advantage of tripartite structure, transparency and the ability to obtain inputs from real economy, Shri Kharge added.
Shri Kharge said the challenges being faced by the Member states on Ratification and promotion of fundamental and governance ILO Conventions are due to non-conformity with national laws and lack of technical assistance. He said India’s stand is that the process of ratification of these conventions should be a gradual one and adequate time should be given to the Member States for creating favourable conditions for ratification, taking into account the socio-economic realities of each Member state. The link-up of the four Governance Conventions to the Social Justice Declaration should be more of promotional in nature. We should adopt a more pragmatic and realistic approach for ratification and promotion of these conventions through creating awareness, building capacities of the constituents, advocacy, training and technical cooperation.
A power point presentation on the preparedness and attention paid by the Government at the ILO meetings was also presented during the meeting.
The meeting was attended by following MPs: S/Shri Gurudas Dasgupts, R.K.Singh Patel (SP), Ram Sunder Das (JDU), N.Peethambara (INC), Badri Ram Jakhar (INC) and Shri MangalaKisan (BJD). Secretary Labour & Employment Dr. M. Sarangi and senior Officials from the Ministry were present during the meeting.