Government of Trinidad and

History and Impact of the ILO on Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean

History of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) - Trinidad and Tobago Relations and the Impact of the ILO on Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.


History and background of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) was founded in 1919 as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended the First World War to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace cannot be achieved without social justice. The idea of regulating labour at an international level gradually gained favour throughout the 19th century. The First World War marked a watershed in the movement: the Paris Peace Conference that opened on 29 January 1919 established the Commission on International Labour Legislation to draft the constitution of a permanent international organisation. The text adopted on 11 and 28 April, 1919 under the heading “Labour” became Part XIII of the Treaty of Versailles, or the ILO Constitution. The Paris Peace Conference adopted the Treaty of Versailles in its entirety on 28 June 1919.

The ILO aims to ensure that it serves the needs of working women and men by bringing together governments, employers and workers to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.  The ILO is the only tripartite UN Agency that gives an equal voice to workers, employers and governments of 187 member states to ensure that the views of the social partners are closely reflected in labour standards and in shaping policies and programmes. Referred to as the “guardian of labour standards”, the Organisation has worked with member states to carry out activities to ensure that universal protection of human and labour rights are sustained.

The ILO’s Secretariat has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and a global network of technical experts and field offices in more than 40 countries.

In support of its goals, the ILO offers unmatched expertise and knowledge about the world of work, acquired over 100 years of responding to the needs of people everywhere for decent work, livelihoods and dignity. It serves its tripartite constituents - and society as a whole - in a variety of ways, including:

  1. The creation of international labour standards backed by a unique system to supervise their application. These standards take the form of instruments; mainly Conventions, Recommendations and Protocols. ILO Conventions are international treaties, subject to ratification by ILO Member States. Once a Convention is adopted by the ILO General Conference, it is open for ratification by all Member States. A Convention enters into force one year after two Member States have ratified it. The ratification process is lengthy. It can take several years for a Member State to decide to ratify, or not to ratify a Convention. After a Member State ratifies a Convention, it has to adapt its national legislation to meet the (generally higher) level of the Convention provisions, and then implement them at the national level and it becomes subject to legally binding international obligations. Recommendations are non-binding instruments – often dealing with the same subjects as Conventions – which set out guidelines orienting national policy and action. Protocols partially revise Conventions, but Protocols are also open to ratification by a State already bound to the Convention being revised. There are currently 190 Conventions, 206 Recommendations and 6 Protocols covering a broad range of subjects including, but not limited to: child labour, domestic workers, HIV and AIDs, hours of work, conditions of work, strengthening of labour administration and labour inspection, employment promotion and vocational guidance/training, social security, workers’ occupational health and safety, adequate work conditions at sea and protection of migrant workers. A full list of the Conventions ratified by Trinidad and Tobago, as of 2019, is appended to this document;

  2. The formulation of international policies and programmes to promote basic human rights, improve working and living conditions, and enhance employment opportunities;

  3. An extensive programme of international technical cooperation formulated and implemented in an active partnership with constituents, to help countries put these policies into practice in an effective manner;

  4. The provision of access for member states to research, training and education and publication programmes to help advance these matters.

 The 50th Anniversary of the ILO (1969)

During its 50th Anniversary, the International Labour Organisation indicated that the central goal for the next decade was to “campaign for a massive increase in employment”, and that unemployment and underemployment should be given top priority on the list of issues to be solved. Also mentioned was the launch of a world employment programme, targeted at American and Asian governments, to enable them to initiate and implement policies that would generate higher levels of employment. The Organisation claimed some degree of success in this area but indicated that there was much more to undertake. Though, in a broader context, it has continued through the other half of the century to make credible inroads in this area by creating more programmes, awareness and consultation for member countries.


