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Member states of the International Labour Organization

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Large building, with multiple levels
ILO headquarters, Geneva

The International Labour Organization (ILO), a tripartite specialized agency of the United Nations that sets international standards related to work, has 187 member states, as of August 2022. Established in 1919 as a result of the Treaty of Versailles, the ILO was the first agency to be incorporated into the UN in 1946, is the third oldest pre-existing UN agency, the fourth oldest existing multilateral organization and the only remaining organization with direct links to the League of Nations.[1][a]

Starting with 42 member states, 29 of these are considered founder members as signatories to the Versailles Treaty, another 13 states, not signatories, were invited to be members and granted status as founder members.[6]

Following the Second World War and the dissolution of the League of Nations, the ILO became the UN's first specialized agency.[7] All member states of the ILO are also member states of the United Nations, however, there are seven UN member states which have not joined the ILO. The ILO's constitution allows admission without membership in the UN, but the conditions to be satisfied in this case are more complex than for a UN member state.

Since establishment, 19 states have withdrawn from membership, although all subsequently rejoined. Two states have indicated an intention to withdraw, but did not complete the process. While the membership rules admit only sovereign states, on three occasions states with non-sovereign status have been admitted, all, however, eventually became sovereign members. Five states have been removed from membership, with all being readmitted. Six formerly-existing states have been members of the ILO, including two which were founding members.

Member states[edit]

Membership in the ILO is governed by Article 1, clauses 3 and 4, of the organization's constitution. Clause 3 indicates that any UN member state may become a member of the ILO by communicating to the Director-General "formal acceptance of the obligations of the Constitution."[8] Clause 4 allows for membership for non-UN states, but this requires a two-thirds vote by delegates to the International Labour Conference, including two-thirds of government delegates.[9][10]

