How to Shape the Future Direction of Global Labour Governance

As the ILO celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2019, it is unavoidable to take stock of the effectiveness of its enforcement mechanisms. Although the ILO has proved its capacity to define, evaluate, and monitor international labour standards, it lacks tools to enforce compliance with ILO agreements. Procedural compliance, concerned with formal obligations such as reporting, seems to be on the decline. Substantive compliance, i.e. whether states have fulfilled obligations set out in an international instrument, is also unsatisfactory, especially in terms that ILO appears to be unable to respond to cases of non-compliance. As ILO has no effective mechanism to impose sanctions against countries that fail to comply with its agreements, many authors draw attention to the potential of the WTO in this regard. The findings complement existing research on possible future strategies related to both “the institutional approach” and “the integrated legislative approach”.