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ILO Histories

Essays on the International Labour Organization and Its Impact on the World During the Twentieth Century


Edited By Jasmien Van Daele, Magaly Rodriguez Garcia and Geert van Goethem

In 2009, the International Labour Organization (ILO) celebrated its ninetieth anniversary. The First World War and the revolutionary wave it provoked in Russia and elsewhere were powerful inspirations for the founding of the ILO. There was a growing understanding that social justice, in particular by improving labour conditions, was an essential precondition for universal peace. Since then, the ILO has seen successes and set-backs; it has been ridiculed and praised. Much has been written about the ILO; there are semi-official histories and some critical studies on the organization’s history have recently been published. Yet, further source-based critical and comprehensive analyses of the organization’s origins and development are still lacking. The present collection of eighteen essays is an attempt to change this unsatisfactory situation by complementing those histories that already exist, exploring new topics, and offering new perspectives. It is guided by the observation that the ILO’s history is not primarily about «elaborating beautiful texts and collecting impressive instruments for ratification» but about effecting «real change and more happiness in peoples’ lives».


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16 The ILO and the Argentine Dictatorship (1976-1983) 401


8=6EI:G The >AD and the Argentine Dictatorship (-) Victoria Basualdo This article aims at analyzing the relationship between the International Labour Organization (>AD) and the Argentine government from to . First, it will provide a brief characterization of this military dictator- ship and its impact on labor. Second, it will analyze the evolution of the relationship between the >AD and the dictatorship, paying special attention to the period between and , which was the most critical in terms of violations of human and trade union rights. In particular, it will study two main aspects: Argentine representation and action at the annual >AD International Labour Conferences, and the analysis of the evolution of cases submitted against Argentina at the >AD Committee on Freedom of Associa- tion (8;6), concerning violation of labor rights. Third, it will examine the contributions and shortages of the >AD, considering the Argentine case as a useful example to examine the potential and limitations of the actions of international organizations with respect to dictatorial governments. A preliminary version of this article was presented at the conference “>AD Past and Present” in Brussels in October . This work was made possible by the Reid Hall Fellowship granted by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia Univer- sity, which provided partial funding for a research trip to Paris, Brussels, Leuven, and Geneva, to the archives of the Conféderation Génerale du Travail (French 88;IJ), as well as the >AD. I would like to thank the conference’s participants...

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