Current member states of the International Labour Organization
Flag Member state[11] Date of admission[12] Notes
Afghanistan
Afghanistan 29 September 1934
Albania
Albania 22 May 1991 Previously a member from 1920 to 1967, admitted 1991.[13] Further information: member withdrawals
Algeria
Algeria 19 October 1962
Angola
Angola 4 June 1976
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda 16 February 1982
Argentina
Argentina * 28 June 1919
Armenia
Armenia 26 November 1992 Prior participation as part of the Soviet Union
Australia
Australia + 28 June 1919
Austria
Austria 24 June 1947 Previously a member from 1919 to 1938, readmitted 1947.[14] Further information: member removals
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan 19 May 1992 Prior participation as part of the Soviet Union
The Bahamas
Bahamas 25 May 1976
Bahrain
Bahrain 18 April 1977
Bangladesh
Bangladesh 22 June 1972
Barbados
Barbados 8 May 1967
Belarus
Belarus 12 May 1954 Admitted as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.[15] Further information: former non-sovereign state members
Belgium
Belgium + 28 June 1919
Belize
Belize 7 November 1981
Benin
Benin 14 December 1960
Bolivia
Bolivia (Plurinational State of) + 28 June 1919
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina 2 June 1993 Prior participation as part of Yugoslavia
Botswana
Botswana 27 February 1978
Brazil
Brazil + 28 June 1919
Brunei
Brunei Darussalam 17 January 2007
Bulgaria
Bulgaria 16 December 1920
Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso 21 November 1960
Burundi
Burundi 13 March 1963
Cape Verde
Cabo Verde 3 April 1979
Cambodia
Cambodia 24 February 1969
Cameroon
Cameroon 7 June 1960
Canada
Canada + 28 June 1919
Central African Republic
Central African Republic 27 October 1960
Chad
Chad 10 November 1960
Chile
Chile * 28 June 1919
China
China + 28 June 1919 Admitted as the Republic of China. From the Chinese Revolution of 1949 through to 1971, China's membership in the ILO was held by the Republic of China (Taiwan). Following a resolution at the 184th meeting of the ILO Governing Body in 1971, the People's Republic of China (PRC) was recognized as the representative government of China for the purposes of membership. However, not until June 1983 did the PRC agree to participate in ILO activities when the International Labour Conference agreed to waive outstanding dues of over $38 million (equivalent to $87 million in 2020).[16][17]
Colombia
Colombia * 28 June 1919
Comoros
Comoros 23 October 1978
Republic of the Congo
Congo 10 November 1960
Cook Islands
Cook Islands 12 June 2015
Costa Rica
Costa Rica 21 February 1944 Previously a member from 1920 to 1927, admitted 1944.[18] Further information: member withdrawals
Ivory Coast
Côte d'Ivoire 21 September 1960
Croatia
Croatia 30 June 1992 Prior participation as part of Yugoslavia
Cuba
Cuba + 28 June 1919
Cyprus
Cyprus 23 September 1960
Czech Republic
Czech Republic 3 February 1993 Prior participation as part of Czechoslovakia
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo 20 September 1960
Denmark
Denmark * 28 June 1919
Djibouti
Djibouti 3 April 1978
Dominica
Dominica 17 June 1982
Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic 29 September 1924
Ecuador
Ecuador 28 September 1934
Egypt
Egypt 19 June 1936 Admitted without being a member of the League of Nations.[19]
El Salvador
El Salvador * 21 June 1948 Previously a member from 1919 to 1939, admitted 1948.[20] Further information: member withdrawals
Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea 31 January 1981
Eritrea
Eritrea 7 June 1993
Estonia
Estonia 13 January 1992 Member as Estonia 1921–1940, as part of the Soviet Union 1954–1991, readmitted 1992.[21][22] Further information: member removals
Eswatini
Eswatini 20 May 1975
Ethiopia
Ethiopia 28 September 1923 Between 1939 and 1942 Ethiopia was removed from the membership list due to annexation by Italy.[21] Further information: member removals
Fiji
Fiji 19 April 1974
Finland
Finland 16 December 1920
France
France + 28 June 1919
Gabon
Gabon 14 October 1960
The Gambia
Gambia 29 May 1995
Georgia (country)
Georgia 22 June 1993 Prior participation as part of the Soviet Union
Germany
Germany 12 June 1951 Previously a member from 1919 to 1935, admitted 1951.[23] Further information: member withdrawals
Ghana
Ghana 20 May 1957
Greece
Greece + 28 June 1919
Grenada
Grenada 9 July 1979
Guatemala
Guatemala + 19 October 1945 Previously a member from 1919 to 1938, admitted in 1945.[24] Further information: member withdrawals
Guinea
Guinea 21 January 1959
Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau 21 February 1977
Guyana
Guyana 8 June 1966
Haiti
Haiti + 28 June 1919
Honduras
Honduras + 1 January 1955 Member from 1919 to 1938, admitted 1955.[25] Further information: member withdrawals
Hungary
Hungary 18 September 1922
Iceland
Iceland 19 October 1945
India
India + 28 June 1919
Indonesia
Indonesia 12 May 1950 Indonesia communicated an intention to withdraw from the ILO in 1965, however, this was rescinded in 1966.[26] Further information: incomplete member withdrawals
Iran
Iran (Islamic Republic of) * 28 June 1919 Admitted as Persia[6]
Iraq
Iraq 3 October 1932
Republic of Ireland
Ireland 10 September 1923
Israel
Israel 10 May 1949
Italy
Italy + 19 October 1945 Previously a member from 1919 to 1940, admitted 1945.[27] Further information: member withdrawals
Jamaica
Jamaica 26 December 1962
Japan
Japan 26 November 1951 Previously a member from 1919 to 1940, admitted 1951.[28] Further information: member withdrawals
Jordan
Jordan 26 January 1956
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan 31 May 1993 Prior participation as part of the Soviet Union
Kenya
Kenya 13 January 1964
Kiribati
Kiribati 3 February 2000
Kuwait
Kuwait 13 June 1961
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan 31 March 1992 Prior participation as part of the Soviet Union
Laos
Lao People's Democratic Republic 23 January 1964 Admitted as the Kingdom of Laos[29]
Latvia
Latvia 3 December 1991 Member as Latvia 1921–1940, as part of the Soviet Union 1954–1991, readmitted in 1991.[21][22] Further information: member removals
Lebanon
Lebanon 23 December 1948
Lesotho
Lesotho 2 June 1980 Previously a member from 1966 to 1971, admitted 1980.[30] Further information: member withdrawals
Liberia
Liberia + 28 June 1919
Libya
Libya 11 June 1952
Lithuania
Lithuania 4 October 1991 Member as Lithuania 1921–1940, as part of the Soviet Union 1954–1991, readmitted as Lithuania in 1991.[21][22] Further information: member removals
Luxembourg
Luxembourg 16 December 1920
Madagascar
Madagascar 1 November 1960
Malawi
Malawi 22 March 1965
Malaysia
Malaysia 11 November 1957
Maldives
Maldives 15 May 2009
Mali
Mali 22 September 1960
Malta
Malta 4 January 1965
Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands 3 July 2007
Mauritania
Mauritania 20 June 1961
Mauritius
Mauritius 5 May 1969
Mexico
Mexico 12 September 1931
Mongolia
Mongolia 24 May 1968
Montenegro
Montenegro 14 July 2006 Prior participation as part of Yugoslavia
Morocco
Morocco 13 June 1956
Mozambique
Mozambique 28 May 1976
Myanmar
Myanmar 18 May 1948
Namibia
Namibia 3 October 1978
Nepal
Nepal 30 August 1966
Kingdom of the Netherlands
Netherlands * 28 June 1919
New Zealand
New Zealand + 28 June 1919
Nicaragua
Nicaragua + 9 April 1957 Previously a member from 1919 to 1938, admitted 1957.[31] Further information: member withdrawals
Niger
Niger 27 February 1961
Nigeria
Nigeria 17 October 1960
North Macedonia
North Macedonia 28 May 1993 Prior participation as part of Yugoslavia
Norway
Norway * 28 June 1919
Oman
Oman 31 January 1994
Pakistan
Pakistan 31 October 1947
Palau
Palau 29 May 2012
Panama
Panama + 28 June 1919
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea 1 May 1976
Paraguay
Paraguay * 5 September 1956 Previously a member from 1919 to 1937, admitted 1956.[32][33] Further information: member withdrawals
Peru
Peru + 28 June 1919
Philippines
Philippines 15 June 1948
Poland
Poland + 28 June 1919 Submitted notification of intention to withdraw on 17 November 1984,[34] extended that intention in November 1986 without withdrawing, and rescinded the intention to withdraw on 17 November 1987.[35] Further information: incomplete member withdrawals
Portugal
Portugal + 28 June 1919
Qatar
Qatar 25 April 1972
South Korea
Republic of Korea 9 December 1991
Moldova
Republic of Moldova 8 June 1992 Prior participation as part of the Soviet Union
Romania
Romania + 11 May 1956 Previously a member from 1919 to 1942, admitted 1956.[36] Further information: member withdrawals
Russia
Russian Federation 26 April 1954 Admitted to membership as the Soviet Union from 1934 to 1940, admitted 1954.[37] Further information: member withdrawals

