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Administration of justice, rule of law and democracy : economic, social and cultural rights : prevention of discrimination : memorandum / submitted by the International Labour Office ; note by the Secretariat

UN Document Symbol E/CN.4/Sub.2/2003/42
Convention Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Document Type Note by the Secretariat
Session 55th
Type Document

16 p.

Subjects Discrimination, Equal Opportunity, Workers' Rights, Forced Labour, Globalization, Employment Discrimination, Gender Equality, AIDS, Migrant Workers, Indigenous Peoples, Persons with Disabilities

Extracted Text

Sub-Commission on the Promotion and
Protection of Human Rights
Fifty-fifth session
Items 3, 4 and 5 of the provisional agenda
Memorandum submitted by the International Labour Office
Note by the secretariat
The secretariat of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of
Human Rights has the honour to transmit a memorandum* submitted by the International
Labour Office (ILO) under items 3, 4 and 5 of the provision agenda of the fifty-fifth
session of the Sub-Commission.
* Reproduced in the annex as received, in the language of submission only.
Economic and Social
7 July 2003
Original: ENGLISH

E/C N.4/Sub.2/2003/42
page 2
1. The present memorandum submitted by the International Labour Office (ILO) to
the fifty-fifth session of the Sub-Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Human
Rights contains general information on ILO activities related to human rights, as well as
specific points on issues of relevance to items 3, 4 and 5 of the provisional agenda.i The
ILO is working for the protection and promotion of fundamental rights and freedoms in a
number of areas through standard-setting, its supervisory system, technical assistance and
policy advice. The promotion and realization of fundamental principles and rights at
work, including normative action, is one of the strategic objectives of the ILO. Gender
equality issues are being addressed as a cross-cutting objective.
2. The purpose of the memorandum is to draw the Sub-Commission’s attention to a
number of ILO activities, to inform its considerations and to facilitate its work. Naturally,
a selection of the most pertinent and recent developments had to made. The memorandum
is part of the ILO’s commitment to engage in an active partnership with the United
Nations on human rights matters. It hopes that the memorandum will be a useful tool to
the members of the Sub-Commission, observers and non-governmental organizations,
serving as a source of information as well as a reference guide. The International Labour
Office will be glad to amplify on this note on request.
A. Ratification of ILO Conventions
3. The trend towards increased ratification of ILO Conventions is continuing. In
particular there has been a large number of ratifications of Conventions on subjects
relating to concerns of the Sub-Commission. This has partly been the result of the
ratification campaign launched by the Director-General following the World Summit for
Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995) for the eight fundamental human rights
Conventions of the ILO (Nos. 29 and 105 concerning forced labour, Nos. 87 and 98 on
freedom of association and collective bargaining, Nos. 100 and 111 on discrimination,
and Nos. 138 and 182 on child labour). In addition, the 1998 Declaration on Fundamental
Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up has had a positive impact on the
ratification of the fundamental human rights Conventions. The ILO Regional and Sub-
Regional Offices follow up governments' indications on ratifications, and assistance in
overcoming obstacles to ratification is made available. With the rising number of
ratifications of these Conventions, action is increasingly focusing on better application,
including through legislative reform, training and capacity building, awareness raising,
and gender mainstreaming.

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4. The table below summarizes the ratifications as of 16 June 2003 of those among
the 185 ILO Conventions which are of special relevance for human rightsii, while
countries having ratified since the last memorandumiii are listed in the Annex. Attention
is drawn to the high recent ratification figure for the Conventions on discrimination, and
especially on child labour, during the last year.
Convention Total ratifications Since last memorandum
Forced Labour
No. 29 162 3
No. 105 159 5
No. 100 161 8
No. 111 159 10
No. 156 34 1
Freedom of Association
No. 87 142 6
No. 98 153 4
Migrant Workers
No. 97 42 1
No. 143 18 -
Indigenous and Tribal
No. 107 27 No longer open for ratification
No. 169 17 1
Minimum Age
No. 138 127 18
No. 182 142 59
Vocational Rehabilitation
No. 159 75 2

