The 109th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) will be held virtually for the first time in its history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference will proceed in two parts: the first will be held in June 2021, and the second in November and December.
Plenary sessions will commence on 7 June and will be addressed by the President of the Swiss Confederation. The ILO’s Director-General, Guy Ryder and the Chairperson of the Governing Body will also present their reports, which will cover two years. This will be followed by the introductory statements of the Presidents of the ILC’s Employers and Workers groups.
The items on the June part of the ILC agenda include a special outcome document on the ILO response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ILO’s programme and budget for 2022-23, the recurrent discussion on social protection, and consideration of the reports on the application of labour standards during the pandemic and related country case discussions.
The World of Work Summit, entitled "international action for a human-centred COVID-19 response", will take place on 17 and 18 June, with sessions running for around 90 minutes each day. The Summit will include a high-level session with heads of state and government and a panel discussion with tripartite representatives.
Other ILC events will include for World Day Against Child Labour, on 10 June (World Day falls on a Saturday this year), and the launch of a report on child labour. The June part of the ILC will close on 19 June.
The ILC will resume its work in November, with an agenda that includes two thematic discussions in committees, one on inequalities and the world of work and the other on skills and life-long learning. The ILC Director-General is expected to close the 109th ILC on 11 December. The work of the ILC can be followed via the “ILC live” section of the ILO’s website, which will include live coverage of the plenary sessions. There will also be a live blog with rolling coverage of the conference. A 30-minute “Daily Show”, covering key moments and themes, will go live at 16.30 CEST each day on the ILO website, as well as YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The ILC, sometimes known as the world parliament of labour, is the largest international gathering dedicated to the world of work, attended by representatives of governments, employers and workers from the 187 ILO Member States.
As well as discussing key world of work issues, delegates discuss, adopt and monitor International Labour Standards and set the ILO’s global agenda and budget.
The 109th session of the annual ILC was deferred from 2020 to 2021 by the ILO’s Governing Body, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ILO’s Governing Body will meet twice during this period, on 21 May and 25 June.
Tentative programme of work of the 109th Session of the International Labour Conference (2021): https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_790700.pdf
Governing Body elections: https://www.ilo.org/ilc/Governingbodyelections/lang--en/index.htm