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Fellowship Report (2004)


Fellow: Jeff Vockrodt

Fellowship Site: Geneva, Switzerland

Brief History of Organization (founding and salient steps):;

Departments/Programs in the Organization:;

Responsibilities/Duties/Tasks undertaken by the Fellow:

My first day at work was the day the ILO Governing Body’s annual conference started, so I got to see the ILO's democratic processes play out over the conference’s three weeks. One of the sessions I monitored in its entirety for the Freedom of Association Branch was the discussion of this year's Global Report on labor organizing, which provided some interesting insight on different parties' perceptions of the role(s) of organizing and its current and future state around the world.

After the Conference, most of my work centered around the Committee on Freedom of Association, a semi-judicial body that hears complaints of alleged violations of freedom of association principles from national and international labor and employer organizations. I got to see the Committee's work at many of its various stages. I drafted correspondence with a labor organization in Kenya about a situation that was still in the informal intervention stage and might or might not become a formal case. I also drafted the Committee’s decision in a sensitive case involving allegations of anti-union discrimination, now formally before the Committee. I also got a sense of how the Committee's decisions form a jurisprudence by starting the process of updating the digest of those decisions.


Completing discrete tasks like the draft Committee decision and conducting correspondence with a claimant.


Dealing with political realities that affect parties’ compliance with freedom of association principles and Committee decisions.

Conferences Attended: International Labor Conference

How has this fellowship changed the ideas and expectations you had before leaving?

The fellowship added nuance to my understanding of the politics of international human rights diplomacy.

How has your motivation for human rights work changed/altered or remained the same?

I have a renewed appreciation for grass-roots human rights work; I’ve gotten a better understanding of how important field organizations’ work is to the work of international bodies, and how important it is for field organizations to also work outside the formal international structure.

Who had the greatest effect on you during your fellowship experience and why?

One staff attorney set about giving me a mix of projects that would give me as complete a sense of the department’s work as possible. She also met with me regularly to talk about those projects.

How did your perspectives on the world change from interning at a local/national/ international human rights organization?

Human rights work at the international level is great (in the context of workers’ rights, particularly, it’s important to broadly consider the general problem of mobile, consolidated capital and immobile and divided labor, looking past artificial conflicts between workers in different parts of the world), but local work is crucial to ultimate success.

After completion of your fellowship, how do you anticipate bringing your fellowship experience back home to your local community?

I plan to remain active in support of labor rights here at home, both in my career and through off-hours activism. My work this summer has given me important insight into the broader labor rights context and how labor rights advocates at all levels can usefully coordinate.

Organizational Profile

Full Name of Organization: International Labor Organization

Abbreviation and initials commonly used: ILO

Organizational Address:

4, route des Morillons
CH-1211 Geneva 22

Telephone number: +41.22.799.6111
Fax number: +41.22.798.8685
Email address:

Names of Executive Director and Senior Staff:

Director General: Juan Somavia of Chile

Among the senior officers:
Executive Director, Standards and Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work: Kari Tapiola
Executive Director, Employment: Goran Hultin
Executive Director, Social Protection: Assane Diop
Executive Director, Social Dialogue: Sally Paxton

Number of Employed Staff (full-time; part-time):

My own rough estimate of full-time employees in the Geneva office: 2,000. Unsure about total employed.

Number of Volunteers: Unsure

Objectives of the Organization:;

Domestic/International Programs:;

Field offices include:

Field Programmes in Africa
Regional Office for Africa [Public: English, Français]
ILO Subregional Office for Central Africa [Public: Français]
ILO Subregional Office for East Africa: Addis Ababa
ILO Subregional Office for North Africa [Public: English]
ILO Subregional Office for Southern Africa [Public: English]
ILO Subregional Office for West Africa [Public: English, Français]
ILO Office in Abidjan
ILO Office in Addis Ababa
ILO Office in Algiers
ILO Office in Antananarivo
ILO Office in Cairo [Public: English]
ILO Office in Dakar [Public: Français]
ILO Office in Dar es Salaam
ILO Office in Kinshasa
ILO Office in Lagos
ILO Office in Lusaka
ILO Office in Pretoria
ILO Office in Yaoundé

Field Programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean
ILO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean [Public (external): Español*]
ILO Subregional Office for the Andean Countries [Public (external): Español*]
ILO Subregional Office for the South Cone of Latin America [Public (external): Español]
ILO Subregional Office for the Caribbean [Public: English]
Mercosur Laboral (Mercolab) [Public: Español]
ILO Office in Brazil [Public: Portuguese]
ILO Office in Argentina [Public: Español]
ILO Office for Mexico and Cuba
ILO Office in Port of Spain [Public: English]
ILO Subregional Office for Central America [Public (external): Español*]
Inter-American Research and Documentation Centre on Vocational Training [Public: English, Español]

Field Programmes in Arab States
Regional Office for Arab States [Public: Arabic, English]
ILO representative: Jerusalem
ILO representative: Kuwait

Field Programmes in Asia and the Pacific
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific [Public: English]
AbilityAsia [Public: English]
Asian-Pacific Regional Network on Occupational Safety and Health Information [Public: English]
Asian and Pacific Skill Development Programme (APSDEP) [Public: English]
Reducing labour exploitation of children and women: Combating trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region [Public: English]
ILO Subregional Office for East Asia [Public: English]
ILO Subregional Office for South Asia [Public: English]
ILO Office for China and Mongolia [Public: English, Chinese, Mongolian]
ILO Office in Sri Lanka [Public: English]
ILO Office in Bangladesh: Dhaka
ILO Office In Paskistan: Islamabad
ILO Office in Indonesia [Public: English]
ILO Subregional Office for South-East Asia and the Pacific [Public: English]
ILO Office: New Delhi [Public: English]
ILO Office for Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Isalnds, Kiribati and other South Pacific Islands [Public: English]
South Asia and Vietnam Project on Tripartism and Social Dialogue in Action [Public: English]
ILO Office: Tokyo [Public: English, Japanese]
Office of the Senior ILO Adviser: Hanoi
Office of the Senior ILO Adviser: Kathmandu [Public: English]

Field Programmes in Europe and Central Asia
ILO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia [Public: English]
ILO Subregional Office for Central and Eastern European [Public: English]
ILO Subregional Office for Eastern European and Central Asian: Moscow [Public (external): English*, Russian*]
ILO Office: Moscow [ Public (external): English*, Russian*]
ILO Office in Turkey [Public: English, Türkiye]
ILO Office in Germany [Public: English, Deutsch]
ILO Office in Portugal [Public: Portuguese]
ILO Office for the United Kingdom and Ireland [Public: English]
ILO Office in Spain [Public: Español]
ILO Office in France [Public: Français]
ILO Office for Italy and San Marino [Public: English, Italiano]
ILO Office for the European Union and the Benelux countries [Public: English, Français, Dutch]

Date of Information: Sept. 27, 2004
Information Supplied by:

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