How can South-South Cooperation strengthen ILS related to Occupational Health and Safety?

The ILO has been engaged in several activities and projects involving South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) to address issues related to International Labour Standards (ILS), including the promotion of integrated normative strategies.

Normative strategies integrate ILS into efforts for decent work and sustainable development. They help advance ILS as part of sustainable development goals. Strategies address blind spots amongst ILO’s strategic objectives across employment, social protection, social dialogue, and fundamental principles. They also involve assessing ratification status, application gaps, engagement with reporting and ILO supervisory systems, keeping pace with standard setting, and connecting with human rights systems.

In addition, strategies can communicate how International Labour Standards provide a foundation for stable governance and investor confidence as countries develop higher-value industries. Baseline assessments, like ILO’s normative gap analyses, provide data to inform strategy priorities and benchmark progress over time on aligning standards with application.

South-South and Triangular Cooperation initiatives on ILS can take the form of project coordination, provision of technical expertise, and facilitation of knowledge-sharing and peer learning among tripartite constituents from countries from the Global South that face similar situations and contexts. The exchange of best practices and the identification of areas for mutual learning or joint work on leveraging ILS and its supervisory processes for inclusive economic growth are also key.


Specifically in the case of ILS on Occupational Health and Safety (OSH), South-South Cooperation often aims to work towards compliance with the core OSH conventions. Countries can address challenges such as lack of awareness and governance in OSH by conducting studies, strengthening labour inspections, and engaging in national consultations across sectors.


What could coutries from the South do together?

  • Conduct studies and research (e.g. OSH mapping sectors) on OSH and strengthening labour inspection;
  • Networking at national and regional levels, including different sectors;
  • Conduct joint research and mapping on OSH to identify key issues and gaps;
  • Build national and regional networks on OSH involving all stakeholders;
  • Organise training programs on OSH for government, employers, and workers; and
  • Run advocacy campaigns for ratification of OSH conventions.


How could they do it?

  • Training on OSH for the tripartite constituents;
  • Social dialogue;
  • Campaign on ratifying OSH conventions;
  • Engage in experience sharing and transfer of expertise on OSH policies and practices;
  • Share data and information from OSH mappings between countries;
  • Hold capacity building workshops and seminars on OSH; and
  • Learn from other countries that have ratified OSH conventions.


Source: Subregional Tripartite Workshop – Promoting Forward Thinking Normative Strategies through South-South Cooperation