International labour standards are universal instruments adopted by the international community and reflecting common values and principles on work-related issues. While member States can choose whether or not to ratify any conventions, the ILO considers it important to keep track of developments in all countries, whether or not they have ratified them.
Under article 19 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organization "(...) Members shall report to the Director-General of the International Labour Office, at appropriate intervals as requested by the Governing Body on the position of their law and practice in regard to the matters dealt with in unratified Conventions and in Recommendations.(...)". On this basis, "the ILO Governing Body selects each year the Conventions and Recommendations on which Members are requested to supply reports. These reports, as well as those submitted under articles 22 and 35 of the Constitution by the States parties to the Conventions concerned, allow the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (...) to establish General Surveys on the effect given, in law and in practice, to the instruments considered".
These surveys allow the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) "to provide guidance on the scope of instruments, examine difficulties raised by governments and social partners as standing in the way of their application, and indicate possible means of overcoming obstacles to their implementation".