Reflecting their commitment to cooperate on the implementation of ILO conventions and building on the ILO’s contribution to their reflection, Korea and the EU agreed at the 4th meeting of the Committee on Trade and Sustainable Development (CTSD) under the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) held in Seoul on 9 September 2015, to “launch a project under the Partnership Instrument to look into the implementation of ILO Convention no. 111, with the aim of better understanding the state of play of implementation in Korea and EU Member States, and identifying obstacles, lessons learned and best practices in order to enhance compliance”.


Korea-EU Free Trade Agreement

In 2011, the FTA between Korea and the EU entered into force. This agreement is the first EU FTA to include a fully developed Chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development, of which Article 13.4 reaffirms the Parties’ commitment to effectively implement the ILO Conventions that they have respectively ratified and sustained efforts to ratify the ILO Fundamental Conventions and other ILO Conventions that they have not yet ratified. They also commit to consult and cooperate on trade-related labour issues of mutual interest.

The state of ratification of the ILO Fundamental Conventions is a prominent topic in the Korea-EU dialogue on labour issues in the framework of the CTSD, which was set up as part of the FTA. Another prominent issue in the context of the Korea-EU dialogue is the implementation of ILO Fundamental Convention 111 of 1958 on the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Key objective

The main objective of the project is to contribute to enhancing the implementation of the Convention in both Korea and the EU Member States. In this perspective the comparative study developed and presented to Korean and EU stakeholders would emphasise the state of play, as well as key lessons learned and good practices of the implementation of Convention no. 111 and will draw a set of policy implications and suggestions for Korea, the EU and the EU Member States to overcome any challenges to compliance with the Convention.

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