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B. Standard-setting activities
The Promotion of Cooperatives Recommendation, 2002 (No. 193)
5. The International Labour Conference adopted at its 90th Session the Promotion of
Cooperatives Recommendation, 2002 (No. 193). The ILO views cooperatives as
important instruments to advance economic, social and cultural rights, as well as the right
to development, through improving the living and working conditions of women and men
globally. Cooperatives create greater opportunities for women and men to secure decent
employment and income by enabling their members to combine resources, skills and
talents. In doing so, they are an effective tool for participation in economic and social
development, making essential infrastructure and services available in areas neglected by
the state and investor-driven enterprises. Recommendation No. 193 calls for specific
measures to assist cooperatives worldwide, recommends that Government should provide
a supportive policy and legal framework, underlines the role of workers’ and employers’
organizations and establishes a framework for international cooperation. It replaces the
Cooperatives (Developing Countries) Recommendation, 1966 (No. 127).
The List of Occupational Diseases Recommendation, 2002 (No. 194)
6. Another instrument adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 90th
Session, is the List of Occupational Diseases Recommendation, 2002 (No. 194). The
instruments focuses on strengthening the identification, recording and notification
procedures for occupational accidents and diseases, with the aim of identifying their
causes, establishing preventive measures, promoting the harmonization of recording and
notification systems, and improving the compensation process in the case of occupational
accidents and occupational diseases. The Recommendation also establishes a simplified
procedure for updating a list of occupational diseases within the ILO framework.
The Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003 (No. 185)
7. This instrument adopted by the International Labour Conference at its latest
session in June 2003 aims to improving the security of seafarers’ identification by updating
and revising the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention, 1958 (No. 108).
Standards under preparation
8. At its 280th Session (March 2001) the ILO Governing Body decided to place the
question of human resources training and development on the agenda the International
Labour Conference with a view to adopted a new standard in 2004 to revise the Human
Resources Development Recommendation, 1975 (No. 150). At its 93rd session in June
2003 Conference discussed a preliminary report prepared by the Office entitled “Learning
and training for working the knowledge society” which is available on the ILO’s web
site, and asked the Office to prepare a draft instrument for adoption in 2004. Also in June
2004, in the context of a general discussion on occupational safety and health, several
proposals were adopted which may lead to standard setting in several respects.

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C. Supervision of standards
9. The application of ILO instruments is promoted through its supervisory system,
hand in hand with technical assistance and cooperation. The Committee of Experts on the
Application of Conventions and Recommendations continuously examines the
application of ILO standards in law and practice, based on reports provided by
governments, as well as observations from workers’ and employers’ organization. Once a
year, it issues comments in the form of “direct requests” and “observations” in which it
raises questions, notes progress, and highlights remaining difficulties and problems. The
observations are published in the report of the Committee of Experts, which is submitted
to each year the International Labour Conference for discussion in its Committee on the
Application of Standards. In addition to this regular supervisory machinery, there are two
constitutional complaints special procedures (representations under article 24 and
complaints under article 26), as well as the possibility to lodge complaints with the
Committee on Freedom of Association. The results of supervisory process are also
available on-line through the ILOLEX database (www.ilo.org), searchable by
Convention, country, as well as full text word search. ILOLEX also features the
Handbook of procedures relating to international labour Conventions and
Recommendations. A complete collection of ILO instruments is available on CD-ROM
as “International Labour Standards Electronic Library 2003 (ILSE)”.
D. Application by Myanmar of the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)
10. It is recalled that the International Labour Conference decided at its 88th (2000)
Session to apply article 33 of the Constitution which allows it to take "such measures as it
may deem wise and expedient" to secure the observance of the recommendations of the
1998 Commission of Inquiry. Since then the Conference Committee on the Application
of Standards has held three special sittings on Myanmar concerning the application of
Convention No. 29. In March 2002, the Governing Body endorsed an understanding
reached between the Government of Myanmar and the ILO concerning the appointment
of an ILO Liaison Officer in Myanmar, who took up her assignment in October 2002.
The Governing Body requested the Government of Myanmar to take concrete action for
the eradication of forced labour through the development of a comprehensive plan of
action. In May 2003, the ILO and the Union of Myanmar came to a Formal
Understanding on a Facilitator to assist possible victims in Myanmar to seek remedies
available under the current legislation and as provided under Convention No. 29. In
addition a Plan of Action against forced labour, as requested by the Governing Body, is to
comprise a road-building project, alternatives to the use of forced labour, and information
and awareness raising. At its 91st Session in June 2003, the International Labour
Conference noted that the measures so far taken by the Government still had not resulted
in tangible progress in the application of Convention No. 29. The Conference welcomed
the fact that the Government had agreed on a Plan of Action, under which the
Government had undertaken to enforce strictly the prohibition on force labour in a pilot
region, while emphasizing that its implementation was without prejudice to the
Government’s obligation to put an end to forced labour in the whole of the country. It

