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International conventions & treaties

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Background information on international agreements 

Guernsey has been included in many important international agreements (also known as conventions, treaties or international instruments).  These often originate from intergovernmental organisations, such as the United Nations or the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, on matters ranging from human rights to combatting corruption.  A list of examples can be found below.

The UK is responsible for representing Guernsey (and the wider Bailiwick) internationally, which includes international agreements. The long-standing practice of the UK when it ratifies, accedes to, or accepts an international agreement is to do so on behalf of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and any of the Crown Dependencies (which includes the Bailiwick of Guernsey - or, in some instances to any of the three jurisdictions within the Bailiwick: Guernsey, Alderney or Sark) or Overseas Territories that wish the agreement to apply to them. The UK's ratification, accession or acceptance can also be extended at a later date. This means that, when the UK is planning to ratify a particular international agreement, it should consult the Crown Dependencies about whether they wish to have it extended to them (which aligns with Guernsey's 2008 International Identity Framework). The Crown Dependencies are not automatically included in the UK's ratification of, accession to or acceptance of a treaty unless expressly listed.  

The modern-day practice might at first appear to contradict Article 29 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which provides that "unless a different intention appears from the treaty or is otherwise established, a treaty is binding upon each party in respect of its entire territory". However, modern day practice accords with the UK's interpretation of Article 29 of the Vienna Convention, which is to apply international agreements only to those Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories that have expressly consented to such extension. This contrasts with the situation before 1950 (and at some time during the 1960s), when the Bailiwick was deemed to be included in the UK's ratification of treaties unless expressly excluded.

How international agreements apply locally 

There are two ways in which international agreements can apply to (or within) the Bailiwick of Guernsey: 

1. Extension. Generally, the UK will extend its membership ('ratification') of an international convention to the Bailiwick of Guernsey, or any of the three jurisdictions within the Bailiwick.   

2. Entrustment. In certain circumstances, the Crown Dependencies (which also includes Jersey and the Isle of Man) may be authorised to conclude their own international agreements by a process of entrustment - this is the case for Tax Information Exchange Agreements, for example.   

Which key international agreements apply to Guernsey?  

The External Relations Team has undertaken a review of the most frequent international agreement queries that it receives. This information is documented below - it is not intended to be a full record of every treaty that applies, but it is hoped that it will assist those who are researching the topic.  Note that this information is in respect of international agreements that apply to Guernsey (the lists below do not necessarily indicate application or non-application to Alderney or Sark, albeit many will apply to the whole Bailiwick).

  • UN Core Human Rights

  • Council of Europe (CoE)

    • The following have been extended:
      • Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ETS No. 005) [some of the Protocols also apply]
      • European Convention on Extradition (ETS No. 024)
      • European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (ETS No. 126)
      • European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters (ETS No. 030)
      • Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (ETS No. 127).
    • Note: the CoE's website (see this link:Full list (coe.int)) provides an indication of which of the CoE Conventions have been extended locally, available by reviewing each convention's text, territorial extent, reservations and declarations.
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

    • The following have been extended:
      • OECD Convention: Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories of the United Kingdom - OECD
      • Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions
      • Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting.
    • Note: Guernsey has announced its intentions in respect of the OECD Pillar 1 and 2 framework. Please see this link for further information:Guernsey aligns with Jersey and Isle of Man on approach to OECD's Pillar Two Framework - States of Guernsey (gov.gg).
  • Organised Crime, anti-Corruption, Drugs

    • The following have been extended:
      • Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961
      • UN Convention against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances
      • United Nation Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)
      • United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC).
  • Migrants

    • The following have been extended:
      • 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol
  • Hague

    • The following have been extended:
      • Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents
      • Hague's Convention on the Recognition of Divorces and Legal Separations, signed 01.06.1970.
    • Note: The Hague's website (see this link:HCCH | Conventions and other Instruments) provides an indication of which of the Hague Conventions have been extended locally. For the avoidance of doubt, the Hague's Convention on Choice of Court Agreements (2005) and the Hague's Convention on the Civil Aspects of Children Abduction (1980) do not extend to, or within, the Bailiwick.
  • Healthcare

    • The following have been extended:
      • World Health Organization (WHO)'s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)
      • International Health Regulations (2005).
  • Environmental, Climate Change or Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS)