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation was confirmed as the successor state for the purposes of membership.[38]

Rwanda
Rwanda 18 September 1962
Saint Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis 19 May 1996
Saint Lucia
St. Lucia 9 April 1980
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 31 May 1995
Samoa
Samoa 7 May 2005
San Marino
San Marino 18 June 1982
São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe 1 June 1982
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia 12 January 1976
Senegal
Senegal 4 November 1960
Serbia
Serbia 24 November 2000 Prior participation as part of Yugoslavia (1919-1992), admitted in 2000 as Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.[39]
Seychelles
Seychelles 25 April 1977
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone 13 June 1961
Singapore
Singapore 25 October 1965
Slovakia
Slovakia 22 January 1993 Prior participation as part of Czechoslovakia
Slovenia
Slovenia 29 May 1992 Prior participation as part of Yugoslavia
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands 28 May 1984
Somalia
Somalia 18 November 1960
South Africa
South Africa + 26 May 1994 Previously a member from 1919 to 1966, admitted in 1994.[40] Further information: member withdrawals
South Sudan
South Sudan 29 April 2012
Spain
Spain * 28 May 1956 Previously a member from 1919 to 1941, admitted 1956.[41] Further information: member withdrawals
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 28 June 1948
Sudan
Sudan 12 June 1956 Sudan's membership in the ILO preceded membership in the United Nations (12 November 1956[42]), which was possible following a vote of unanimous support (with no abstentions) at the 1956 International Labour Conference.[43]
Suriname
Suriname 24 February 1976
Sweden
Sweden * 28 June 1919
Switzerland
Switzerland * 28 June 1919
Syria
Syrian Arab Republic 4 December 1947
Tajikistan
Tajikistan 26 November 1993 Prior participation as part of the Soviet Union
Thailand
Thailand + 28 June 1919 Admitted as Siam[6]
East Timor
Timor-Leste 19 August 2003
Togo
Togo 7 June 1960
Tonga
Tonga 24 February 2016
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago 24 May 1963
Tunisia
Tunisia 12 June 1956
Turkey
Turkey 18 July 1932
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan 24 September 1993 Prior participation as part of the Soviet Union
Tuvalu
Tuvalu 27 May 2008
Uganda
Uganda 25 March 1963
Ukraine
Ukraine 12 May 1954 Admitted as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.[15] Further information: former non-sovereign state members
United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates 25 April 1972
United Kingdom
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland + 28 June 1919
Tanzania
United Republic of Tanzania 30 January 1962
United States
United States of America 18 February 1980 Joined in 1934 without being a member of the League of Nations, withdrew in 1977, admitted 1980.[44][45] Further information: member withdrawals
Uruguay
Uruguay + 28 June 1919
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan 13 July 1992 Prior participation as part of the Soviet Union
Vanuatu
Vanuatu 22 May 2003
Venezuela
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) * 16 March 1958 Previously a member from 1919 to 1957, admitted 1958.[46] Further information: member withdrawals
Vietnam
Viet Nam 20 May 1992 Admitted as a member as the Republic of Vietnam from 1950 to 1976. Following the incorporation of the Republic of Vietnam into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in July 1976, the country ceased to be a member. Readmitted in 1980, withdrew in 1985 and readmitted 1992.[47][48] Further information: member withdrawals
Yemen
Yemen 20 May 1965
Zambia
Zambia 2 December 1964
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe 6 June 1980

