What is the Model ILO

The Model International Labour Organization (Model ILO) is an interactive simulation of the International Labour Conference (ILC) where students are assigned the role to represent the positions and interests of a government or employer organization or trade union. The young delegates prepare and deliver speeches, negotiate — within their group and with other groups — the content of an international instrument in the area of labour and social policies. This instrument (an international treaty such a Convention or a Recommendation or a Resolution) is then submitted for voting and adoption by the International Labour Conference.

The aim of the simulation

The Model ILO seeks to bring together future leaders from different backgrounds to engage in a process of collaboration, negotiation, resolution of conflict and consensus building. It aims to create leadership and engagement of students in today's global issues by making them aware of different positions and points of view and of the negotiation processes that lead to the adoption of international labour law and other instruments.
The main objectives of the Model are to:

  • increase young people's awareness of the principles, international instruments and policies of the ILO;
  • promote good practices and decent work as a value throughout the world;
  • promote multiculturalism and discussions on global issues in the multilateral context;
  • acquire core skills (e.g. communication and public speaking, leadership, negotiation, teamwork)
  • practice and apply knowledge and skills to actual situations for contributing to the solution of global issues.

The structure of the model

The simulation is highly participatory and is structured around two types of sessions: plenary sessions, in which all participants are present, and group sessions in which participants gather to discuss a joint position. The other working sessions are devoted to the negotiations between and among groups and the formulation of the draft text and/or amendments to the proposed text.

Learning from practice

A Model ILO is a unique experience that not only involves young people in the discussion about global issues but also in the negotiations within their own group and among the three main actors of the ILO (governments, employers organizations and trade unions) and in the adoption of international instruments. The simulation also fosters the development and practice of skills and attitudes that may be useful for the academic, work and social life.
These skills include:

  • Leadership (convey the ideas and positions and convince others about the decision and/or course of action).  
  • Public speaking (share ideas and positions through effective and convincing speeches to be delivered to a broad audience).  
  • Language and drafting skills (interact with other, often in a foreign language, and follow appropriate protocols and rules, as well as drafting and negotiating text of international).
  • Learning skills (conduct research on the topics for discussion and the position of the country and groups, and prepare speeches and statements on the basis of the position of the represented entity).