CHAPTER 7: International Labour Affairs

International Instruments Setting Out Labour Standards


International Labour Conventions set by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) prescribe relevant labour standards for member states. As at year-end, 41 international labour Conventions were applied to the HKSAR, with or without modification (Figure 7.1), notwithstanding that Hong Kong is not a sovereign entity and not an ILO member. Other international instruments, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, also touch on labour standards, albeit to a much smaller extent.


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7.2 A comprehensive set of labour legislation and administrative measures are in place in the HKSAR to enable the Government to implement internationally accepted labour standards. Through continuous improvements to labour legislation and administrative measures, the HKSAR maintains a level of labour standards broadly equivalent to those of neighbouring countries with similar economic development as well as social and cultural background.

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Participation in the Activities of the ILO


The HKSAR may participate in the activities of the ILO, either as part of the delegation of the People’s Republic of China or, for activities which are not limited to states, on its own using the name “Hong Kong, China”.


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In 2009, the Labour Department continued to participate actively in activities organised by the ILO to keep abreast of the latest development of international labour matters. In the year, representatives from the HKSAR participated in the 98th Session of the International Labour Conference held in Geneva, and a training workshop on labour migration policy and management in Pattaya organised by the ILO Subregional Office for East Asia and the Ministry of Labour of Thailand. (Figure 7.2)


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Contacts with Other Labour Administrations

7.5 Delegations of labour administrators from the Mainland and overseas countries visited the Labour Department in the year. The department also sent study missions to different provinces in the Mainland and overseas countries such as Australia and Singapore. Apart from strengthening mutual cooperation, these visits provided opportunities for representatives of the department to exchange views and experience with its counterparts on various labour issues.