International Labour Organisation Convention No. 111 on discrimination in employment and occupation adopted in Geneva on 25 June 1958 (ILO)
Article 1 paragraph 1 – For the purpose of this Convention the term “discrimination” includes:
a) any distinction, exclusion or preference made on the basis of race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin, which has the effect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity or treatment in employment or occupation;
b) such other distinction, exclusion or preference which has the effect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity or treatment in employment or occupation as may be determined by the Member concerned after consultation with representative employers’ and workers’ organisations, where such exist, and with other appropriate bodies.
Article 2 – Each Member for which this Convention is in force undertakes to declare and pursue a national policy designed to promote, by methods appropriate to national conditions and practice, equality of opportunity and treatment in respect of employment and occupation, with a view to eliminating any discrimination in respect thereof.
The convention was adopted by the General Conference of the International Labour Organisation on 25 June 1958 in Geneva and its main aim was to introduce the obligation for Member States to declare and pursue a national policy designed to promote equality of opportunity and treatment in respect of employment and occupation and to eliminate any discrimination in respect thereof. International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No. 111 is one of the earliest adopted and most important acts of law referring to discrimination in employment. According to its wording – each state adopting the Convention is obliged to pursue an active national policy in the area of fighting against discrimination and unequal treatment in employment.
Already the first article includes a definition of discrimination which is understood as any distinction, exclusion or preference made on the basis of any of the listed features, infringing the principle of equality of opportunity for all people. The Convention also determined how the states-members are expected to achieve the intended objectives – among others by pursuing a national policy designed to promote equality of opportunity in employment, enacting legislation and supporting programmes aiming at strengthening and full implementation of equality policy or repealing any statutory provisions and modifying any administrative instructions or practices which are inconsistent with the equality policy.