Network of Homebased Workers
in South Asia

International Labour Convention on Homebased Worker

The International Labour Organisations (ILO) founded in 1919 is a specified agency of the United Nations Headquartered in Geneva; it is the only worldwide tripartite organisations in which workers’ and employers’ organizations are represented on equal terms with Governments.

The ILO’s main task is to lay down the international labour and social standards that improve the living conditions of the working population worldwide. . A Convention, once adopted by the ILO is the equivalent to an international treaty. It then has to be signed or ratified by the Country’s Government before it becomes legally binding in that country.

The ILO Home work Convention C-177 was adopted in 83rd Conference of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in June 1996 after long years of Lobbying and negotiations.

The detailed work on the Convention and Recommendation was carried out in a committee on Homebased work, made up of government, employer and trade union members. Detailed Discussions took place; the text was examined and amended clause by clause. Government views expressed in the Committee showed that serious considerations had gone into the question. A majority of European Union’s countries gave strong support to the Convention as did some key Governments from developing countries, in particular India and South Africa. Others, like the USA and Japan, expressed initial concern about particular clauses in the text but finally supported the Convention. And then the final vote was taken in the plenary session of the Conference.

The main aim of this Convention C-177 was that Homebased workers should be treated equally with other workers, particularly as regards:

The Homebased Workers right to establish or join organisations of their own choosing and to participate in the activities of such organisations;
Protection against discrimination in employment and occupation;
Protection in the field of occupational health and safety;
Statutory social security protection;
Access to training;
Minimum age for admission to employment or work; and
Maternity protection

The Convention is important for homebased workers because it gives them international recognition internationally. It sets minimum standards for pay and conditions of employment which can be translated into national policies or laws. The Recommendation (184) gives detailed guidance on how these standards can be applied and includes clauses which go beyond legal protection and suggests policies and programmes that can improve the lives of millions of unorganized Homebased workers.

The International Labour Convention C-177 has been ratified in the seven countries namely Finland( 17.06.1998), Ireland( 22.04.1999), Albania( 24.07.2002), The Netherlands( 31.10.2002), Argentina( 31.07.2006), Bulgaria(17.07.2009), Bosnia and Herzegovina( 18.01.2010)

(As approved by the Board of Trustees on 05.09.2014)


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Vision Statement

HomeNets in South Asia envisions a scenario in which Homebased Workers are visible, protected, promoted, empowered ..

Newsletter,Issue 1