National Commission on Labour (1967)||
32.29 Because the ILO Conventions lay down international labour standards, they cannot and do not take into account conditions peculiar to any country. The Conventions are not at all flexible; once ratified, they have to be implemented in full with all their legalistic implications but without leaving freedom of action on the part of national governments. Apart from these basic difficulties, there is another which is peculiar to countries with a federal structure with labour on the Concurrent List. We note that the USA with significantly higher labour standards, has ratified only 7 Conventions, almost all of them relating to seamen, a subject exclusively within the federal jurisdiction. They have not touched even a single Convention which may introduce conflicts in Federal-State relations. The position in Australia is almost similar. In this connection, the Conference of Asian Labour Ministers held in New Delhi in January, 1969, declared as follows :
"The Conference takes this opportunity to invite the attention of the ILO to the need for a review of some of the existing ILO Conventions with reference to their consistency with the needs and realities in the Asian countries, and to point out that if these member-States are to participate in the various ILO Conferences in a more meaningful and effective way, it is necessary to ensure that the subjects coming up for consideration at the International Labour Conferences and the standards proposed are of more direct relevance to the needs and conditions of the majority of the developing countries of the world."
32.30 International obligations which devolve on India as a result of our long association with the ILO have to be discharged in several directions : (i) adopting the aims and objects of the ILO for national action ; (ii) cooperating at the international and regional levels in the programmes of the ILO; and (iii) progressive implementation of the standards set up by the ILO. We feel that we have made adequate progress in all these directions and we hope that this process will gain momentum in future. Though there are difficulties in implementing many of the Conventions/Recommendations, it will give the working class in the country psychological satisfaction if Government declares its readiness to ratify and implement them to the satisfaction of the lLO's Expert Committee on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations.