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pp 1-32 | Cite as

The ILO as an Actor in International Economic Law: Looking Back, Gazing Ahead

  • Anne Trebilcock
Chapter
Part of the European Yearbook of International Economic Law book series

Abstract

This essay traces over time the tripartite International Labour Organization’s mission and means of action as they relate to international economic law since its founding in 1919. The article highlights key markers along the road to social justice, from the ILO’s constitutional origins to major Declarations (on the ILO’s mission and purpose, on fundamental principles and rights at work, and on decent work and social justice) to the recent ILO Centenary Initiatives. The interplay between the ILO’s work and that of international financial institutions as well as developments in areas such as green jobs in response to climate change, and business and human rights, are briefly explored. Lamenting the largely (and unnecessarily) divergent paths taken by international economic law and transnational labour law, the article identifies several possible avenues to bring them closer: techniques of general international law, use of opportunities created by the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and other ideas put forward by various observers on how the ILO—with its stress on social dialogue—can, in partnership with other multilateral institutions, be more effective to achieve decent work for all on a sustainable planet.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Trebilcock
    • 1
  1. 1.Labour Law Institute, Georg-August UniversityGöttingenGermany

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