Labour and Migration

International Labour Organisation

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is a specialised Agency of the United Nations, created in 1919, to promote social justice as well as human rights and labour rights. The formation of its Constitution resulted in a tripartite organisation, the only one of its kind, bringing together representatives of Governments, Employers and Workers in its Executive.

Its main objectives are as follows:

  • Promote and realise standards and fundamental principles and rights at work
  • Create greater opportunities for women and wen to decent employment and income
  • Enhance coverage and effectiveness for social protection for all.
  • Strengthen tripartism and social dialogue


The ILO has three main bodies, namely: The International Labour Conference, the Governing Body and the Office which comprises of Governments’, Employers’ and Workers’ Representatives.

The International Labour Conference: meets once a year in June to consider the Report of the Director-General. Its delegation is tripartite in nature, that is, Governments, Employers and workers.

The Governing Body: this is the Executive Body; it meets three times a year in March, June and November. It 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 is composed of 56 Titular Members and 66 Deputy Members.

International Labour Office: is the Permanent Secretariat of the International Labour Organisation. Its operational headquarters; administration and management are decentralized in regional areas, and branch offices in more than 40 countries under the leadership of the Director-General.

Botswana joined the ILO in 1978. To date it has ratified 15 Conventions of which 8 are fundamental/core, 1 is Governance and 6 are Technical Conventions.

Fundamental/Core Conventions

  1. C029 – Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) Ratified on 05 June 1997
  2. C087 – Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87) Ratified on 22 December  1997
  3. C098 – Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98)Ratified on 22 December 1997
  4. C100 – Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) Ratified on 05 June 1997
  5. C105 – Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105) Ratified on 05 June 1997
  6. C111 – Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111) Ratified on 05 Jun 1997
  7. C138 – Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) Ratified on 05 June 1997
  8. C182 – Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Ratified on 03 Jan 2000.

Technical Conventions

  1. C014 – Weekly Rest (Industry) Convention, 1921 (No. 14) Ratified on 03 February 1988
  2. C019 – Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation) Convention, 1925 (No. 19)Ratified on 03 February 1988
  3. C095 – Protection of Wages Convention, 1949 (No. 95) Ratified on 05 June 1997
  4. C151 – Labour Relations (Public Service) Convention, 1978 (No. 151) Ratified on 22 December 1997
  5. C173 – Protection of Workers’ Claims (Employer’s Insolvency) Convention, 1992 (No. 173) Ratified on 05 June 1997
  6. C176 – Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995 (No. 176) Ratified on 05 June 1997.

Governance Convention

  1. C144-Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976(No.144) Ratified on 05 June 1997.

International labour standards are monitored through a supervisory system that helps to ensure that countries implement the conventions they ratify. The ILO regularly examines the application of Standards in the Member States and identifies an area where they could be better applied. Should any problems arise in the application of the standards, the ILO is available to assist countries through social dialogue and technical assistance. The Supervisory bodies of the ILO are the Committee of Experts on the application of Conventions and recommendations and the International Labour Conferences’ Tripartite Committee on the application of Conventions and Recommendations.

International Organisation for Migration

IOM was established in 1951. It is by far the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. The organization has 173 member states, and other 7 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries including Botswana. IOM is committed to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

Member States of the United Nations (UN), through the General Assembly in 2016 unanimously adopted a resolution approving the agreement to make the International Organization for Migration (IOM) a Related Organization of the UN. The Agreement outlines a closer relationship between IOM and the UN to strengthen the cooperation and enhance their ability to fulfil their respective mandates in the interest of migrants and the Member States. Through the Agreement the UN recognizes IOM as an indispensable actor in the field of human mobility. This includes the protection of migrants and displaced people in migration-affected communities, as well as in areas of refugee resettlement and voluntary returns, and incorporates migration in country development plans.

Benefits of being a member of the IOM

In the fragmented international dialogue on migration, membership in the IOM offers a forum to discuss issues with like-minded states. It also provides a platform for Botswana to influence other countries in migration management. An additional benefit of belonging to the IOM is the priority treatment for the operational services provided, which are wide-reaching and regarded as cost-effective.

IOM is also committed to capacity-building by working with a broad range of stakeholders, including government agencies at national and local levels, employers, trade unions, educational institutions, media, and ethnic community representatives. IOM offers technical support through training, advisory services and other capacity-building initiatives drawing on a range of best practices gained through its work.

Global Forum on Migration and Development

The idea of creating a global consultative forum on Migration and Development was proposed at the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (HLD) on 14-15 September 2006 at the General Assembly of the United Nations by the then Secretary-General of the UN, Mr Kofi Annan.

During the HLD, over 140 Member States discussed the global implications of international migration for economic and social development, the interaction between migration and development, and how better migration governance could contribute to the development and vice versa, a complex relationship of growing importance in view of the increasing migration flows.

There were widespread recognition and support in the UN for the continuation of an open and transparent dialogue on migration and development in an informal, non-binding and state-led framework that would promote practical, evidence-based outcomes and cooperation between governments

The objectives of the GFMD are:

  • To provide a venue for policy-makers and high-level policy practitioners to informally discuss relevant policies and practical challenges and opportunities of the migration-development nexus, and engage with other stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, experts and migrant organizations to foster practical and action-oriented outcomes at national, bilateral and international level;
  • To exchange good practices and experiences, which can be duplicated or adapted in other circumstances, in order to maximize the development benefits of migration and migration flows;
  • To identify information, policy and institutional gaps necessary to foster synergies and greater policy coherence at national, regional and international levels between the migration and development policy areas;
  • To establish partnerships and cooperation between countries and between countries and other stakeholders, such as international organizations, diaspora, migrants, academia etc., on migration and development;
  • To structure the international priorities and agenda on migration and development.


Under the Operating Modalities of the GFMD adopted in 2007, the Forum meets every year for an interactive and practice-oriented dialogue. It is attended by high-level and senior government policy-makers. A Report of Proceedings is prepared at the end of each Forum.

The supporting framework of the GFMD includes the following:

  • The Chair-in-Office: The host government assumes responsibility for the preparatory process and the implementation of each Forum. The Chair also supervises the GFMD Support Unit.
  • The Troika: composed of the outgoing Chair, the current Chair, and the forthcoming Chair.
  • The Steering Group: composed of a smaller number of governments that are firmly committed to offer sustained political and conceptual support to the Forum process and to the Chair-in-Office, and to ensure continuity of the process. The Steering Group meets at regular intervals in Geneva to consider and advice on all relevant policy issues pertaining to the smooth running of the Forum process. It may also create a thematic follow-up, working group.