The impact of the ILO on the Caribbean

For many years, the Caribbean was economically, socially and politically attached to various metropole countries such as Britain, Spain and Portugal. One by one, however, countries gained independence. Many of these English speaking countries became members of the International Labour Organisation, including Trinidad and Tobago (in 1963). In 1969, the Organisation cemented its commitment to the region by establishing an ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean. This office, which is currently located at 6 Stanmore Avenue, Port-of-Spain reports directly to the ILO’s Regional Director of the ILO’s Regional Office of Latin America and the Caribbean in Lima, Peru, and it serves 13 member States and 9 non-metropolitan territories of the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean. Through the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development, the Government contributes 30% of the monthly rent for ILO accommodation in Port of Spain.

Much of the Office’s technical cooperation and advisory work focuses on areas of compliance with global labour conventions. Its technical assistance is given to ministries and other governmental agencies, trade unions and employers’ groups and relates to avenues geared towards the implementation of labour standards in those respective states and territories. Extensively, it renders aid in areas such as the legal framework for labour administration, labour legislation, industrial relations, working conditions, labour inspection, employment planning and policy development, the organisation of a national system of labour administration and recent trends in labour administration.

In 1993, a Caribbean Multidisciplinary Advisory Team was created to enhance the region’s technical support. This technical support included policy advice to government and employers’ and workers organisations and aimed to facilitate training, technical workshops and seminars, to undertake research, to provide information and to develop and execute technical cooperation projects.

One of the first technical cooperation projects undertaken in the Caribbean was the five-year Cooperatives project sponsored by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). Since then, other funding has allowed many regions to develop country status and others to continue experiencing growth by similar donor-funded projects, in areas related to workers’ education, occupational safety and health, labour management relations, child labour and labour legislation.

The ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, adopted by the International Labour Conference in 1998, at this point became the mainstay for member countries to inculcate into their national law and practice the following principles:

  • The rights of freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
  • The elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour;
  • The effective abolition of child labour; and
  • The elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Recalling that Conventions and Recommendations are the instruments used to set international labour standards, the ILO’s annual Conference also adopts other types of texts, including declarations. A declaration is a resolution of the International Labour Conference used to make a formal and authoritative statement and reaffirm the importance which the constituents attach to certain principles and values. Thus, a Declaration does not bring about new principles; it clarifies existing ones and adapts their application to political and structural change, thus maintaining the relevance of the work of the Organisation. The above-mentioned principles became fundamental rights and were also reflected by Conventions, which in turn became the ILO’s Fundamental Conventions (there are 8 in total). All member states of the region ratified the following Fundamental Conventions; Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87), Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98) and Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105).


Trinidad and Tobago and the ILO

Trinidad and Tobago on the Governing Body of the ILO

The Governing Body is the executive body of the ILO that takes decisions on ILO policy, decides the agenda of the International Labour Conference, adopts the draft Programme and Budget of the Organisation for submission to the Conference, and elects the Director-General. It comprises 56 titular members (28 Governments, 14 Employers and 14 Workers) and 66 deputy members (28 Governments, 19 Employers and 19 Workers). Elections are held every 3 years during the International Labour Conference (ILC) in June and all member states of the ILO are eligible to vote for Regular and Deputy members of the Governing Body. The current Director-General, Mr. Guy Ryder took office on October 1, 2012.

Ten of the Regular Government seats are permanently held by States of chief industrial importance - Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The other forty-six (46) Government seats are elected and are distributed among the following geographical regions: Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe.

The Americas Group comprises Canada and the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC). Trinidad and Tobago has been elected to serve as the Titular Member for the Caribbean sub-grouping many times, which is a tremendous responsibility on the Government.

Trinidad and Tobago was a Titular Member of the Governing Body from 1999-2002, 2011-2014 and 2014-2017. Our nation served as a Deputy Member of the Governing Body from 2005-2008; during which, Trinidad and Tobago was selected to serve on a number of important Committees of the Governing Body to assist in fulfilling the mandates of these Committees. These are as follows:

  • Programme, Financial and Administrative Committee – Regular Member;
  • Committee on Employment and Social Policy – Regular Member;
  • Committee on Technical Co-operation – Regular Member;
  • Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards – Substitute Member; and
  • Committee on sectoral and technical meetings and related issues – Substitute Member.

