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Prevention of Child Labour, Sexual Harassment, Protect Interest of Migrant Worker and Third Gender Under International Law

The UN is an International Organization which aids in International conflicts and resolution between countries. The conflicts are then resolved respectively by the sort of problem, these specific conflicts are solved within committees by experts in the topics. The United Nations (UN) is an organization that was established after World War II on the 26th of June 1945, in order to sustain global peace, neutralizing of threats, dialogue between nations, control of weapons and international cooperation. Joining 193 countries to find solutions for international conflicts the UN tries to maintain international peace and security. The United Nations General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the UN.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is an UN-based organization founded in 1919 dealing with labour issues. International labour standards, social protection and available work opportunities are the issues the organization aims to remedy most. The ILO creates labour statistics, training programs, and other forms of assistance to help combat the issues the organization deals with. ILO files complaints against bodies violating international labour laws, however the organization is incapable of sanctioning governments. ILO was created as part of the League of Nations, not only did the organization continue after the dissolution of the League of Nations, but became the United Nations' first specialized committee in 1946. Unlike other specialized UN bodies, the ILO has a tripartite structure.

This structure comes in the form of a ratio, where representing governments, employers and workers contribute in the ratio of 2:1:1 in the organization. The idea behind this is that there is open and free debate when addressing issues, from all perspectives. Since 1919, the International Labour Organization has maintained and developed a system of international labour standards aimed at promoting opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity. In today's globalized economy, international labour standards is an essential component in the international framework for ensuring that the growth of the global economy provides benefits to all.

The Benefits Of International Labour Standards
  1. A Path To Decent Work
    International labour standards are first and foremost about the development of people as human beings. In the ILO's Declaration of Philadelphia of 1944, the international community recognized that labour is not a commodity. Economic development should include the creation of jobs and working conditions in which people can work in freedom, safety and dignity.1
  2. An International Legal Framework For Fair And Stable Globalization
    The ILO contributes to the legal framework by elaborating and promoting international labour standards aimed at making sure that economic growth and development go along with the creation of decent work. The ILO's unique tripartite structure ensures that these standards are backed by governments, employers, and workers alike. International labour standards therefore lay down the basic minimum social standards agreed upon by all players in the global economy.
  3. A Means Of Improving Economic Performance
    International labour standards are sometimes perceived as entailing significant costs and thus hindering economic development. A growing body of research indicates, however, that compliance with international labour standards often accompanies improvements in productivity and economic performance.
  4. A Safety Net In Times Of Economic Crisis
    The Asian financial crisis of 1997 showed how decades of economic growth could be undone by dramatic currency devaluations and falling market prices. Unemployment doubled in many of the countries affected. The disastrous effects of the crisis on workers were compounded by the fact that in many of these countries social protection systems (notably unemployment and health insurance), active labour market policies and social dialogue were seriously wanting. After examining the social impact of the crisis, an ILO study concluded that strengthening social dialogue, freedom of association, and social protection systems in the region would provide better safeguards against such economic downturns.2
  5. A Strategy For Reducing Poverty
    Fair labour practices set out in international labour standards and applied through a national legal system ensure an efficient and stable labour market for workers and employers alike.

First Issue

ILO Plan Of Action For Migrant Workers

Development of a non-binding multilateral framework for a rights-based approach to labour migration. Identification of relevant action to be taken for a wider application of international labour standards and other relevant instruments. Support for implementation of the ILO Global Employment Agenda at national level.

Capacity building, awareness raising and technical assistance, strengthening social dialogue. Improving the information and knowledge base on global trends in labour migration, conditions of migrant workers, and effective measures to protect their rights. Mechanisms to ensure ILO Governing Body follow-up of the plan of action and ILO participation in relevant international initiatives concerning migration

Second Issue Ilo Conventions And Recommendations On Child Labour

A majority of countries have adopted legislation to prohibit or place severe restrictions on the employment and work of children, much of it stimulated and guided by standards adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO). In spite of these efforts, child labour continues to exist on a massive scale, sometimes in appalling conditions, particularly in the developing world.
  • Hazardous
    Work Any work which is likely to jeopardize children's physical, mental or moral heath, safety or morals should not be done by anyone under the age of 18.
  • Basic Minimum Age
    The minimum age for work should not be below the age for finishing compulsory schooling and in any case not less than 15.
  • Light work
    Children between the ages of 13 and 15 years old may do light work, as long as it does not threaten their health and safety, or hinder their education or vocational orientation and training.

