Source description last updated: 10 July 2020

In brief: The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) was founded in Vienna on 1 November 2006 to promote worker’s rights and a fair globalization.

Coverage on

Reports for countries of priorities A-C.

Quarterly coverage on


“The new federation of 307 member unions in 154 countries with 168 million individual members was formed to give workers worldwide a stronger voice in meeting the challenges of globalization. Its constitution and programme pledge full support for the ILO [International Labour Organization] and its mission of promoting decent work for all and a fair globalization.“ (International Labour Organization: The ILO formally recognizes the newly created International Trade Union Confederation, 15 November 2006)

“The ITUC’s primary mission is the promotion and defence of workers’ rights and interests, through international cooperation between trade unions, global campaigning and advocacy within the major global institutions.” (ITUC Homepage: About us, undated)

“The Confederation is inspired by the profound conviction that organisation in democratic and independent trade unions and collective bargaining are crucial to achieving the well-being of working people and their families and to security, social progress and sustainable development for all. It has been the historic role of trade unionism, and remains its mission, to better the conditions of work and life of working women and men and their families, and to strive for human rights, social justice, gender equality, peace, freedom and democracy.“ (ITUC: Constitution & Standing Orders, 25 April 2019, p. 7)

“Member organisations shall have equal rights and responsibilities. Each has the right to be regularly informed of, and to participate in the life and the activities of the Confederation in line with the provisions of this Constitution and to receive the solidarity and assistance of the Confederation in case of need. Member organisations shall retain their full autonomy at national level. They shall be responsible to take into account in their policy formulations the decisions of the Congress and governing bodies of the Confederation, to keep the Confederation informed of their activities, and to fulfil their financial obligations to the Confederation.“ (ITUC: Constitution & Standing Orders, 25 April 2019, p. 10)

“The General Council shall be the supreme authority of the Confederation between congresses. It shall be responsible for directing the activities of the Confederation and giving effect to the decisions and recommendations of the Congress. […] Any member organisation has the right to submit suggestions for the agenda of the General Council, which shall decide if and when discussion of the item is appropriate.” (ITUC: Constitution & Standing Orders, 25 April 2019, p. 22-23)


The total income for 2017 was EUR 16,935,707. It was made up of affiliation fees (EUR 12,684,530), income from offices (EUR 266,496) and other income (EUR 3,984,681). (ITUC: Financial Reports for the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2017, October 2018, p. 57)

Scope of reporting:

Geographic focus: Worldwide.

Thematic focus: Trade unions and human rights, economy, society and the workplace, equality and non-discrimination, international solidarity. (ITUC Homepage: About us, undated)


“The ITUC adheres to the principles of trade union democracy and independence. It is governed by four-yearly world congresses, a General Council and an Executive Bureau. The ITUC regional organisations are the Asia-Pacific Regional Organisation (ITUC-AP), the African Regional Organisation (ITUC-AF) and the American Regional Organisation (TUCA). It cooperates with the European Trade Union Confederation, including through the Pan-European Regional Council. The ITUC has close relations with the Global Union Federations and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC). It works closely with the International Labour Organisation and with several other UN Specialised Agencies.” (ITUC Homepage: About us, undated)

The ITUC publishes an annual global rights index, surveys on COVID-19 and other reports.

„The 2019 ITUC Global Rights Index depicts the world‘s worst countries for workers by rating 145 countries on a scale from 1-5+ based on the degree of respect for workers‘ rights with 1 being the best rating and 5+ the worst rating. Violations are recorded each year from April to March. Each country is analysed against a list of 97 indicators derived from ILO conventions and jurisprudence and represents violations of workers‘ rights in law and practice.“ (ITUC: 2019; ITUC Global Rights Index; The World's Worst Countries for Workers, 18 June 2019, p. 58)

Languages of publications:

English, French, Spanish

Further reading / links:

ITUC: Constitutional Bodies, 12 September 2019

ITUC: Constitution & Standing Orders, 25 April 2019

ITUC: 2019; ITUC Global Rights Index; The World‘s Worst Countries for Workers, 18 June 2019

All links accessed 10 June 2020.