International Labour Standards on Employment promotion

Convention No. 122 sets out the goal of full, productive and freely chosen employment, while other ILO instruments put forward strategies for attaining this aim. Employment services (public and private), the employment of persons with disabilities, small and medium-sized enterprises and cooperatives all play a part in creating employment. ILO standards in these fields provide guidance on using these means effectively in order to create jobs.

Relevant ILO instruments

  • Employment Service Convention, 1948 (No. 88) - [ratifications]
    The Convention requires ratifying States to establish and operate a free employment service, consisting of a national system of employment offices under the direction of a national authority. The close links between Conventions Nos 88 and 122 are clear in Article 1(2) of Convention No. 88, which provides that “[t]he essential duty of the employment service shall be to ensure, in co-operation where necessary with other public and private bodies concerned, the best possible organisation of the employment market as an integral part of the national programme for the achievement and maintenance of full employment and the development and use of productive resources.” The public employment service should assist workers to find suitable employment and assist employers to find suitable workers. The Convention envisages the adoption of specific measures to respond to the needs of certain categories of workers, such as persons with disabilities and young persons.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) Convention, 1983 (No. 159) - [ratifications]
    The Convention sets forth the principles of national policy for the vocational rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities and pro- vides for the setting up and evaluation of vocational guidance, vocational training, placement and unemployment services for persons with disabilities. The national policy shall aim at ensuring that appropriate vocational rehabilitation measures are made available to all categories of persons with disabilities, and at promoting employment opportunities for persons with disabilities in the open labour market. The policy shall be based on the principle of equality of opportunity between workers with disabilities and workers generally. The Convention also requires the representative organizations of employers and workers, and the representative organizations of and for persons with disabilities, to be consulted.
  • Private Employment Agencies Convention, 1997 (No. 181) - [ratifications]
    Requires ratifying States to ensure that private employment agencies respect the principles of non-discrimination. The Convention provides for cooperation between private and public employment services, general principles to protect jobseekers against unethical or inappropriate practices, and the protection of workers under subcontracting arrangements and workers recruited from abroad. It also applies to temporary work agencies.
  • Older Workers Recommendation, 1980 (No. 162)
    Recommends that older workers should, without discrimination on the grounds of their age, enjoy equality of opportunity and treatment in employment.
  • Job Creation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Recommendation, 1998 (No. 189)
    Recommends member States to adopt measures which are appropriate to national conditions and consistent with national practice to promote small and medium-sized enterprises in view of their importance in promoting employment and sustainable economic growth.
  • Promotion of Cooperatives Recommendation, 2002 (No. 193)
    The objective of this Recommendation is to promote cooperatives, in particular in view of their role in job creation, mobilizing resources and generating investment.
  • Further relevant instruments

Further information