A "+" and a blue background indicates a founding member; an "*" and a khaki background indicates states invited to be founding members.

Member withdrawals[edit]

President Jimmy Carter (at right) affirmed the departure of the USA from the ILO on 1 November 1977, despite recommendations of a one-year delay from Secretary of State Cyrus Vance (at left) and National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.[49][50]

According to the ILO's constitution, a member state may only withdraw after giving notice of two years and settling all outstanding financial dues; following withdrawal a former member state is still obliged to comply with the ILO conventions the country has ratified.[51][52] Readmission of a former member state, that has remained a UN member, requires formal communication to the ILO Director-General of acceptance of the obligations of the ILO constitution. A former member state that is not a UN member can only be approved for readmission by a decision of the International Labour Conference.[53] Since 1927, 19 member states have withdrawn from the ILO, all subsequently rejoined.

Member states that have withdrawn from the International Labour Organization
Flag State Date of withdrawal Date of admission Notes
Albania
Albania 5 August 1967[54][48] 22 May 1991[55] In 1965, Albania gave notification of withdrawal from the ILO, citing the organization's lack of support to anti-colonial liberation movements and exclusion of communist countries.[56] Following the end of the Cold War, Albania was admitted.
Costa Rica
Costa Rica 1 January 1927[57] 21 April 1944[58] In December 1924, Costa Rica gave notice of withdrawal from the League of Nations due to perceived ill-treatment for overdue membership contributions and dissatisfaction with the League's lack of action against the United States for pursuing the Monroe Doctrine.[59] Withdrawal from the League precipitated Costa Rica's withdrawal from the ILO. Starting in 1942, engagement with the ILO led to admission in 1944.[57]
El Salvador
El Salvador 1939[21] 21 June 1948[60] In 1937, the government gave notice of withdrawal from the League of Nations and the ILO. The official reason given related to financial priorities, but there was also a lack of active participation by El Salvador in Geneva.[61][62] Furthermore, from the mid-1930 El Salvador was more focussed on continental (Inter-American) affairs and the consequences of the failure of the League of Nations to adequately manage the Abyssinia Crisis also influenced the government's decision.[63] Following the Second World War, El Salvador reestablished relations with the ILO and was admitted in June 1948.[64]
Germany
Germany 21 October 1935[65] 12 June 1951[66] The passage of the Enabling Act of 1933 effectively gave the Nazi Party complete control of the German state, whereupon repression of political enemies occurred; this included trade unions, whose assets were confiscated and whose members were transferred to the Nazi-controlled German Labour Front (DAF).[67] At the 1933 International Labour Conference the credentials of the DAF as a legitimate (independent) workers' organization were rejected and during the Conference itself, criticisms were leveled at the Nazi government's suppression of trade unions and support for antisemitism.[68][69] Following the Conference, Germany gave notice of intent to withdraw from the ILO, which came into effect in 1935. After the Second World War, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany at the time) was admitted in 1951.[68] The German Democratic Republic (East Germany) was admitted as a separate state from 1 January 1974.[68]
Guatemala
Guatemala 26 May 1938[70] 19 October 1945[71] During the 1930s, the government increasingly focussed on continental (ie Inter-American) affairs which were regarded ultimately as incompatible with the League of Nations, giving notice to withdraw from the League and the ILO in May 1936.[72] Following the Second World War, on 14 September 1945, Guillermo Toriello, Minister for External Affairs, requested admission to the ILO, which was completed the following month.[73]
Italy
Italy December 1939[74] 19 October 1945[75] Following the Abyssinia Crisis in 1935, where Fascist Italy ultimately annexed Ethiopia to create Italian East Africa, the government became increasingly dissatisfied with the League of Nations and on 11 December 1937, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, in a national address, announced Italy's withdrawal from the League of Nations.[76] On 16 December 1937, the ILO received notification from Galeazzo Ciano, Minister of Foreign Affairs, of Italy's intention to withdraw.[77] The fall of the fascist regime led to the reestablishment of relations with the ILO in 1944, an agreement in May 1945 to appoint an ILO representative in Rome and the country's admission in October of that year.[78]
Honduras
Honduras 10 July 1938[70] 1 January 1955[79] Close to the position of Guatemala favouring Inter-American approaches,[72] Honduras gave notification of withdrawal from the League of Nations in July 1936 and did not indicate any intention to remain in the ILO.[70] In January 1955 Honduras was admitted.[80]
Japan
Japan November 1940[81] 26 November 1951[82] Starting with the Mukden Incident, Japan came under increasing criticism and condemnation in the League of Nations, eventually leading to withdrawal from the League in 1933.[83][84] Although maintaining ILO membership, contradictions between government policy, a reversal of positive attitudes of the employers and the broader international deterioration of inter-state relations led to Japan giving notice of withdrawal in November 1938.[85] Following the Second World War, in March 1948 an ILO Committee in Japan was established and in 1951 the country was admitted.[86]
Lesotho
Lesotho 15 July 1971[87] 2 June 1980[30] Between 1971 and 1980, Lesotho withdrew from the ILO due to an inability to meet the financial obligations of membership.[88]
Nicaragua
Nicaragua 26 June 1938[70] 9 April 1957[89] Close to the position of Guatemala favouring Inter-American approaches,[72] Nicaragua gave notice of withdrawal from the League of Nations in June 1936 and confirmed withdrawal from the ILO in June 1938.[70] In April 1957, Nicaragua was admitted.[90]
