The ILO was created in 1919 with the purpose of promoting social justice.  In the present globalized world of work this means the promotion of decent work for all--in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.  A specialized agency of the United Nations, the ILO is unique in giving an equal voice to employers' and workers' organizations with those governments in shaping its policies and programmes.

One of its eight priority areas is the programme on safety, health and the environment, 'SafeWork', the objectives of which are to create worldwide awareness of the dimensions and consequences of work-related accidents, injuries and diseases, and to promote basic protection  for all workers in conformity with international labour standards.