The ILO and the Migrant Workers

Nowadays, society is the witness of the dramatic changes in the organization of work. It is impossible to remain indifferent to this subject because there is a change in the thinking of society, in its needs and priorities. Therefore, the principles of organization of labor also need adjustment. The consequences of the lack of organization of work are impossible to reject, which finds expression in the homeless people and the poor standards of living. The main reason for all this is the lack of specialists in the organization of labor. The International Labor Organization is the only organization where workers’ representatives have equal footing with government employees and entrepreneurs (Standing, 2008). The ILO conventions and recommendations, together constituting a genuine international labor charter, have an impact on the development of the national labor laws that are crucial for workers and trade unions (Standing, 2008). The ILO puts efforts to provide advice and assistance to the trade unions of the newly independent states and it helps in the preparation of labor legislation and the training of union personnel (Standing, 2008). The research paper focuses on the work of the ILO with migrants, their rights, and the international implementation of them, and provides recommendations for future improvements in the framework.

Definition of the ILO

The ILO is the unique tripartite organization that brings together the representatives of governments, employees, and employers to develop policies and programs (International Labor Organization, 2003). To establish reasonable working conditions, respect for the internationally recognized human rights and social justice, the ILO continues to carry out its primary mission of Peace at Work as a prerequisite for prosperity. Today, the ILO helps to create decent jobs and such conditions, by which workers and business people will contribute to peace, prosperity, and progress in the world. The ILO appeared in 1919 following a devastating World War I to spread the understanding that the universal, lasting peace could be based on social justice (International Labor Organization, 2003). The ILO as a global organization is responsible for the design of the international labor standards and it supervises their implementation. The enforcement of labor standards in law and practice is the primary goal for the ILO and member countries. It was the first specialized agency created within the United Nations, (International Labor Organization, 2003). A tripartite organizations’ structure makes it a unique forum where governments and socioeconomic partners of 186 member countries can freely and openly discuss and develop labor standards and applications (International Labor Organization, 2003).

The Cooperation of the ILO and Migrants

As it has been said, the International Labor Organization has the tripartite structure -governments, employers, and workers. The ILO has certain obligations, playing a crucial role in the development of the principles and policy and practice guidelines in the field of labor migration for various governments, social partners, and other stakeholders. The basis of the migration flows are workers and employees to a lesser extent. However, a relatively new form of the international labor migration is the movement of scientific and technical personnel. In search for better living and working conditions, professionals leave their home countries. Most of them try to settle in Western Europe, Canada, and the United States (Standing, 2008). The United Nations uses a program to improve their well-being and the quality of working life. Recently, the ILO actively supported the Syrian immigrants in Europe. On January 28, 2016, the organization held a press conference in London, UK to support the issue (International Labor Organization, 2016). The ILO Director-General Guy Ryder has called for the provision of comprehensive support to the victims of the escalation of the conflict in Syria andinsisted on providing them with jobs (International Labor Organization, 2016). Other countries have also actively supported the work of the ILO in the world. On February 3, 2016, Sri Lanka ratified the Employment Policy Convention No. 122 and joined to the active co-operation in the matters of work migration (Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka, 2016).

The Importance of Migrants for the Destination Countries

In recent years, there have been qualitative changes provoked by the technological and scientific revolution in the process of international migration. The essence of it lies in the significant increase in the proportion of migrants among those with high levels of education and professional qualifications, or the so-called brain drain (International Labor Organization, 2003). Recently, a steady upward trend in the emigration of highly skilled experts in the global labor market has been noticed. On the one hand, it is caused by the significant difference in the payment of labor specialists in the developed and other countries. On the other, this trend is caused by the desire of the developed countries to attract highly qualified personnel. The ILO aims to provide the employment of migrants with decent employment conditions, optimizing the use of remittances and creating conditions for the reintegration of migrants returning home with the help of small business development (Standing, 2008).

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The Rights of Migrants

The International Labor Organization is unlike other world organizations in that regard that in the development of its policy, the representatives of workers and employers have an equal number of votes with the government (International Labor Organization, 2003). One of the significant functions of the organization is the adoption of the Conventions and the Recommendations (International Labor Organization, 2003). This document is the set international labor standards in such areas as freedom of option, wages, working hours and working conditions, social insurance, paid holidays, health and safety, recruitment service workforce and labor inspection. The Convention imposes obligations of the member states that have ratified it to translate its provisions into practice, while the guidelines provide a benchmark for the national policy (Standing, 2008). Since the ILO’s foundation, there have appeared about 300 Conventions and Recommendations (International Labor Organization, 2003). The ILO supervises the application of the Conventions ratified by their states and uses a procedure to investigate complaints about the infringement of the rights of trade.