Paraguay
Paraguay 23 February 1937[91] 5 September 1956[33] Following dissatisfaction with decisions of the League of Nations related to the Chaco War, Paraguay announced withdrawal from the League and the ILO in February 1935.[92][93] In September 1956, Paraguay was admitted to the ILO.[91]
Romania
Romania 10 July 1942[94] 11 May 1956[95] Romania gave notification of withdrawal from the League of Nations in July 1940 and did not indicate any intention to remain in the ILO. In May 1956, Romania was admitted to the ILO.[96]
Spain
Spain 8 May 1941[21] 28 May 1956[97] Spain gave notification of withdrawal from the League of Nations in May 1939 and did not indicate any intention to remain in the ILO. In May 1956, Spain was admitted to the ILO.[98]
Soviet Union
Soviet Union February 1940[99] 26 April 1954[100] The Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations in December 1939 following the start of the Winter War.[101] However, this expulsion did not automatically invalidate membership in the ILO; not until the meeting of the ILO Administrative Council in February the following year was the membership rescinded.[102] While the death of leader Joseph Stalin played a direct role in the reorientation of Soviet policy, an inability to successfully influence UN affairs and a desire to have broader contacts with the non-communist world, saw the USSR take up membership in the ILO in April 1954.[103]
Union of South Africa
South Africa 11 March 1966[104] 26 May 1994[105] In March 1964, the South African foreign minister notified the ILO of the country's withdrawal.[104] From the late 1950s, the country's policy of institutionalized racial discrimination, officially known as Apartheid, had come under frequent condemnation; rather than be formally excluded from the ILO by a vote of the constituents, South Africa chose to withdraw.[106] Following the end of Apartheid and the conclusion of multi-racial elections, South Africa joined the ILO in 1994.[107]
United States
United States of America 6 November 1977[108] 18 February 1980[109] Although US employers and trade unions had long expressed dissatisfaction with the ILO due to the admission of the Soviet Union in 1954,[110] official United States government withdrawal was triggered by reactions to three issues in the 1970s: the role of the Soviet Union, policy towards Israel/Palestine and organizational processes.[111] In July 1970, the appointment of the Soviet diplomat Pavel Astapenko as ILO Assistant Director-General led to the US cancelling part of its membership payments, following lobbying of the US Congress by George Meany, AFL-CIO President, who considered the ILO to be overly influenced by the Soviet Union.[112][113] The adoption by the 1974 International Labour Conference of a resolution condemning "Israeli authorities" for "discrimination, racism and violation of trade union freedoms and rights" in Palestine,[b] despite the ILO having conducted no previous investigations of matter, was strongly opposed by US representatives and the granting of observer status to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) at the 1975 Conference,[c] led the US employer, government and trade union representatives to boycott the Conference's remaining sessions.[117][118] The combination of these saw the US Government give notice of an intention to withdraw in November 1975.[119] Secretary of State Henry Kissinger indicated that the US would not follow through with withdrawal if there were improvements in US areas of concern.[120] However, in the two years following, decisions at the ILO went against US wishes, in particular, the 1977 Conference decision which, due to a lack of quorum, failed to adopt the recommendations of the Committee of Experts (which detailed the failure to observe ILO standards in Argentina, Bolivia, Chad, Chile, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, Liberia and the USSR).[111][121] In November 1977, President Jimmy Carter affirmed the decision of the Ford administration to withdraw from the ILO, despite advice from Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski to suspend withdrawal for a year, and appeals to remain from nine West European countries, Japan and the Pope.[122] In the years immediately following departure, changes in ILO procedures, including the introduction of secret balloting, the requirement for due process investigations prior to the adoption of resolutions and the opening of investigations into the violation of trade union rights in the Soviet Union and Poland, led to a re-evaluation, with President Carter affirming ILO membership on 18 February 1980.[123]
Venezuela
Venezuela 3 May 1957 15 March 1958 In April 1955, the Venezuelan government expelled a Dutch worker delegate of the ILO Governing Body who voiced criticisms of freedom of association rights in the country during a meeting of the ILO's Petroleum Committee in Caracas. Officers of the Governing Body subsequently adjourned the meeting, to which the Venezuelan government immediately objected and shortly after notified their intention to withdraw from the ILO. On 15 March 1958, Venezuela formally accepted the obligations of membership and was admitted.[88]
Vietnam
Vietnam 1 June 1985[26] 20 May 1992[124] In June 1983, Vietnam gave notification of an intention to withdraw temporarily. The reasons included an inability to pay the assessed membership fees due to extreme financial constraints, a lack of technical support and dissatisfaction with ILO investigations into claims of Vietnamese workers being subject to forced labour in the Soviet Union.[48][125] The withdrawal went into effect in 1985; Vietnam was admitted in 1992.[124]
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia 16 June 1949[126] 16 May 1951[126] In 1947, with the emergence of the Cold War, Yugoslavia gave notice of withdrawal, citing incompatibility between the structures of the ILO and the country's ongoing socialist development. The withdrawal came into effect in 1949, however, Yugoslavia was admitted in 1951.[127][128]

