On today in 1919, in Paris, France, the International Labor Organization (ILO) is founded being an independent, affiliated agency of the League of Nations.
The demand just and equal labor standards and enhanced operating and living conditions for the world’s workers had begun to be heard long prior to the outbreak of World War I. As the Industrial Revolution swept from France and Britain over the rest of Europe a lot more than the span of the 19th century, it totally altered the financial and social landscape of the continent (and sooner or later the planet). Among the first advocates of a global organization to modify labor have been Robert Owen, a Welsh socialist and the founder of the original, short-lived British trade union in 1833 Charles Hindley (1800-1857), a cotton spinner and person in the British parliament from 1853 to 1857 and Daniel Legrand, a French industrialist, philanthropist, and writer.
Though these 19th-century thinkers were before their time, the unparalleled destruction wrought by the Great War of 1914-1918 resulted in enhanced assistance between the world’s leaders for this organization, not merely to modify labor requirements for the increasing international population of industrial workers steadily, but additionally to preserve peace in the volatile atmosphere of the post-war globe. For U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, specifically, this peace-maintaining organization-the League of Nations-was probably the most critical element of the Versailles negotiations.
The creation of a global labor organization as another but affiliated agency of the League was noticed by its founders as a needed and important area of the League itself. The ILO Constitution, written among January and April 1919, by way of a commission of representatives from nine countries-Belgium, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States-and chaired by Samuel Gompers, head of the American Federation of Labour (AFL), ultimately became Part XIII of the Treaty of Versailles.
Its preamble began with a statement of purpose-The League of Nations has because of its object the establishment of universal peace, and this type of peace could be established only when it is based on social justice-and continued to construct the threefold motivation behind the creation of the ILO. First, there is a necessity to improve the situations of the normal worker, who without regulation was topic to exploitation by industrial management increasingly, like lengthy hours, low wages and harsh treatment. There was also a political motive: if circumstances didn’t boost, the developing discontent on the list of world’s workers threatened to explode into large-scale demonstrations of unrest and perhaps revolution, as had occurred in Russia in 1917 also to a smaller extent in Germany and Austria-Hungary near to the end of the war. Thirdly, devoid of universal requirements of labor that may be enforced across international borders, any national country that instituted social reform would uncover itself at a disadvantage economically.
The ILO as developed in April 1919 was a tripartite organization-half the members of its governing physique, the executive council, were representatives of different governments, 1-fourth have been employers’ representatives and something particular-fourth have already been workers’ representatives. The first annual International Labor Conference, which convened in Washington, D.C., in October 1919, issued the organization’s initial six conventions, which addressed, among other troubles, limitations on operating hours, unemployment, maternity minimum and protection functioning age. The following summer months, the International Labor Office, the ILO’s permanent secretariat, was create in Geneva, Switzerland.
Though the League of Nations faltered in the post-war years, the ILO flourished, even while its mission expanded from setting universal labor standards to guarding against a lot more common human rights violations worldwide and facilitating technical cooperation to greatly help creating nations. In 1946, following the Second World War, the ILO became the original specialized agency associated with the League’s replacement, the United Nations (UN). The original membership of 45 countries in 1919 grew to 121 in 1971 2 yrs earlier, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its founding in April 1969, the ILO was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.