Benefits of membership on the Governing Body:

Membership of the Governing Body has provided Trinidad and Tobago with a deeper understanding of the operations of the ILO as well as contemporary and emerging international labour issues. Specific benefits included:

  • contribution to the elections in 2012 and 2016 of the incumbent ILO Director-General, Mr. Guy Ryder;
  • enhancement of the profile of Trinidad and Tobago as a leader on labour issues;
  • highlighting of the peculiar challenges of small-island developing states;
  • contribution to securing avenues of support for developing countries;
  • enhancement of the profile of Trinidad and Tobago as a sovereign state committed to good governance, social justice and the improvement of living standards for its citizens;
  • strengthening of relationships with countries of the Caribbean and Latin America and the Caribbean; and
  • provision of capacity-building for the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development.

Participation of Trinidad and Tobago in Meetings/Activities of the ILO

Trinidad and Tobago participates actively in ILO meetings/activities. Participation in meetings of the ILO affords the opportunity for Trinidad and Tobago to contribute ideas and gain insights with respect to the discussions on a variety of labour-related matters, to allow for the presentation of views on behalf of the country and to strengthen the voice of the Caribbean region, to build capacity and to allow for knowledge sharing and to provide Trinidad and Tobago with the opportunity to build alliances with quadripartite partners. The Government or tripartite Delegation, typically led by the Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development/Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development, participates in the following meetings:

  • International Labour Conference – held annually in June and is attended by a tripartite Delegation;
  • Americas Regional Meeting – Held once every four years (last ARM was held in October 2018) and is attended by a tripartite Delegation;
  • Caribbean Ministers of Labour Meeting – Held biennially and the Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development leads the Delegation;
  • Tripartite Meetings/Workshops/Seminars – Held every few months and gives member states the opportunity to send their most appropriate experts to workshops that focus on a variety of issues. For instance, there are Meetings of Experts that take place frequently in Geneva; there was a Meeting of Experts to adopt Guidelines on Decent Work in Public Emergency Services that took place in April 2018.

Technical Assistance provided to Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago enjoys a fruitful and robust relationship with the ILO and has been the beneficiary of many technical assistance opportunities in the past. One of the first requests made by the Trinidad and Tobago government to the International Labour Organisation was assistance in the formulation of the Industrial Stabilisation Act.

The International Labour Organisation has added critical areas of its work to the social and economic fabric of Trinidad and Tobago. Some other examples of the ILO’s influence on Trinidad and Tobago are as follows:

  1. The Establishment of a Labour College - 1966
    After the implementation of the Industrial Stabilisation Act, it was recognised that there was a need for training and development of the trade unions. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the National Labour Congress sought assistance from the International Labour Organisation in the area of education and labour studies. Primarily, practitioners had to utilise correspondence courses. However, as the number of unions increased, the government decided on a Labour Education Centre at the University of the West Indies. On October 19, 1966, the Cipriani Labour College was established as the labour college institute. This College, located in Valsayn and in Tobago, is still in operation and offers a plethora of labour and co-operative related courses to citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, strengthening our industrial relations human capacity.

  2. The placement Service for graduation for Youth Camps - 1971
    The Government of Trinidad and Tobago requested the assistance of the International Labour Organisation to improve the employability of trainees at various youth camps throughout Trinidad and Tobago. This exercise was a three-fold activity. The representatives were able to provide expertise in training, suggestions in placement opportunities and also offer training for the new post of placement officers. Trainees also had access to eventual placement in industries and were provided with the opportunity to become self-employed.

  3. The introduction of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) - 1967

    In June 1967, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago requested the help of an ILO expert to draw a proposal for the size and shape of the National Insurance Scheme. Expertise advice was required on treating with matters related to retirement, survivorship, invalidity, employment injury, sickness and maternity. The proposal was meant to consider and provide benefit for persons working for employers to be insured as well as self-employed persons to be included at a later stage. The Scheme would be compulsory, without contracting out or excluding groups of employers or employees. The intention was that contributions and benefits would be earnings-related and that the pooling of risks would be as extensive as possible.

