ILO Adopts Convention on Home Work

Stop Press: April 1999 Finland has become the first country to ratify the ILO Convention on Home Work.16p300c7

On 20th June, 1996, delegates to the Annual Conference of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) voted to adopt a Convention, supplemented by a Recommendation, on Home Work.

Picture of Homeworker
The adoption of a Convention by the ILO (Full Text) is a major victory for homeworkers, and all those who have been campaigning on their behalf, to win recognition that they are workers who should have the same protection and rights as other workers.

The Convention is intended to set an international standard. It still has to be translated into national law and practice and governments can ‘agree’ or ‘sign up’ to the Convention through the process known as ratification. Once a government has ratified the Convention, it has to ensure that national laws, policies and practice conform to the Convention, which then has the force of an international treaty.

By 21st June 1997, each member state of the ILO had to consider whether to ratify the Convention, (or in exceptional circumstances by 21st December). They also have to report to the Director-General of the ILO any measures taken. Ratification can also be done later.

In each country, we need to find out which part of our government has responsibility for this and what action has been taken. Depending on the situation in each country, we can then lobby, together with other organisations such as trade unions and women’s organisations, for ratification if possible, or otherwise for appropriate action to be taken in line with the Convention and Recommendation.

HomeNet Campaign

HomeNet is planning to monitor what is happening and would like to hear from you about any action taken and what the government’s attitude is to the Convention. We want to translate the Convention and Recommendation into as many languages as possible in order that it can be widely distributed, including to homeworkers themselves. If you have translated the Convention, please send a good copy to the HomeNet UK address so that we can make it available to others. We currently have copies in English, French, Spanish, Turkish, Russian, Arabic, German, Gujarati, Korean and Portuguese (Convention only).