Third Issue

Sexual Harassment Prevention At The Workplace

Key Factsbr> A survey published in Hong Kong in February 2007 showed that nearly 25% of workers interviewed suffered sexual harassment with one-third of them men. Among male workers, only 6.6% reported their grievance (compared to 20% of women) because they felt too embarrassed to face ridicule.
  • According to a 2004 report issued in Italy, 55.4% of women in the 14-59 age group reported having been victim of sexual harassment. One out three female workers are subjected to sexual intimidations for career advancement with 65% blackmailed weekly by the same harasser, usually a co-worker or supervisor. Furthermore, 55.6% of women subjected to sexual intimidation had resigned from the job. In the European Union, 40-50% of women have reported some form of sexual harassment at the workplace.
  • According to a survey carried out by the Australian Equal Opportunity Commission in 2004, 18% of interviewees aged between 18 and 64 years said they had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Of those who experienced sexual harassment, 62%were physically harassed and less than 37 % were likely to report the abuse,( International Labour Office)
  • Research shows that the type of women most vulnerable to sexual harassment are young, financially dependent, single, or divorced and with a migrant status. For men, those most harassed are young, gay, and members of ethnic or racial minorities.
  • Sexual harassment between people of the same sex is a recent but growing trend.

Judgements On Sexual Harassment

  • In 2006, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the USA received12,025 complaints of sexual harassment at the workplace. This is a 100% increase in just5 years with 15.4% of these complaints filed by men. The EEOC resolved 11,936 charges and recovered $48.8 million in damages from the companies in which the complainants worked. This does not include awards gained through litigations.

    According to a survey carried out by the US Army in 1999, the cost of sexual harassment cases involving Army (male and female) members amounted to $250 million. The study covered costs for productivity loss, absenteeism, separation, replacement and others.

  • In 2004, a woman working as a security guard in South Africa won a significant case of sexual harassment: it was the first time an employer was held liable for sexual harassment by one of his employees. The company was ordered to pay the victim compensation for unfair dismissal and sexual harassment.
  • In India, the landmark case of Vishaka vs. State of Rajasthan brought a shift in the legal definition of sexual harassment by the Supreme Court. Previously identified as Eve teasing”, sexual harassment was defined by the court judgment as a violation of women's human rights. The judgment also outlined guidelines for its prevention and redress.

Combating And Preventing Sexual Harassment

A number of national governments have adopted relevant legislative provisions that address sexual harassment in the workplace:
  • Criminal laws India,
  • Tanzania; Labour codes Chile, Thailand;
  • Laws targeting sexual harassment Brazil, Belize, Philippines, Israel;
  • Equality and sex discrimination laws Japan, South Africa;
  • National Human Right Legislation Canada, Fiji, New Zealand;
  • Laws on safe working conditions The Netherlands;

Fourth Issue

Global Discrimination On Third Gender

The condition of the third gender across the world varies as different parts of the world practice different cultures and to follow different norms and traditions. The present scenario of the lives of the people of this community is unacceptable and in some cases pitiable but again there are a few countries that are moving towards providing them with equal status and recognition in the society for proper and dignified survival.

LGBT Workers Entitled To Equal Rights And Benefits At The Workplace – ILO

The International Labour Organization's (ILO) mandate encompasses equality and non-discrimination in the world of work. This means promoting diverse workplaces where all working women and men are equally respected and have equal opportunities for advancement. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers are equally entitled to the right to be free from discrimination at work.

Third Gender Workers Are At A High Risk Of Unemployment And Poverty

Third gender workers report unemployment at twice the rate of the population as a whole (14% vs. 7% at the time the workers were surveyed).
  • More than four in 10 third gender people (44%) who are currently working are underemployed.
  • Third gender workers are nearly four times more likely than the population as a whole to have a household income of under $10,000 (15% vs. 4% at the time the workers were surveyed).

  1. ILO: Decent work and the informal economy, Report VI, International Labour Conference, 90th Session, Geneva, 2002, pp. 39-54; A Fair Globalization, op. cit., pp. 80-99.
  2. The Asian financial crisis: the challenge for social policy (Geneva, ILO, 1998).

Written by: Sayed Qudrat Hashimy - International Law Student
Email: [email protected] / Phone no. +91 9008813333 

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