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International Labour Organization

The International Labour Organization (ILO) was founded in 1919 to promote social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, pursuing its founding mission that labour peace is essential to prosperity. The ILO became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946. Today, the ILO helps advance the creation of decent work for all women and men as well as the economic and working conditions that give working people a stake in lasting peace, prosperity and progress. The ILO is the international organization responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards in the form of conventions and recommendations setting minimum standards of labour rights. The ILO is the only ‘tripartite’ United Nations agency that brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers to jointly shape these standards, policies and programmes. Its main aims are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.

In Kosovo since August 1999

At a glance: ILO promotes decent work and social dialogue in Kosovo

The ILO has focused its work on the following areas to advance decent work opportunities for the people of Kosovo since 1999:

  • Developing a system for adult training and a network of seven regional training centres for young people and adults
  • Reforming the network of labour offices to deliver effective employment services and programmes
  • Promoting youth employment in Kosovo
  • Combating child labour with a focus on the worst forms of child labour
  • Strengthening the capacity of employers’ and workers’ organizations to address economic and social issues relating to the world of work
  • Enhance social dialogue frameworks and practice through strengthening the capacities of the social partners to engage effectively in social dialogue

Preventing child labour in Kosovo

Poverty pushes a high number of children in Kosovo to drop out of school and enter child labour as early as 10 years old. Working on a garbage dump or in agriculture, children risk their health and even their lives. For many of them, combining school and work is a major challenge. The ILO has supported efforts of Kosovo’s public institutions and social partners to eliminate child labour, with an emphasis on its worst forms.

This led to the formulation of the Kosovo Action Plan (KAP) for Prevention and Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL). The idea is to strengthen the response of public authorities, and workers’ and employers’ organizations to address child labour and raise awareness in communities and families. The Administrative Instruction 05/2013 on the Prevention and Prohibition of Hazardous Child Labour in Kosovo was approved in July 2014. It contains the updated Hazardous Child Labour List drafted with the help of the ILO.

Since March 2013, members of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce (KCC) are obliged to observe the ILO’s four fundamental labour principles, including the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, and the elimination of child labour, forced labour and discrimination at work.

The Chamber of Commerce, with ILO support, prepared reports on the situation of child labour in companies and in their supply chains in agriculture, construction, extractive industries and collection of scrap metal. The reports were used to mobilize members of the KCC to take effective measures to prevent child labour. As a result, forty members of KCC adopted codes of conduct on combating child labour in their supply chains and communities, while the KCC itself has approved its Strategy for Prevention and Elimination of Child Labour 2014-2020.

In addition, occupational safety and health issues were mainstreamed into the compulsory education (grades 8-9) and upper secondary school curricula. A curriculum on occupational and safety issues was prepared with ILO support and approved by the Ministry of Education Science and Technology. Advice to farmers about hazardous child labour in agriculture was also included in the training modules of agriculture advisory services provided by the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Rural Development.

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Present ILO activities in Kosovo

Recently, the ILO has provided capacity building services to workers’ organizations on ILO supervisory mechanism, gender equality and on organizational development, while the support to employers’ organizations focused on the role of employers’ organizations, collective bargaining and social dialogue.

Since October 2019 ILO has started implementing the project “Mapping, Awareness-Raising, and Policy Engagement (MAP’16) to accelerate action against child labour and forced labour”. The project focuses on five areas:

          Strengthening central and municipal framework for monitoring the prevalence of child labour and planning fact-based measures to address child labour.

          Strengthening the role of the social protection system in preventing and protecting children from child labour.

          Strengthening the role of the education system in preventing and protecting children from child labour.

          Improving enforcement of laws and policies related to child labour including worst forms of child labour.

          Strengthening the capacities of prosecutors and judges to deal with cases of child labour.

Kosovo also participates in a sub-regional project funded by the European Union and implemented together by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the ILO to further regional cooperation in order to achieve more effective labour market governance in the Western Balkans.

ILO Kosovo contact information


I L O  DWT/CO-B u d a p e s t

1066 Budapest Mozsár u. 14. Hungary

Phone: +36-1-301-4900 Fax: +36 (1) 301 4906