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International Labour Organisation and MOM

Find out about Singapore's membership in the International Labour Organisation, including Conventions ratified and the ILO-MOM Partnership Agreement.

About the ILO

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) was formed in 1919 and became a United Nations (UN) agency in 1946.

The ILO's primary role is to formulate international labour standards in the form of conventions and recommendations. These set the minimum standards for basic labour rights and other labour-related issues.

The ILO is unique as it is the only UN organisation with a tripartite structure. Government states, employers and workers all have a voice in shaping ILO labour standards, policies and programmes.

The ILO Governing Body (GB) is ILO's executive body. The ILO GB meets in Geneva three times a year to establish the ILO programme and budget, and to make decisions on ILO policies. The ILO GB also elects the Director-General of the ILO.

Singapore's membership in the ILO

Singapore has been a member of the ILO since its independence in 1965. Singapore was elected as a Titular Member of the ILO GB representing ASEAN from 2008 to 2011.

ILO Conventions

To date, Singapore has 20 ILO Conventions in force, including five Core Conventions. They cover the four key areas of employment standards:

  • Effective abolition of child labour.
  • Elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour.
  • Freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
  • Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Most recently, Singapore ratified the following conventions:

  • Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention (C187) in 2012.
  • Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) in 2011.
  • Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention (C144) in 2010.

View the full list of conventions ratified by Singapore.

ILO-MOM Partnership Agreement

The ILO and MOM have renewed their Partnership Agreement to improve labour and workplace practices in Southeast Asia. Under the partnership agreement, the ILO and MOM will collaborate on cooperative activities in the areas of productivity, occupational safety and health, tripartism and social dialogue.

The first Partnership Agreement between the ILO and MOM was signed in June 2011. Activities organised under the agreement include the following:

  • A technical cooperation to improve occupational safety and health in Brunei.
  • A workshop on resolving employment disputes for ASEAN countries.
  • A Singapore-Norway Third Country Training Programme on the decent work agenda.
  • A study visit by Vietnamese tripartite delegations on the topics of industrial relations and the Singapore National Wages Council.