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also regretted that recent events had resulted in a climate of uncertainty and intimidation
which did not provide an environment in which the Plan of Action could be implemented
in a credible manner, and asked the Director General to go ahead when the conditions
were met for its effective implementation.
E. Recent publications and materials (selection)
11. A number of publications on international labour standards have been completed
recently: A comprehensive overview on international labour standards is contained in a
2002 publication entitled “International Labour Standards: A Global Approach”; a book
entitled “Fundamental rights at work and international labour standards” presenting the
ILO core labour standards was launched in June 2003; a manual issued in 2002 on “ILO
normative activities - the employers` perspective” seeks to enhance the knowledge of
international labour standards by employers; “Standards for the 21st Century: Social
Security” offers an accessible presentation of ILO standards in that field; a book entitled
“Corporate Success Through People – Making International Labour Standards Work for
You” was published in 2002. The American Academy of Social Siences has recently
published an ILO paper on information sources and indicators concerning international
labour standards on non-discrimination. A training manual for managers on the
employment principles of the Global Compact is being finalized. Reference to specialized
publications on gender equality, HIV/AIDS, indigenous and tribal peoples, migrant
workers, and workers with disabilities is made below in the respective sections of Part III.
A. Globalization
12. In February 2002, the ILO launched the World Commission on the Social
Dimension of Globalization. This independent body aims to move the debate from
confrontation to dialogue, and thereby set the stage for action. The Commission is
exploring innovative, sustainable ways of combining economic, social and environmental
objectives to make globalization work for all. Based on the best available expertise, it
will make its recommendations seeking to build upon a broad consensus among all key
actors. The Commission held a series of national and regional dialogues in all parts of the
world to with business, labour, civil society and other social actors, as well as meeting on
the occasion of major conferences and special events, such as the fora in Davos and Porto
Alegre. A knowledge network involving experts on matters related to the social
dimension of globalization has been established. Further details on the Commission’s
work and objectives are available at its internet web site and in the March 2003 report of
the Working Party on the Social Dimension of Globalization.iv The Commission’s final
report will be released in late 2003.
13. The work of the Governing Body Working Party on the Social Dimension of
Globalisation has continued. High-level discussions were held in 2002-03 with Mr. Mark
Malloch Brown, UNDP Administrator, Mr. Jean –Claude Faure, Chairperson of the
OECD Development Assistance Committee, as well as Trevor Manuel, Minster of