  4. Establishment of a Vocational Rehabilitation and placement of the disabled - 1965

    The Trinidad and Tobago Society for Rehabilitation of the Disabled opened its doors to members of the public on December 5, 1964. The centre was created arising out of the Lochhead Report, to investigate the after-care, rehabilitation and employment of hospital patients. The Centre focused on welfare, education, training and employment. The work of the Trinidad and Tobago Society for Rehabilitation of the Disabled was complemented by the work of other public and voluntary organisations including the Blind Welfare Association, the Princess Elizabeth Home for the Physically Handicapped, the Lady Hochoy Home, Goodwill Industries, the Association of the Prevention of Tuberculosis and the Association in Aid of the Deaf.

  5. Occupational Safety and Health

    Following an agreement between the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the United Nations Development Programme, dated 18 October 1972, the International Labour Office, acting as an executive agency, was requested to provide expert assistance in occupational safety and health for a period of six months with a view to advising and assisting the factory inspectorate of Trinidad and Tobago’s then Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Co-operatives in the development of its occupational safety programme. Work commenced on 24 May 1973 and extended until June 1975. This work was influential in the development of Trinidad and Tobago’s current OSH policies.

  6. Strengthening of the National Training Board in aspects of Curriculum and learning material development - 1989

    With the help of the International Labour Organisation, the Curriculum and Learning objectives were enhanced for the National Training Board. The goals of the project were to assist the National Training Board (NTB) to refine and update existing vocational and technical education programmes, develop new training programmes and improve the existing training modules. The outcome of the project contributed to the development and supply of a skilled workforce with Technical Vocational training, needed by the public and private sectors of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

In more recent years, technical assistance has also been provided in a number of areas, a few of which are mentioned below:

  • Development and Implementation of the National Workplace Policy on HIV and AIDs;
  • Review of the Co-operative Societies Act;
  • Reform of Labour Legislation in Trinidad and Tobago;
  • Assistance with the improvement of Trinidad and Tobago’s labour market information system (implementation of the LMIS.STAT and the Labour Administration Application 2.0);
  • Development of policies related to Labour Migration and Child Labour;
  • A review of the On the Job Training Programme and its operations and how improvements can be made going forward; and
  • General Information and Knowledge sharing.

ILO 144 Tripartite Consultative Committee

The ILO 144 Tripartite Consultative Committee was established by Cabinet in May 1996 to fulfil the requirements of ILO Convention No. 144 on Tripartite Consultations (International Labour Standards), 1976, which was ratified by Trinidad and Tobago in 1995. The Committee is tripartite in nature and comprises government, employers and workers groups.

The Work of the Committee is critical to the Government’s approach of people-centred development and the promotion of decent work in which labour standards are the foundational guidelines. The Committee is an important mechanism for tripartite deliberations on ILO issues, inclusive of consultation on reports to the ILO on ratified and unratified instruments, the monitoring and implementation of Conventions and support for the fulfilment of Trinidad and Tobago’s obligations to the ILO.


Celebration of the ILO Centenary: Future of Work Initiative

In commemoration of its birth and purpose, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) will celebrate its centenary in the year 2019. The “Future of Work Initiative” has been undertaken as the centrepiece for the ILO activities which will supplement the centenary in 2019.

The International Labour Organisation indicated that the world is changing rapidly as a result of demographic shifts, youth unemployment, global influences such as climate change, and technological innovation. There is a fear that work in the future may be become scarce because of technology.

The ILO has the opportunity to carry forward its mandate for social justice into its second century, which will require renewal of the ILO’s methods of work. In light of the opportunity for ILO constituents to give strategic direction, purpose and content to the Organisation, there is a need for decisive action and cohesiveness amongst tripartite groups.