Incomplete member withdrawals[edit]

Two member states have officially communicated an intention to withdraw, but prior to the ILO declaring their membership to have lapsed, subsequently communicated an intention to remain.

Member states which did not complete withdrawal from the International Labour Organization
Flag State Date intention to withdraw received Date intention to withdraw rescinded Notes
Indonesia
Indonesia 25 March 1965[26] 6 September 1966[26] During the period of Konfrontasi, Indonesia, under President Sukarno, came into conflict with Malaysia, Britain and the United States following Malaysia obtaining a seat in the Security Council and in January 1965, withdrawal from the United Nations was announced.[129][130][131] In March, the government communicated an intention to withdraw from the ILO, which would have taken effect on 25 March 1967. Following the transition to the New Order, the government under President Suharto, indicated in 1966 that Indonesia no longer wished to withdraw. The ILO considered that there had been no interruption to Indonesia's membership.[132][26]
Poland
Poland 17 November 1984[133] 17 November 1987[35] Following the imposition of martial law and the suppression of the independent trade union Solidarność in December 1981, the ILO governing body in May 1983 voted to constitute a commission of inquiry, the highest action which can be taken against a member state under the organization's constitution.[134] The day after the Commission's report was submitted to the ILO Governing body, which was heavily critical of the detention of trade unionists and the denial of trade union independence, Poland communicated an intention to withdraw on 17 November 1984.[34][133] Poland extended that intention in November 1986 without officially withdrawing, however, with the subsequent thawing of the political situation, Poland rescinded the intention to withdraw on 17 November 1987.[35]

States removed from membership[edit]

Group of men standing on staircase
Visit of Haile Selaisse of Ethiopia to the ILO, August 1924

Due to circumstances related to annexation, five states have been removed from ILO membership; all were later readmitted.

