The International Labor Organization’s Department of Statistics
The Department of Statistics provides the ILO and the public with relevant, timely, and reliable labor statistics, facilitates the international comparability of labor statistics by developing international standards, and helps member states develop and improve their labor statistics with technical cooperation, assistance, and training. In doing so, it maintains strong professional relations with national statistical systems, especially central statistical agencies and ministries responsible for labor issues, and with statistics offices of other international organizations.
The activities of the Department of Statistics support the mandate of the ILO, a specialized agency of the United Nations, which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labor rights. It was founded in 1919 and is the only surviving major creation of the Treaty of Versailles, which brought the League of Nations into being. The ILO became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946. Unique in this history among U.N. organizations, the ILO has the same distinction with respect to its tripartite structure of governments, workers’, and employers’ organizations united in the cause of social justice and better living conditions for all.
The ILO formulates international labor standards in the form of conventions and recommendations; these set minimum standards of basic labor rights: freedom of association, the right to organize, collective bargaining, abolition of forced labor, equality of opportunity and treatment, and other standards regulating conditions across the entire spectrum of work-related issues. It provides technical assistance primarily in various fields of work and promotes the development of independent employers' and workers' organizations and provides training and advisory services to those organizations.
Labor statistics play an essential role in the efforts of ILO member states to achieve decent work for all and for the ILO’s support of these efforts. These statistics are needed for the development and evaluation of policies towards this goal and for assessing progress towards decent work. They are also an important tool for information and analysis, helping to increase understanding of common problems, explain actions, and mobilize interest.