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Finance of South Africa. The Working Party also discussed the topics of “Investment in
the global economy and decent work”, and “Governance, social partnership, and
globalisation”. There was a broad agreement that good governance was essential for
development and that social partners should actively cooperate with governments in order
to achieve social and economic objectives. However, the foundation of good governance
had to be respect for human rights. The respective background papers are available online.
B. The informal economy
14. The ILO is paying increased attention to the situation of women and men working
in the informal economy. A landmark report on “Decent work and the informal economy”
was discussed at the International Labour Conference in June 2002.vi The report attempts
to define who is in the informal economy and the factors shaping and reshaping it, and
argues that rights at work are as essential in the informal as in the formal economy. The
informal economy is where most jobs have been created in recent years, but it is also
where the greatest problems with regard to workers’ rights are found. And among
informal workers, special attention needs to be given to particularly vulnerable groups –
women, child workers, youth, persons with disabilities, migrants and ethnic minorities –
who are often socially excluded and subjected to discrimination, exploitation or forced
labour. The International Labour Conference adopted a set of wide-ranging conclusions
that are being followed up by the Office.
15. That the rights gap is especially serious in the informal economy is evident from
the work of the Committee of Experts, the Committee on Freedom of Association, and
the global reports produced under the follow-up to the ILO Declaration. Workers in the
informal economy often do not enjoy freedom of association or the right to organize and
to bargain collectively. In some cases, a country’s legislation does not recognize persons
active in the informal economy as workers and employers. More directly, self-employed
workers may be excluded from the application of legislation or prohibited by law from
organizing for professional purposes. The Committee of Experts stresses the applicability
of Convention No. 111 to the self-employed and independent workers, although it has
pointed out that in practice the informal economy is frequently excluded from such
provisions in labour codes, and enforcement mechanisms and complaints procedures
remain out of reach for persons engaged in it.
16. Child labour is almost entirely a phenomenon of the informal economy and
countries that have ratified Convention No. 182 are therefore required to design and
implement programmes aimed at reaching out into the informal economy. This includes
preventing children from engaging in such activities and assisting their removal from
them, and ensuring access to free basic education or vocational training. Forced labour is
on the increase in all parts of the world. Situations that trap people into forced labour
include abduction, trafficking in persons and outright slavery, coercive recruitment,
bonded labour resulting from indebtedness, and compulsory labour in public works.
Increasing poverty is a major contributing factor. Women and children are the primary,
but by no means the only, victims. Informal workers may be particularly vulnerable to

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exploitation by forced labour. Some of the above-mentioned practices may go unchecked
in the informal economy owing to the lack of any form of inspection and limited access
of persons in such situations to legal recourse.
17. Since the 1998 Declaration and fundamental human rights Conventions apply to
all workers, there should not be a two-tiered system or separate regulatory framework for
formal and informal workers – although there may be a need for different modalities and
mechanisms for guaranteeing them in the less regulated, less formal parts of the
economy. It might be possible to have separate systems of business registration, taxation
or subscription to formal social security schemes for informal enterprises so as to adjust
to their actual compliance capacity. But there should not be a lower level of application
of core labour standards for informal workers. In regard to fundamental human rights,
violation or non-compliance cannot be excused by poverty or informality. While,
admittedly, in the context of high unemployment and abject poverty almost any work
might appear to be better than none, it still cannot be argued that basic rights at work or,
more generally, the quality of work, acquire relevance only above certain levels of
income. Going beyond the rights and principles contained the ILO’s fundamental human
rights Conventions, it is necessary to extend basic minimum standards on substantive
matters such as conditions of work, safety and health and income security, as well as
basic rules for fair treatment, for example with regard to job security and vulnerable
A. Application of Conventions concerning discrimination
18. The ILO’s main instrument concerning discrimination is the Discrimination
(Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111). Other important
Conventions are the Equal Remuneration Convention, 1950 (No. 100), the Indigenous
and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169), as well as Conventions Nos. 97 and 143
concerning migrant workers. In addition, several other instruments contain provisions on
equality and non-discrimination or make reference to Convention No. 111.
19. Since the last report of this kind was submitted to the Sub-Commission, the
Committee of Experts has paid increased attention to situations involving multiple
discrimination on the grounds of sex, colour, race, ethnicity, or religion, with women
exposed to this type of discrimination more often than men. It has systematically
addressed employment discrimination faced by ethnic minorities, particularly the Roma,
in Europe. It has also requested governments to take specific measures with regard to
discrimination against migrant workers and indigenous and tribal peoples, and people of
African descent, as well as with regard to caste discrimination. The Committee requested
governments to take the necessary measures to ensure that existing legislation on
discrimination and equality be fully enforced and applied in practice. Governments have
been encouraged to improve their assessments of national situations concerning
discrimination and to measure the impact of policies and programmes, through measures

