The International Labor Organization (ILO) is exploring what the future of work will look like around the world.

ILO hosted a global dialogue in early April to discuss the future of work and how various aspects of today’s world, such as climate change, technological innovation and shifts in poverty, affect labor. In addition, the Leaders Forum of the annual ILO conference will focus on the future of work. The conference is scheduled for June 5-17, 2017.

The ILO has seven initiatives to implement by 2019 to celebrate its 100-year anniversary. The Director-General set these initiatives in 2013, to plan for challenges that face international labor. These include the Future of Work Initiative, the End to Poverty Initiative, the Women at Work Initiative, the Green Initiative, the Standards Initiative, the Enterprises Initiative and the Governance Initiative.

The Future of Work Initiative will examine trends and issues that explore the challenges the workforce will face over the next century. The End to Poverty Initiative will help implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Women at Work Initiative will work toward the equality of women in the workplace. The Green Initiative will focus on environmentally sustainable employment. The Standards Initiative will focus on revising international labor standards. The Enterprises Initiative will work with enterprises in the private sector in all regions of the world. The Governance Initiative will reform the ILO leadership structure, the International Labour Conference, regional meetings and evaluate the 2008 ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization

Formed in 1919 as part of the Treaty of Versailles, ILO is founded on the values of social justice and human rights. The organization’s first members included Belgium, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the U.S. The organization, originally affiliated with the League of Nations, became a part of the first specialized agency of the U.N. in 1946. Today, the organization has 187 member states.

In 2017, the ILO is putting together a High-Level Commission on the future of work. In 2018, the commission is scheduled to publish a report and recommendations. At the 2019 ILO Conference, member states may adopt a Centenary Declaration.

Jennifer Taggart

Photo: Flickr