The ILO urged member states to develop a clear understanding of the transformation that is taking place in the world of work today in order to begin aligning their policies and practices to meet these changes, thereby ensuring global commitment to a shared vision of decent work for all.

The Century Celebration will be the culmination of a process that began in 2015 with the ILO’s Director-General’s Report on the Future of Work Centenary Initiative to the International Labour Conference, followed by a series of national dialogues in ILO member States. The Report included a three-step implementation plan on the Future of Work Initiative.


Implementation Plan of the Future of Work Initiative

The Future of Work Initiative involves a three-step implementation plan, outlined as follows:

  1. The first stage looks at the widest possible engagement of multipartite constituents, international organisations, research institutions, universities, civil society and individual personalities in the provision of input on “centenary conversations”. These centenary conversations include work and society, decent jobs for all, the organisation of work and the governance of work. In 2016, the Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development of Trinidad and Tobago hosted a National Forum on the Future of Work in Trinidad and Tobago, which assisted in ensuring that the views and voice of Trinidad and Tobago on the future of work were recorded with the ILO as it moved towards the celebration of its centenary.

  2. The second stage sought to establish a High-Level Global Commission on the Future of Work, which was mandated to consider the outputs from the centenary conversations. These outputs were addressed at the 108th Session of the Conference in June 2019 (called the Centenary Conference).

  3. The final stage requires that all member states host ILO centenary events throughout the first half of the year, in accordance with historical and commemorative components that may be designated by national tripartite constituents. The ILO Centenary Committee, consisting of the tripartite partners and overseen by the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development, was appointed with a view to producing recommendations in this regard.



APPENDIX - Conventions Ratified by Trinidad and Tobago.

What is a Convention?

An international labour convention is a treaty which is designed to be ratified by Members of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).  Member States do so by complying with all its provisions and reporting regularly to the ILO. These reports are sent to an independent committee and also a Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations.  The Committee of Experts then publishes its main findings in a report which then becomes the basis of discussions at the annual conference, between the governments concerned and a tripartite committee of representatives of governments, employers and workers.

The following conventions have been ratified by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

  1. C016 - Medical Examination of Young Persons (Sea) Convention, 1921 (No. 16)
    This Convention is adamant that no young person under the age of 18 shall be employed on a vessel without tendering a medical certificate confirming fitness for work.  A doctor must issue the certificate and which must be renewed within 12 months.

  2. C019 - Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation) Convention, 1925 (No. 19)
    Each Member of the International Labour Organisation which ratifies this Convention undertakes to grant to the nationals of any other Member State which shall have ratified the Convention, who suffer personal injury due to industrial accidents happening in its territory, or to their dependents, the same treatment in respect of workmen's compensation as it grants to its nationals.

    This equality of treatment shall be guaranteed to foreign workers and their dependants without any condition as to residence. About the payments which a Member or its nationals would have to make outside that Member's territory in the application of this principle, the measures to be adopted shall be regulated, if necessary, by special arrangements between the Members concerned.

  3. C029 - Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)
    Forced labour is determined when an individual is required to provide labour or services against their will, under threat of punishment. This type of work or service is extracted from the individual involuntarily.  This individual is constrained and therefore does not consider himself/herself free to discontinue working or to leave the job because of threats, coercion or deception.  On a global front, forced labour is said to be modern-day slavery in which millions of people around the world are affected.  This type of forced labour is associated with human trafficking. Forced labour can be found in agricultural, construction and hospitality industries as well as in domestic work. 

  4. C081 - Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81)
    This Convention relates to industrial, commercial and non-commercial (Protocol of 1995) workplaces. It ensures compliance with employment standards by maintaining and promoting a decent condition of work through an efficient and effective labour system.  This system consists of several labour laws which outline conditions of work and the protection of workers. Apart from law enforcement, the primary function of labour inspection is to contribute to the development and implementation of a sustained culture of prevention in all aspects of the workplace.  Both branches together administrate education and enforcement in areas of work such as industrial relations, wages, general conditions of work as well as occupational safety and health.