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such as studies, data collection and analysis, as well as cooperation with employers’ and
workers’ organizations.
B. “Time for Equality at Work”: Global Report 2003
20. The Sub-Commission’s attention is drawn to the 2003 Global Report under the
ILO Declaration on Fundamental Rights and Principles at Work, entitled Time for
Equality at Work. The report provides a comprehensive picture regarding discrimination
in employment and occupation worldwide, concluding that discrimination at work affects
every country, every economic sector and all types of activity. It shows that the depth of
poverty is widest among people who suffer multiple forms of discrimination
simultaneously. Indigenous and tribal peoples are among the poorest of the poor, and
poverty is more severe among women. Progress in eliminating discrimination has been
uneven, and new forms of discrimination have emerged. Wage discrimination against
women remains a reality. Laws banning discrimination are an indispensable step, but are
insufficient without further measures. Effective enforcement institutions, positive action,
unbiased education, training and employment services, and data to monitor progress, are
also necessary. This mix of policies and instruments is essential whatever the form of
discrimination. What matters is being constantly alert and tracing, through appropriate
monitoring, progress or lack of it so as to correct the course of action when required.
While the outward manifestations of discrimination may be eliminated quickly,
confronting and eliminating the underlying causes calls for a great deal of more work.
The report emphasizes that fairness and justice at the workplace boost the self-esteem,
morale and motivation of workers who suffer from discrimination, which in turn
enhances the productivity and competitiveness of businesses. Equality of opportunity and
treatment among the various groups in society reduces the risk of social tensions and
conflict. Based on the extremely rich discussion of the report at the International Labour
Conference in June 2003vii, a plan of action for technical cooperation will be drawn up
and adopted by the Governing Body in November 2003.
C. General activities for the prevention of discrimination
21. The ILO continued to promote understanding and a better application of the
standards concerning equality of opportunity and treatment through a broad range of
activities, including research, workshops, seminars, technical cooperation and advisory
services. National seminars on equal remuneration have been recently held in Estonia
(January 2002), Thailand (April 2002), Japan (July 2002) and Cyprus (September 2002).
A workshop in the context of the preparation of anti-discrimination legislation was
carried out in Bulgaria (April 2003). An Equality Forum on the Promotion of the
Ratification of Convention No. 111 was held in Tokyo (July 2002), followed up by an
advisory services mission to Japan in December to discuss ratification. A follow-up
technical advisory mission was undertaken to the Islamic Republic of Iran in May 2002
in relation to the application of Convention No. 111. As a follow-up of technical
assistance provided previously to Mauritius, a national tripartite consultation reached
consensus on the ratification of Conventions Nos. 100 and 111, which where

