Document Type : Article


Ph.D. in International Law, Faculty of Law and Political Science, Islamic Azad University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran


The International Labor Organization (ILO) is one of the oldest international organizations and with its unique tripartite structure, was established a century ago. The strategic purposes of the ILO, as the first UN specialized agency, have been to promote international labor standards (ILS), to pave the way for attaining decent work, to improve social security, and to strengthen tripartite bodies and structures. The ILO has adopted more than 200 Conventions. Despite its success, the ILO has received thousands of complaints on non-observance of the ILS. These complaints raise the question: what are the obstacles to observing the ILS? This research paper is based on the thesis that some challenges restrict the implementation of ILS. These challenges mainly relate to the extent of ILO jurisdiction, the lack of universal ratification of ILO Conventions, globalization, complexity of certain ILS and also their supervisory system. This paper, using a descriptive – analytical method, examines these challenges and suggests mechanisms to remove them.


  1. English

    1. A) Books
    2. Bronstein, Arturo (2009), International and Comparative Labour Law: Current Challenges, International Labour Organization (ILO).
    3. Dunkley, Grahan (2004). Free Trade Myth, Reality and Alternatives, published by David Philip.
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    5. Lal Das, Bhagirath (2003), The WTO and the multilateral trading system Past Present and Future, Zed books Ltd.



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    4. Andrees, Beate (2015), "The ILO; Successes, Difficulties and Problems in Reducing Forced Labour in Different Parts of the World", The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences Human Trafficking, Vol. April, pp. 17 – 21.
    5. Fenwick, colin & Kalula, Evance (2004). "Law and Labour market regulation in East Asia and Southern Africa: Comparative Perspectives", Development and Labour Monograph series Occasional Paper.
    6. Häberli, Christian (2017), "Labour Standard Enforcement through Economic Treaties", Available at SSRN:, Vol.1, No.15, pp. 6-10.
    7. Jackson, Gregory (2006), "Across Boundaries: The Global Challenges Facing Workers and Employment Research", British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol.51, No. 3.
    8. La Hovary, Claire (2014), "The informal economy and the ILO: A Legal Perspective", The International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, Vol. 30, pp. 391–412.
    9. Lyutov, Nikita (2014), "The ILO system of international labour standards and monitoring procedures: Too complicated to be effective?", Zbornik PFZ, Vol. 64, pp. 255-276.
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    11. Stone, Katherine (2006). "Flexibilization Globalization, and Privatization: Three Challenges to Labor Rights in Our Time", Osgoode Hall LJ, Vol. 44, No.1, pp. 77-104.
    12. Werner, Sengenberger (2019), "International labour Standards in the Global economy: Past, Present and Future", Polityka Społeczna, vol.46, 1(15), pp. 6-10.


    1. C) Websites
    2. Bernstein, Alexander. “Origin and Development of the International Society for Labour Law and Social Security” Found on the ILO’s Official Website at:
    3. Brewster,G. “In forces : WTO Trade and Labour Standards”
    4. Brown, Drusilla. “Labour Standards: Where do they belong on the International trade Agenda?”
    11. Huber and Weiss. “Competence of the International Labour Organization to regulate, incidentally, the personal work of employer”
    12. Mansoor, farklanda. “The WTO versus the ILO and the case of Child Labour”
    13. Panagariya, Arvind. “The return of Labour standards in the WTO?”
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    Persian Refrences in English:


    1. A) Books
    2. Araghi, Seyed Ezzatollah & Ranjbarian, Amir Hossain (2006), Developments of International Labour Law, Tehran: Institute of Labor and Social Security (In Persian).
    3. Bronstein, Arturo (2016), International and Comparative labour law, Translation by Saeed Reza Abadi and Asli Abbasi, Tehran: Derak Publication (In Persian).
    4. Sepehri, Mohammadreza (2014), International Labor Conventions, Tehran:Institute of Labor and Social Security (In Persian).
    5. Talaie, Farhad (2011), The law of international organizations, Tehran:Jungle Publication (In Persian).