Promoting jobs, protecting people

The ILO’s rights-based approach to economic and social development

The ILO takes a sustainable, rights-based approach to economic and social development, based on international labour standards, to address the root causes of decent work deficits. This makes the ILO ideally positioned to empower people, to formulate policies aimed at increasing productivity and facilitating access to jobs, and to promote human rights and eliminate human rights abuses in many fields such as child labour, forced labour and domestic work.

ILO activities in these areas have had an impact on millions of people in communities around the world. The ILO has helped free tens of thousands of forced labourers; it has improved the lives of a hundred million people worldwide by preventing children from being trapped in or entering child labour; and it has assisted over one million workers to ensure that all are treated equally in the workplace, regardless of their HIV status.

Jobs have been created through enterprise development and labour-intensive schemes, labour laws have been revised to provide better rights and protection for workers while maintaining competitiveness, and institutions have been established to facilitate dialogue between governments, employers and workers and to avoid costly labour disputes.