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subsequently registered by the Office in December 2002, and a draft act on sex
discrimination is under preparation.
D. Gender equality
22. In this year’s Global Report entitled Time for Equality at Work, the ILO
highlights the importance of anti-poverty strategies addressing the link between poverty
and systemic discrimination against women as part of a rights-based approach to poverty
reduction. Over the past year, the ILO has been working with governments, workers’ and
employers’ organizations and other stakeholders to address the multiple links between
discrimination against women, poverty and social exclusion. In China, Nepal, United
Republic of Tanzania and Uganda, the Interregional project on “Enhancing the gender
mainstreaming capacity of ILO constituents” – which builds on the first ILO Gender
Audit - aims to develop constituents’ and other stakeholders’ capacity to assess the
implications for women and men of any planned action, and implement strategies for
making women’s as well as men’s concerns an integral dimension of employment
policies and agendas. In addition, the ILO is assisting constituents in the different regions
to establish and strengthen their gender strategies and to promote gender equality in
national socio-economic policies and poverty reduction strategy processes (PRSP). Work
on addressing income inequalities between men and women has been particularly
successful in a few select countries, where ILO action has led to the subsequent adoption
of equal remuneration legislation and implementation mechanisms. Finally, ILO’s work
on developing indicators on international labour standards on non-discrimination,
including sex discrimination, aims at improving the ways to measure more effectively the
progress made, and indicate the way to go forward. A more detailed summary of the
numerous on-going technical cooperation activities on gender equality can be found
given in the 2003 general report to the Governing Body on ILO action concerning
discrimination in employment and occupation.viii
23. Among the more recent publications on women’s human rights and the gender
perspective attention is drawn to the “Resource Kit for Trade Unions on Promoting
Gender Equality” and the “Guide on Economic Opportunities Identification for Women’s
Groups and Communities”. The on-line “Information Base on Equal Employment
Opportunities for Women and Men (e.quality@work)” has been up-dated and expanded.ix
E. Human rights and HIV/AIDS
24. Human rights abuses based on HIV status often take place at the workplace.
These can take various forms such as: mandatory HIV testing of job applicants or
persons in employment; breaches of confidentiality regarding HIV-related personal
information; discrimination in access, terms and conditions of employment; and
stigmatization of workers living (or presumed to be living) with HIV/AIDS. By
threatening fundamental rights, the epidemic reduces the opportunities for decent work
for women and men and erodes the realisation of the key ILO goals of social justice and
equality. The ILO adopted a Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the world of work in
June 2001 which forms the cornerstone of ILO efforts against AIDS.x The Code has

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already been translated in eighteen languages. The process of implementing the Code
focuses on advocacy, research, advisory services and technical cooperation projects.xi
25. The ILO has also produced a modular training manual to complement the Code,
to widen its reach and strengthen its applicability.xii The emphasis of the manual is on
practical activities and guidelines to help users apply the Code to national strategic plans
and workplace policies and programmes. The whole manual takes a rights-based
approach and one of the seven modules deals specifically with HIV/AIDS and human
rights. A working paper on HIV/Aids and human rights was published in November
F. The situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories
26. In 2002 and 2003, the ILO again fielded high-level missions to examine the
situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories. The report of the 2003 mission
concluded that the situation had further deteriorated and that human security, rights at
work, incomes, access to employment and social protection were under constant threat.xiii
An easing of the closures and other measures in the first months of 2003 may have led to
a low-level stabilization of the rate of economic deterioration in the occupied territories.
The ILO continues to take steps to strengthen its technical cooperation programme aimed
at creating sustainable jobs and future employment opportunities and reforming labour
institutions. Within the context of the “Road Map” presented in May 2003, the ILO has
been asked to contribute its technical assistance to institutional reforms in the labour,
employment and social protection fields. Indeed, there is genuine scope for social
dialogue among constituents from both sides of the conflict. The ILO will continue to
seek to facilitate this dialogue, which is a key element of the wider political discussions
within the framework of the Road Map.
G. Migrant workers
27. Labour migration will be the topic of the General Discussion at the International
Labour Conference in Geneva in 2004. In preparation for this discussion the ILO is
holding regional consultations and meetings on international labour migration. A survey
covering the entire ILO membership will evaluate how migration and the treatment of
migrant workers are being regulated through laws, administrative measures, specialized
bodies of the state, the role of international agreements and the participation of tripartite
partners. In addition national reviews of recent changes in laws and policy on labour
migration in Chile, Hungary, Indonesia, Jordan, Republic of Korea, and Mauritius are
being prepared. International migration is one of the policy issues examined by the World
Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization established by the ILO in 2002.
28. The ILO has launched a national research project to measure discrimination in
employment against migrant workers in Italy, supported by the Italian Ministry of
Labour/Welfare. This complements earlier research in Belgium, Germany, the
Netherlands, Spain and other countries, and will serve to assist the Government of Italy
and social partners to meet requirements of the European Union Directive on racism.

