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Minister Haatainen: ILO membership a major contributor to Finnish working life

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 11.2.2020 12.09
Press release
Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen adn Guy Ryder, Director-General of the ILO
Tuula Haatainen and Guy Ryder

Last year, the International Labour Organization ILO celebrated its centenary, and this year marks the 100th anniversary of Finland’s ILO membership.

To celebrate the occasion, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is organising a seminar for invited guests on 11 February. Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen will give the opening speech, and Guy Ryder, Director-General of the ILO, will be the keynote speaker of the seminar.

“It is a common misconception that the tripartite arrangement is something typically Finnish or Nordic, when in fact the idea is very much international,” Minister Haatainen points out.

“For Finland on the verge of becoming independent, the ILO stood for values that Finland and the rest of the world urgently needed: social justice and social peace built through dialogue. ILO membership has been a significant contributor to Finnish working life ever since the early days of Finland’s independence,” Haatainen says.

International Labour Organisation ILO

  • The ILO was established in 1919 to promote social justice, which is essential to universal and lasting peace.
  • Finland became a member of the ILO when it joined the League of Nations in 1920.
  • The ILO creates international labour standards, the most important of which address the basic human rights at work. Finland is committed to 72 agreements and protocols.
  • The tripartite structure ILO means that workers, employers and governments all participate equally in the organisation’s work.

The International Labour Organisation is a tripartite UN agency devoted to promoting social justice and decent work. The ILO creates international labour standards, supervises their application and offers support to its members.

“Promoting decent work in the EU and worldwide is a matter of great importance for Finland. Work provides the most effective means for eradicating poverty and inequality. Improving the labour market position of women in particular offers significant opportunities for improving the livelihoods of families and communities. A joint decision-making process involving employers, employees and governments in all 187 ILO Member States ensures the full commitment of all parties to agreements,” Minister Haatainen stresses.

Matters to be discussed at the jubilee seminar include the impact of the ILO and ways of developing working life and social dialogue. Representatives of the Finnish social partners and other high-level experts will present their views on the matters.

During his visit to Helsinki, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder will also meet Prime Minister Sanna Marin and other ministers.


Jenni Karjalainen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 40 751 5496
Liisa Heinonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 064 131

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