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Your guide to UN and UN documents and reports


International Labour Organization, ILO was founded in 1919 as part of the Treaty of Versailles. In 1946 it became a specialized agency of the UN. The ILO is headquartered in Geneva and has a system of field offices around the world.


The ILO is a labour organization with the goal of improving conditions for workers around the world. This is to be achieved by

  • creating strategies to promote basic human rights
  • improving labour standards in the workplace as well as living conditions
  • increasing employment opportunities.


The ILO has a unique tripartite structure, where member states are represented not only by governments but include delegates of employee and employer associations.

The ILO consists of three main bodies:

  1. The International Labour Conference
  2. The Governing Body
  3. International Labour Office.

The International Labour Conference

The International Labour Conference is the supreme body of the ILU. Delegations from all member states meet annually in June to

  • discuss social and labour questions
  • establish and approve international labour standards
  • adopt the working programmes and budget
  • elect the Governing Body.

One of the most important tasks of the Labour Conference is to adopt conventions and recommendations which will form international labour law.

The Governing Body

The Governing Body is the executive organ. It decides on policy, controls the International Labour Office and elects the Director-General.

The International Labour Office

The International Labour Office is the ILO secretariat with administrative and information services.

More on ILO

  • NORMLEX is a information system providing open access to the latest information on ILO international labour standards, as well as national labour and social security laws. It includes the NATLEX database and information contained in the APPLIS, ILOLEX and Libsynd databases.
  • ILO Library
    • Labordoc is the online catalogue of the ILO Library with an extensive collection of references to books, articles and reports in the social and labour fields. ILO publications in fulltext.
  • Global Compact and labour rights.

ILO was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 1969.

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library. UN official documents and open access publications, UN maps, UN voting data and speeches.
  • UN iLibrary. UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS. UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
  • Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
  • UNBIS Thesaurus is a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents.
  • Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
    • a list of all documents
    • a comprehensive subject index
    • an index to speeches
    • a voting chart of resolutions


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