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Efforts to compile a compendium of anti-discrimination “good practice” measures from
all European countries have continued. In responding to requests for technical assistance,
the Office encouraged the development of new national frameworks in Korea and
Thailand for prevention of discrimination against migrant workers and proposed
enhancement of efforts in Bangladesh and Indonesia towards protecting national workers
abroad. New publications on labour migration include the 10 national working papers
covering female migrant workersxiv and a new “Information Guide on Preventing
Discrimination, Exploitation and Abuse of women migrant workers” which was issued in
June 2003.
H. Indigenous and tribal peoples
29. The Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169) has now been
ratified by seventeen countries, most recently Brazil, Dominica and Venezuela (all 2002).
Supervision of Conventions Nos. 107 and 169 continued as usual, with the Committee of
Experts adopting at its session in November-December 2002 comments concerning a
number of countries, such as Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark,
Ecuador, Honduras, Paraguay and Peru. Reports from all ratifying countries will be due
in September 2003. It is worth noting that in recent years a number of representations
under article 24 of the ILO Constitution alleging failure of securing effective observance
of the Convention No. 169 have been submitted concering several countries. Results of
these proceedings, as well as the comments of the Committee of Experts are available online
through the ILOLEX database. An ILO working paper entitled “Indigenous and
Tribal Children: Assessing child labour and education challenges” appeared in July 2003.
30. Convention No. 169 is the basis of all technical cooperation carried out by the
ILO with regard to indigenous and tribal peoples. The Interregional Programme to
Support Self-Reliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples through Cooperatives and
Self-Help Organizations (INDISCO) has continued its work on projects in Asia and
Africa. In Asia, a regional workshop was organized to discuss sustainable indigenous
land and natural resource management practices. The Project to Promote ILO Policy on
Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, among other activities, has carried out capacity building
and other assistance to pastoralists and hunter-gatherers in Kenya, with a view to
ensuring their informed participation in the Constitutional review process. This
culminated in the presentation of a position paper to the Constitution Review
Commission in July 2002, which represented the collective views of over 15 different
indigenous and tribal peoples in Kenya. The Project is in the process of expanding its
activities in central Africa. The Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour has
selected the question of forced labour and its linkages to discrimination, poverty and
indigenous peoples as a thematic priority in Latin America. Workshops, bringing together
government officials, other policy-makers and analysts, and human rights and
development organizations, were conducted in Central America and the Andes during
2002. Consideration is being given to a major regional project on forced labour,
discrimination and indigenous peoples in seasonal labour markets.

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I. Workers with disabilities
31. Employers are playing a more central role than ever before in promoting
opportunities for job seekers with disabilities, in retaining workers who acquire a
disability while in employment and developing return-to-work-strategies for those who
have left the active labour force. In support of these trends, the ILO has developed a Code
of Practice on Managing Disability in the Workplacexv, to provide guidance to public and
private sector employers in the first instance, and also to employers’ organizations,
workers’ organizations and national authorities on the following topics: recruitment of
disabled persons; promotion and advancement of workers with disabilities; retention of
people who acquire a disability; and return to work of people who have left employment
due to disability. The Code provides that measures taken should incorporate specific
action for women with disabilities. The ILO carries out a wide range of technical
cooperation activities to enhance the capacity of national governments to implement
effective legislation on the employment of persons with disabilities.
32. The ILO is participating actively in the UN Ad hoc Committee Considering A
Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of
the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities. Views and suggestions from the
perspective of the ILO’s sphere of competence have been submitted, most recently to the
Committee’s second meeting in June 2003.xvi The ILO has also commissioned a report on
‘The Right to Decent Work of Persons with Disabilities’ which examines the
development over time of the ‘right to work’ of disabled persons, the way in which this
matter has been dealt with in international instruments and national legislation to date,
and the experience in implementing employment and work opportunities.xvii