  5. C085 - Labour Inspectorates (Non-Metropolitan Territories) Convention, 1947 (No. 85)
    Convention No. 85 provides that labour inspection services consisting of suitably trained inspectors shall be maintained in non-metropolitan territories. It provides that workers and their representatives shall be afforded every facility for communicating freely with inspectors, that inspectors shall be required to inspect conditions of employment at frequent intervals and that they are authorised by law to exercise certain specified powers.

  6. C087 - Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87)
    Convention No. 87 affords the individual the right to join or leave a group voluntarily as well as the right to come together with other individuals collectively to express, promote and pursue and defend common interest.   In accordance with this Convention, Trinidad and Tobago’s legislation, that is, Section 4 (j) of the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago, acknowledges the right of citizens’ freedom of association and assembly. While the Constitution does not explicitly reference trade unions, the Industrial Court acknowledges the rights of persons to join a trade union.

  7. C097 - Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 97) has excluded the provisions of Annexes I to III
    This Convention indicates that the government must maintain a database to assist migrants in gaining employment and in providing them with accurate information. According to the Convention, migrants shall enjoy adequate medical attention and good hygiene conditions while travelling and on arrival. They are to be treated no less favourably than citizens with regards to remuneration, trade union membership, accommodation, social security and employment taxes.

  8. C098 - Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98)
    The Convention, once ratified, ensures the right of an employee to freely choose to organise and be represented by a trade union of their choice, who shall bargain on behalf of the employee. The Convention helps to safeguard and promote these rights.  Convention No. 98 protects against the act of anti-union discrimination as well as ensures the right for them to interface with each other. It also provides employees with the protection to attend union duties without fear of dismissal.  Collective bargaining ensures that workers have an equal voice in a negotiation process towards the view of ensuring that the outcome is fair and equitable. In Trinidad and Tobago, this is recognised under the Industrial Relations Act, Chapter 88:01 Part V on collective agreements, which reinforces the right of workers to bargain collectively.

  9. C100 - Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100)
    The Convention concerning Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal Value, or Equal Remuneration Convention is the 100th International Labour Organisation Convention. Fundamentally, it endeavours to advance equal remuneration for work of equal value for men and women.

  10. C105 - Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105)
    This Convention prohibits forced or compulsory labour by the State for economic development purposes as well as forced labour as a means of political coercion or as punishment for the infringement of labour discipline.

  11. C111 - Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention,  1958 (No. 111)
    The Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation or Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention No.111 is one of eight International Labour Organization fundamental conventions. Essentially, it requires states to enable legislation prohibiting all forms of discrimination and exclusion on any basis including of race or colour, sex, religion, political opinion, and, national or social origin in employment.

  12. C122 - Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No. 122)
    The Convention requires, as a minor goal, the declaration and pursuit of an active policy designed to promote full employment with a view to stimulating economic growth and development, raising levels of living, meeting manpower requirements and overcoming unemployment and underemployment. This policy shall aim at ensuring that there is work for all who are seeking it; that such work is productive as possible and that there is freedom of employment. Each worker shall have the fullest possible opportunity to qualify for and use his or her skills and endowments in a job for which the worker is well suited, without discrimination.

  13. C125 - Fishermen's Competency Certificates Convention, 1966 (No. 125)
    The Convention requires ratifying States to establish standards of qualification for certificates of competency for the crew on board a fishing vessel and to organise and supervise the examination of those employed to ensure that they have the required set of qualifications. It also ensures that there is a set minimum age and it ensures that each worker has the professional experience necessary for each profession or that the worker has the competencies necessary for specific categories of work.

  14. C138 - Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Minimum age specified: 16 years
    This Convention posits that the minimum age for admission to employment for work is fifteen years while the minimum age for hazardous work is 18 years.  The Convention looks at the possibility of setting the minimum age at 14 years in countries whose economy and education system is not yet developed.