States removed from membership of the International Labour Organization
Flag State Date of removal Date of readmission Notes
Austria
Austria 13 March 1938[21] 24 June 1947[135] Following the Anschluss on 12 March 1938, Austria was removed from membership of the ILO.[136] In July 1947 the International Labour Conference confirmed Austria's readmission to the ILO.[137][138]
Ethiopia
Ethiopia 1939[21] 1943[21] Following the annexation of Ethiopia by Italy, the country was removed from the membership list of the ILO between 1939 and 1942,[21] however, the country is still considered to have held membership since first joining on 28 September 1923.[139]
Estonia
Estonia 1946[21] 13 January 1992[140] In August 1940 the Baltic states were occupied and subsequently annexed as new republics of the Soviet Union. This action effectively terminated the Baltic states' membership, with the ILO considering this termination "definitive" in 1946.[21] Following the declarations of independence by the Baltic states in the northern spring of 1990, the ILO indicated that an admission process was required, although this was acknowledged as readmission.[141]
Latvia
Latvia 1946[21] 3 December 1991[142]
Lithuania
Lithuania 1946[21] 4 October 1991[143]

Former non-sovereign state members[edit]

Joseph Stalin (left) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (right), Yalta, February 1945

The ILO constitution indicates that members must be sovereign states (initially, members of the League of Nations or, after 1945, members of the United Nations).[144] This provision was affirmed on 26 August 1930 when the Permanent Court of International Justice ruled that Danzig, whose external relations were under Poland's control, was inadmissible to the ILO.[145] Despite this ruling, three non-sovereign states, prior to achieving sovereign status, were for various periods admitted as members of the ILO.[126]

Former non-sovereign state members of the International Labour Organization
Flag State Period of non-sovereign state status Notes
Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic 28 April 195425 December 1991 During the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed that the USA and the USSR would each be entitled to two extra seats in the soon to be established United Nations. The USSR nominated the Byelorussian SSR and the Ukrainian SSR to the UN, which resulted in these two non-sovereign state entities achieving ILO membership.[15] The USA never exercised the option for extra seats at the UN.[146] With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus and Ukraine became the successor states for the purposes of membership.
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic 12 May 195425 December 1991
United Nations Namibia 3 October 197821 March 1990 Namibia was admitted as the 136th full member in 1978 following a request from the United Nations Council for Namibia despite not being an independent state at the time.[147]

Former members[edit]

Stamp issued by the GDR (East Germany) commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the ILO

A "+" and blue background indicates an ILO founding member.

Former member states of the International Labour Organization
Flag State Date of admission Date membership ceased Notes
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia + 28 June 1919 31 December 1992[148] Following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the country ceased to be a member. Neither the Czech Republic nor Slovakia were considered to be a successor state for the purposes of membership and both were required to be admitted as new members.[148]
East Germany
German Democratic Republic 1 January 1974[149] 3 October 1990[150] Following the reunification of Germany, the GDR ceased to be a member.[150]
South Yemen
People's Democratic Republic of Yemen 1969[151] 22 May 1990 Following the unification of Yemen, the PDRY ceased to be a member.[152]
South Vietnam
Republic of Vietnam 1950[21] July 1976[48] Ceased to be a member following incorporation into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Soviet Union
Soviet Union 18 September 1934[153] February 1940[99] Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, membership passed to the Russian Federation as the successor state.[38]
26 April 1954[100] 25 December 1991
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia + 28 June 1919 27 April 1992 Admitted as the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs.[6] Following the dissolution of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the country ceased to be a member.