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Ratification of ILO Conventions relevant to the concerns of the Sub-Commission
(as of 16 June 2003)
Convention Total ratifications Since last memorandum (21 June 2001)
Forced Labour
No. 29 162 Nepal, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique
No. 105 159
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial
Guinea, Lesotho, Kiribati, Sri Lanka,
No. 100 161 Antigua and Barbuda, Fiji, Mauritania,
Mauritius, Pakistan, Singapore, Saint Vincent
and the Grenadines, United Republic of Tanzania
No. 111 159 Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial
Guinea, Fiji, Grenada, Mauritius, Namibia,
Nigeria, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,
United Republic of Tanzania, United Arab
No. 156 34 El Salvador, Iceland, Republic of Korea,
Ukraine, Serbia and Monenegro
Freedom of
No. 87 142 Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial
Guinea, Fiji, Kiribati, Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines, Zimbabwe
No. 98 153 Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Mauritania, New
Migrant Workers
No. 97 42 Madagascar
No. 143 18 -

page 15
Indigenous and
Tribal Peoples
No. 107 27 No longer open for ratification (18 ratifications
still in force)
No. 169 17 Brazil, Dominica, Venezuela
Minimum Age
No. 138 127 Bahamas, Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoir,
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Fiji, Guinea,
Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia,
Mozambique, Nigeria, Peru, Sudan, Swaziland,
Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda
No. 182 142 Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Austria,
Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon,
Cape Verde, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte
d'Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Democratic
Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Equatorial
Guinea, Estonia, Fiji, France, Guinea, Lebanon,
Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala,
Honduras, Iraq, Islamic Republic of Iran,
Kazakhstan, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar,
Mauritania, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands,
Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Republic of
Moldova, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and
the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Swaziland,
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, United
Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania,
Uruguay, Zambia
No. 159 75 Jordan, Ukraine

E/C N.4/Sub.2/2003/42
page 16
i The last memorandum of this kind was submitted to the Sub-Commission at its 53rd session in 2001.
ii Including: the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention,
1957 (No. 105), the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No.
87), the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98), the Discrimination
(Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111), the Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951
(No. 100), the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), the Migration for Employment Convention
(Revised), 1949 (No. 97), the Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975 (No. 143),
the Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957 (No. 107) and the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples
Convention, 1989 (No. 169), the Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1975 (No. 156), and
the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) Convention, 1983 (No. 159).
iii The last report as contained in document E/CN.4/Sub.2/2001/24 indicated ratifications as of 21 June
iv See http://mirror/public/english/wcsdg/index.htm; GB.288/18.
v http://mirror/public/english/bureau/integration/globaliz/publicat.htm
vi International Labour Conference, 90th Sessions, 2002, Report VI, Decent work and the informal
vii International Labour Conference, 91st Session, Geneva, 2003, Provisional Record 14 and 15,
viii General status report on ILO action concerning discrimination in employment and occupation,
Governing Body, 286th Session, March 2003, GB.286/LILS/5.
ix http://mirror/public/english/employment/gems/eeo/index.htm.
x Code of Practice is available at available at http://www.ilo.org/aids. For more information on the issue,
see ILO/AIDS Working Paper n° 3: Promoting human rights through the ILO Code of Practice on
HIV/AIDS and the world of work, available in French and English at http://www.ilo.org/aids
xi For an overview an technical cooperation activities with respect to HIV/AIDS in the world of work, see
the most recent report on ILO action against discrimination in employment and occupation,
GB.286/LILS/5, March 2003.
xii Implementing the ILO Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS and the world of work: An education and training
manual http://www.ilo.org/aids.
xiii The report is available on-line at http://mirror/public/english/standards/relm/ilc/ilc91/reports.htm
xiv Working Paper Series Series on Women and Migration (10 Working papers covering United Arab
Emirates, Sri Lanka, Italy, Japan, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Philippines, Costa Rica, Bolivia and Ethiopia),
xv The text of the Code is available at http://mirror/public/english/employment/skills/disability/policy_c.htm
xvi The ILO’s contribution is available on-line at http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/uncontribilo.
xvii http://mirror/public/english/employment/skills/disability/index.htm
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