18 September 2019
University of Helsinki Main Building, Consistorium Hall, Helsinki, Finland
This year, the ILO ‒ the oldest United Nations specialized agency ‒ celebrates its 100th anniversary. Unique because of its tripartite nature, this organization was established by the Treaty of Versailles, which ended the First World War in 1919, to promote social justice and humane work-ing conditions. A universal organization with the participation of not only governments but also employers’ and workers’ representatives was considered to be essential to the realization of peace and social justice. In today´s world, the ILO is challenged by pressing questions of open economies and global markets that appear to call for new approaches to international labour standards in order to give them a genuine voice and impact in workers’ lives in diverse contexts, and to enhance democratic mechanisms enabling that voice.
The University of Helsinki Faculty of Law joins the worldwide anniversary discussion of the achievements and role of the ILO and takes this as an opportunity to reflect on future challenges facing the organization.