UN member states not members of the ILO[edit]

United Nations member states not members of the International Labour Organization
Flag State Notes
Andorra
Andorra In 2002, the Committee on the Rights of the Child sought clarification on Andorra's non-membership in the ILO.[154] The December 2020 report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council recommended that Andorra join the ILO;[155] in response the government indicated that it would consider the recommendation.[156]
Bhutan
Bhutan In August 2020, Labour Minister Ugyen Dorji indicated that although discussions had taken place for more than a decade, there was no plan to join ILO.[157]
North Korea
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea The June 2019 report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council recommended that DPRK join the ILO;[158] in response, the government noted the recommendation.[159]
Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein In 2018, Liechtenstein indicated that in the future it did not intend to become a member of the ILO, claiming the country's labour standards exceeded the stipulations of ILO instruments.[160]
Federated States of Micronesia
Micronesia The March 2021 report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council recommended that Micronesia join the ILO.[161]
Monaco
Monaco The December 2018 report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council recommended that Monaco join the ILO;[162] the government stated that discussions remained ongoing since the last review in 2014 and that ILO's standards on trade union rights and Monaco's policy of priority employment for locals remained of concern.[163]
Nauru
Nauru In 2011, the government of Nauru advised the United Nations Human Rights Council there was no intention to become party to the Conventions of the ILO.[164]

UN non-member observer states and the ILO[edit]

Silvano Maria Tomasi, Apostolic Nuncio, speaking to the International Labour Conference, June 2014. ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, is seated at right.
United Nations non-member observer states and the International Labour Organisation
Flag State Notes
Vatican City
Holy See Based on an unofficial agreement reached in 1926, the Vatican nominates a special advisor to the ILO Director-General on social and religious matters.[165]
State of Palestine
State of Palestine United Nations General Assembly resolution 67/19 accorded non-member observer status to the state of Palestine, which gives the right of participation in the General Assembly and the other organs of the United Nations.[166] The ILO conducts a technical cooperation programme and other initiatives in Palestine.[167]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The three older existing organizations are the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine (1815), the International Telecommunication Union (1865) and the Universal Postal Union (1874).[2][3] The ITU and the UPU are the oldest and second-oldest pre-existing UN agencies, respectively.[4][5]
  2. ^ "Adopted on 20 June 1974 by 224 votes in favour, 0 against, with 122 abstentions"[114]
  3. ^ The vote on 12 June 1975 was 246 in favour, 35 against and 66 abstentions.[115][116]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Ashford & Hall 2018, p. 620.
  2. ^ Wallace & Singer 1970, p. 250.
  3. ^ Arsenault 2017, p. 202.
  4. ^ "The oldest organization of the UN system, the International Telecommunication Union celebrates 150th anniversary". mpo.cz. Ministry of Industry and Trade. 26 May 2015. Archived from the original on 22 September 2022.
  5. ^ Kille & Lyon 2020, p. 81.
  6. ^ a b c d "Meeting of the Government Members of the Working Party on Structure" (PDF). Internatrional Labour Organization. Geneva. 22 November 1976. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
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  51. ^ Schermers & Blokker 2011, p. 99.
  52. ^ Osieke 1985, pp. 30–31.
  53. ^ Osieke 1985, p. 38.
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  62. ^ Plata-Stenger 2020, p. 224.
  63. ^ Ingulstad & Lixinski 2018.
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  67. ^ Tosstorff 2013, pp. 2–4.
  68. ^ a b c Sengenberger 2019.
  69. ^ Tosstorff 2013, pp. 15–19.
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  72. ^ a b c Wehrli 2015, p. 43.
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  76. ^ Tollardo 2016, p. 215.
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  78. ^ "Italy and the International Labour Organisation" (PDF). Official Bulletin. International Labour Office. 27 (1): 89–93. December 1945. ISSN 0378-5882.
  79. ^ "International Labour Standards country profile: Honduras". International Labour Organization. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  80. ^ Marcouiller & Robertson 2009, p. 190.
  81. ^ "Opening and Closure of the ILO Tokyo Branch Office (1919–1939)". International Labour Organization. 23 April 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
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  83. ^ Magliveras 1991, p. 59.
  84. ^ Burns 1935, pp. 45–47.
  85. ^ Thomann 2018, pp. 341–342.
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  102. ^ Osakwe 1972, p. 69.
  103. ^ Jacobson 1960, pp. 405–406.
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  112. ^ Schwebel 1971, p. 137.
  113. ^ Melanson 1979, p. 50.
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  121. ^ Beigbeder 1979, p. 230.
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Sources[edit]