Posted: 08.06.2023 17:00:00

UN Special Rapporteur urges ILO to avoid decisions provoking violation of UN Charter

This position was stated due to the fact that the governing bodies of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) are now proposing the member states of the organisation to decide on the introduction of unilateral restrictive measures against Belarus


In a document sent to the ILO, UN Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights Elena Dovgan underlined that the UN Charter effectively limits the right of other international organisations, including the International Labour Organisation, to impose sanctions against member states. It was the observance of obligations under the UN Charter that was the main reason for the removal of any reference to economic sanctions from the ILO Charter in 1946.

As Elena Dovgan notes in her appeal, her working experience of the Special Rapporteur in many countries that have been subject to sanctions confirms that the use of economic and financial restrictions, as well as the violation of relations in the academic, sports and cultural spheres, have a detrimental effect on human rights and increase unemployment and poverty, worsen working conditions, severely restrict access to basic commodities, including food and medicine, undermining government social programmes for those most in need, including women and children, the disabled and the elderly. Scientists, athletes, artists and small businesses also suffer from such unfair measures. Often they are excluded from initiatives of international co-operation, participation in international projects, competitions, conferences and programmes, thereby being deprived of the possibility for further development and additional financial resources.

The UN Special Rapporteur called on the ILO General Conference to avoid any steps that could be interpreted as encouraging or authorising ILO member states to take measures that are inconsistent with the UN Charter, stressing that ILO member countries should act in accordance with the goals and principles of the organisation, the main task which is the protection of labour and economic rights of workers.

Moreover, the expert urged the ILO to establish mechanisms to regularly monitor the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on economic, social and cultural rights.