The representation procedure is governed by articles 24 and 25 of the ILO Constitution, under which an industrial association of employers or of workers has the right to present to the ILO Governing Body a representation against any member State which, in its view, “has failed to secure in any respect the effective observance within its jurisdiction of any Convention to which it is a party”. A three-member tripartite committee of the Governing Body may be set up to examine the representation and the government’s response. The report that the committee submits to the Governing Body sets out the legal and practical aspects of the case, examines the information submitted and concludes with recommendations. Prior to the 2000s, where the government’s response was not considered satisfactory, the Governing Body was entitled to publish the representation and the response. Over recent years, the reports of the tripartite committees have been systematically made available to the public on the ILO website. Moreover, if the government does not take the necessary measures, the Committee of Experts may be requested to follow up the case or, in the most serious instances, the case may lead to a complaint, in which case the Governing Body may decide to establish a Commission of Inquiry. Finally, representations concerning the application of Conventions Nos 87 and 98 are usually referred for examination to the Committee on Freedom of Association, in accordance with the procedure for the examination of representations.
Who can make a representation?
Representations under article 24 of the ILO Constitution may be made by national and international employers’ and workers’ associations. Individuals cannot make representations directly to the ILO, but can pass on relevant information to their workers’ or employers’ organization.