The ILO’s Work

The ILO has signed and ratified the Convention on the Rights of Migrants (Vittin-Balima, 2002). One of the main ideas of this Convention is to recognize the state ratifying this document, the equality of migrants, regardless of their nationality, race, religion, gender, etc. (Standing, 2008). The Convention contains articles aimed at regulating the conditions, under which migrant workers will have equal rights with citizens of the host state in matters defined by the law. The protection of the rights of migrant workers is provided in the Article 2 that declares the organization of free services to assist migrant workers and to provide them with the necessary information (International Labor Organization, 2003). The ILO should take measures against unreliable information and advocacy on the issues related to immigration and emigration of citizens (International Labor Organization, 2003). All the migrants should have access to the appropriate medical services as Article 5 states (International Labor Organization, 2003). Moreover, everyone should gain resolution to transfer freely to their homeland having received foreign exchange and savings (International Labor Organization, 2003). The Convention also includes the applications, of which the first two relate to the recruitment and conditions of labor of migrants, and the third to the issues of migrants’ personnal property, tools, and equipment (International Labor Organization, 2003).

The Fulfillment of the Goals of the Organization

Prominent among the ILO instruments are conventions and recommendations relating to the migrant workers and their families. In the development of social and labor standards, the ILO sets the goal to agree on the two fundamental principles that usually adhere to the state (Vittin-Balima, 2002). The first part shows the priority of the interests of host country’s citizens over the concerns of the migrant workers. The other side of the problem focuses on the nationality-based discrimination problem (Vittin-Balima, 2002). The organization performs activities for the development of independent cooperation of employees and employers. The ILO is the sponsor of advice support and training programs for the migrants (Standing, 2008). The ILO is the unique tripartite organization within the United Nations, when the government, employees, and employers have to cooperate side by side, using the same goals and rules (Standing, 2008). At the same time, the ILO does not interfere with the private affairs of workers, allowing them to carry out their actions. The organization does not impose the views and visions of migrants.

The Suggestions for the Improvement of the Organization

In the modern world, youth unemployment remains a serious problem. Therefore, the ILO needs to be more attentive to the younger generations’ employment issues and migration to other countries. For example, currently, the Western European countries experience the aging of the working population (Vittin-Balima, 2002). At the same time, enough countries in the world show a high birth rate. Thus, the setting up migration flows makes it possible to solve the problem of the lack of workers in some countries and unemployment in others. In the developing countries, informal employment is still widespread, and the rate of increase in the quality of jobs slows down (Vittin-Balima, 2002). The ILO must take measures to ensure the active regulation of the issues of informal employment and unify the processes on it in all countries of the world.

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The Rules of the Organization

The design of the Multilateral Framework on Labor Migration meets a demand for the practical guidance and measures to maximize the positive outcomes of labor migration for all the parties involved (Vittin-Balima, 2002). The ILO documents proclaim the equality of migrant workers with the nationals of the host country and at the level of minimum wage provided for the migrants by the government legislation (Standing, 2008). They should gain the ability to participate in the establishment of migrant procedures. The current rule stipulates that the flows of migrant workers are regular and the workers are paid in cash. International standards also provide the possibility for the migrant workers to receive training or to improve their skills in the host country. Thus, the ILO Guidelines for migrants stipulates the access to education one the same level with the citizens of the host country (Vittin-Balima, 2002).

Conclusion

The International Labor Organization is necessary to society as a coordinator of the labor processes and labor between countries. It is significant as the controller of the surplus resources, excess and lack of industries and enterprises in different sectors and forms of ownership. The International Labor Organization should monitor every production process and employment of workers and specialists with it. It should control the training and retraining of personnel as the schemes of professional growth within the company or organization to conduct the control stimulation of workers. Moreover, they should gain access to all relevant information about any citizen at any time. Referring to the ILO’s existence as well as increasing the number of its members is necessary. Only then, society can talk about respecting the rights of workers around the world.

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