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History of the ILO

History of the ILO

The ILO building. The statue of a miner in the foreground was a gift of the Government of Yugoslavia in 1939

Created by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, along with the League of Nations, the ILO traversed the Second World War with its principles, methods and goals not only intact but reiterated and reinforced. Through war and peace, depression and economic boom, decolonization and globalization, the ILO has brought together the actors of the world of work to forge solutions to some of the most pressing problems of our times and to offer ideas, options and policy instruments in the pursuit of social justice.

The research guide presents the history of the ILO from its beginnings to the present day. It briefly explains the most important events in its history, and provides access to the full text of the most important documents associated with that event. To supplement the ILO Chronology, the ILO Library has compiled selective bibliographies on the history of ILO, which lists the major research publications on the ILO's history.

(Photo: The ILO building. The statue of a miner in the foreground was a gift of the Government of Yugoslavia in 1939)

ILO video

Timeline