It was agreed that an international body, whose main purpose was to help in the guidance of international labor relations, would be established in the future. The first annual conference of the newly created organization was took place on October 1919 i Washington D. and it is during this conference that there was the adoption of the first six international labor conventions. These conventions dealt with the working hours in industry, how to define and handle unemployment, maternity protection, the minimum age to work, night duties for women, as well as night duty for young people. The ILO has continued to not only expand these conventions, but has also ensured that it plays an active role as an advisor on labor to its constituent member states (Whaples, 2012). As a result, it has developed into one of the biggest providers of labor statistics in the world, the latter being an important tool through which member states are able to examine their evolution towards the improvement of their labor standards. This agency maintains a series of databases which cover over 200 countries all over the world; thus, it has the largest database of labor in the globe.One of the criticisms that have been leveled against the promotion of international labor standards is that they work towards the distortion of market forces and this normally brings about the inhibition of employment as well as income. According to some economists, the development of free trade on a global scale has the benefit of allowing countries to dedicate themselves to those activities in which they have an advantage when compared to others. As a result, these countries would be able to reap those benefits that would come to them through the exchange of their specialized products. The fact that international competition between countries is often based on the provision of cheap unskilled labor is hardly ever considered in the international labor conventions. It can therefore be said that the implementation of international labor conventions is detrimental to international competition since it works towards the increase in the cost of labor. This often results in the development where third world countries are left at a disadvantage, since their export economies are often diminished (Warnecke & De Ruyter, 2010). This criticism is often countered by supporters of international labor standards who state that the above criticism only objects to one particular aspect of the
Anner, M., & Caraway, T. (2010). International institutions and workers rights: Between labor standards and market flexibility. Studies in Comparative International Development, 45(2), 151-169.
Whaples, R. M. (2012). Odd couple: International trade and labor standards in history. Choice, 50(2), 329-330.
Warnecke, T., & De Ruyter, A. (2010). Positive economic freedom: An enabling role for international labor standards in developing countries? Journal of Economic Issues, 44(2), 385-392.
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