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SHRM and the Council for Global Immigration (CFGI) served as employer representatives as members of the U.S. delegation at the 106th session of the International Labour Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland, June 5-16, 2017.
The United States is one of 187 member countries of the ILO and has been a member since its creation in 1919. The ILO is the only U.N. agency that operates on a tripartite basis: giving government, employers and worker representatives equal voice to discuss, debate and ultimately agree on labor standards and policies for later consideration by the individual country governments. As part of the U.S. employer group, SHRM and CFGI participated in final revisions to a 1944 standard making recommendations to countries that are emerging from conflict and disaster. CFGI, along with other U.S. employer representatives, also monitored the discussion of labor migration.
The new standard, Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience Recommendation 2017, was adopted by the ILO at the end of the conference and provides guidelines for countries. The recommendation outlines a framework for how governments, employers and workers can prioritize employment and work as an essential part of the transition to a stable economy and society in the wake of conflicts, crises and natural disasters.
While ILO standards do not have an immediate impact on U.S. law, they serve as guidelines for governments that may adopt some of the recommendations as part of their national laws. When the ILO produces a convention, as opposed to a recommendation, member countries are obligated to submit them for potential ratification.
The U.S. has ratified 14 of 189 ILO conventions, including the Abolition of Forced Labor and the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor. Participating at the ILO provides SHRM and CFGI with the opportunity to raise the interests of HR and immigration professionals and influence the direction of international labor policy.
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