International Labour Standards

In the Caribbean, the ILO promotes a greater understanding of international labour standards among its constituents - governments, employers' and workers' organizations - and assists in improving the application of and reporting on ratified Conventions. Through its team of specialists, the ILO has, for instance, facilitated regional training workshops on the requirements of specific ILO Conventions for its constituents as well as training on the reporting on the implementation of international labour standards. The Office continues to strengthen the capacity of governments, employers' and workers' organizations for the effective use of international labour standards. In September 2007, judges of national courts, industrial courts and tribunals benefited from a seminar on how to apply international labour standards into their domestic labour law and practice.

The ILO continues to provide valuable technical assistance in the development and revision of labour laws based on ratified ILO Conventions. Its work in the Caribbean has included:

  • A review of the laws on child labour in six Caribbean countries within the context of ILO Convention No. 138 on Minimum Age and ILO Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour. The review identified gaps and inconsistencies and served to guide legislative reform to ensure compliance with the requirements of the ILO Conventions.
  • The drafting of four CARICOM model legislation in the areas of termination of employment; registration, status and recognition of trade unions and employers’ organizations; equality of opportunity and treatment in employment and occupation; and occupational safety and health and the working environment. The laws were subsequently accepted by the CARICOM Standing Committee of Ministers responsible for Labour in 1995 and 1997. The model laws are being used as a point of reference for the development of national laws, particularly as the region gears up for the free movement of labour within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.
  • Technical assistance in the drafting of national legislation. For example, Guyana's Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act was developed with ILO's assistance.