  15. C144 - Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 144)
    The tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) envisages a practical code of practice and procedures intended to ensure greater cooperation and social dialogue among tripartite constituents at an international level.  The partners are equally responsible for discharging of activities of the ILO which includes setting the agenda for labour conferences, ratifying international labour standard and supervising the application of these standards.  Ultimately, the partners provide stronger awareness and participation in matters relating to international labour standards and maintaining a culture of social dialogue on social and economic issues.

  16. C147 - Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 147)
    This Convention requires national administrations to have in place effective legislation on labour issues such as hours of work, medical fitness and seafarers' working conditions. 

  17. C150 - Labour Administration Convention, 1978 (No. 150)
    This Convention, once ratified, is based on the agreement by the social partners in defining the role, functions and organisation of their country’s national systems of labour administration. This agreement provides general guidelines with a view to the establishment of an institutional framework for the preparation, administration, control and review of national labour policies. Included in these guidelines are the dynamics of the labour administration systems, cultural diversity and the varying levels of economic and administrative development. The Labour Administration System is required to set out the fundamental principles and rights of workers.

  18. C159 - Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) Convention, 1983 (No. 159)
    The Convention sets forth the principles of national policy for the vocational rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities and provides for the setting up and evaluation of vocational guidance, vocational training, placement and unemployment services for persons with disabilities. The national policy shall aim at ensuring that appropriate vocational rehabilitation measures are made available to all categories of persons with disabilities, and at promoting employment opportunities for persons with disabilities in the open labour market. The policy shall be based on the principle of equality of opportunity between workers with disabilities and workers generally.

  19. C182 - Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)
    By ratifying Convention No. 182, a country commits itself to taking immediate action to prohibit and eliminate the worst forms of child labour.  These “forms” include the sale and trafficking, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour. Other cases involve children who are forced into prostitution and pornography. The list goes on to specify force or compulsion used to recruit children (child soldiers) for armed conflict.


A list of Ratifications for Trinidad and Tobago.






C029 - Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)

24 May 1963

In Force


C087 - Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87)

24 May 1963

In Force


C098 - Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98)

24 May 1963

In Force


C100 - Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100)

29 May 1997

In Force


C105 - Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105)

24 May 1963

In Force


C111 - Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111)

26 Nov 1970

In Force


C138 - Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138)Minimum age specified: 16 years

03 Sep 2004

In Force


C182 - Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)

23 Apr 2003

In Force


Governance (Priority)





C081 - Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81)

17 Aug 2007

In Force


C122 - Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No. 122)

19 Sep 2013

In Force


C144 - Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 144)

07 Jun 1995

In Force







C015 - Minimum Age (Trimmers and Stokers) Convention, 1921 (No. 15)

24 May 1963

Not in force

Abrogated by decision of the International Labour Conference at its 106th Session (2017)

C016 - Medical Examination of Young Persons (Sea) Convention, 1921 (No. 16)

24 May 1963

In Force


C019 - Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation) Convention, 1925 (No. 19)

24 May 1963

In Force


C050 - Recruiting of Indigenous Workers Convention, 1936 (No. 50)

24 May 1963

Not in force

Abrogated by decision of the International Labour Conference at its 107th Session (2018)

C065 - Penal Sanctions (Indigenous Workers) Convention, 1939 (No. 65)

24 May 1963

Not in force

Abrogated by decision of the International Labour Conference at its 107th Session (2018)

C085 - Labour Inspectorates (Non-Metropolitan Territories) Convention, 1947 (No. 85)

24 May 1963

In Force


C097 - Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 97)Has excluded the provisions of Annexes I to III

24 May 1963

In Force


C125 - Fishermen's Competency Certificates Convention, 1966 (No. 125)

14 Dec 1972

In Force


C147 - Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 147)

03 Jun 1999

In Force


C150 - Labour Administration Convention, 1978 (No. 150)

17 Aug 2007

In Force


C159 - Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) Convention, 1983 (No. 159)

03 Jun 1999

In Force