    • Climate change
    • The following have been extended:
      • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
      • Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (sometimes known as the Kyoto Protocol)
      • Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol (sometimes known as Kyoto 2)
      • Paris Agreement
    • Ozone layer
    • The following have been extended:
      • Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (1985)
      • Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987), plus the following related Amendments to the Montreal Protocol:
        • The London Amendment
        • The Copenhagen Amendment
        • The Montreal Amendment
        • The Beijing Amendment.
    • For the avoidance of doubt, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol has not been extended. Information link:Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (un.org)
    • Waste
    • The following have been extended:
      • The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (sometimes known as the Basel Convention).
    • Other environmental
    • The following have been extended:
    • Note: the Convention on Biological Diversity has not yet been extended, but is under discussion.
  • Maritime

    • The following have been extended:
      • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (sometimes known as UNCLOS)
      • International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s - SOLAS International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (sometimes known as SOLAS).
    • For the avoidance of doubt, the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (sometimes known as the OSPAR Convention) has not been extended, but the two precursor agreements to it (colloquially known as the Oslo and Paris Conventions) were extended.
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)

    • Of the 11 'fundamental' ILO international agreements, the following five extend to Guernsey:
      • Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87)
      • Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98)
      • Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)  (but not the 2014 Protocol to No. 29)
      • Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105)
      • Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182).
    • A range of other 'governance' and 'technical' ILO agreements also apply. The ILO lists the ratifications here: Ratifications of ILO conventions: Ratifications for Guernsey
  • Trade & Economic Agreements

    • The following have been extended:
      • World Trade Organization (WTO)
      • Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of the other part (sometimes known as the UK-EU TCA).
    • When the UK withdrew from the EU ('Brexit'), it 'rolled over' (i.e., continued) various international agreements that applied to the UK when it was part of the EU; some of those agreements applied and continue to apply locally too (often to the extent that Protocol 3 applied locally). Principally these agreements were trade, cooperation, economic or facilitative agreements.
    • The UK has a programme of new Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) that it is negotiating with partner countries, for instance New Zealand, Australia, and Japan, and you can find more information about trade policy and post-Brexit free trade agreements on this webpage:Trade Policy - States of Guernsey (gov.gg).
  • Taxation

  • Intellectual Property (IP)

Queries 

If you have any queries relating to international agreements for Guernsey, please contact the External Relations Team via email.  You may find it useful to search the UK Government's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's treaty database. However, it should be noted that the information in the database may not always be conclusive.

International reporting obligations overview 

Some international agreements require reporting to be undertaken. Often the reporting is transmitting (usually via the UK) to the international body that oversees a particular agreement. Much of the reporting occurs on a cyclical basis that is particular to an individual agreement or treaty body. Different agreements require different types of reporting, which can largely be categorised as:

Although some agreements that apply locally do not require periodic reporting, we are still bound by those agreements.

Periodic Narrative Reports

To help provide transparency over the periodic narrative reporting that is undertaken, the major items of periodic narrative reporting since 2008 that reference Guernsey (and where included, the wider Bailiwick) are listed below. Principally these reports relate to the UN Core Human Rights Agreements (and the associated Core Document, which provides basic information about the UK Sovereign State area and is submitted to the UN alongside all reports in relation to the Core Human Rights Agreements) and the ILO. Use the drop-down below to see a list of these finalised periodic narrative reports. 

Note: The inclusion of the information below is not intended to replicate all international reporting that occurs as this is often available from treaty body websites to which you may wish to refer. Also, if Guernsey has made a submission to the UK Government but it has not been included in the final report, then the report will not necessarily be reproduced here.

  • 2023

  • 2022

  • 2021

    • pdf icon 2021 International Labour Organisation Reports [426kb]
      • Seamen's Articles of Agreement Convention, 1926 (No. 22)
      • Protection against Accidents (Dockers) Convention (Revised), 1932 (No. 32)
      • Sickness Insurance (Sea) Convention, 1936 (No. 56)
      • Certification of Ships' Cooks Convention, 1946 (No. 69)
      • Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention, 1958 (No. 108)
      • Fishermen's Articles of Agreement Convention, 1959 (No. 114)
    • The ILO reports and Direct Requests do not contain the attachments; for queries, please contact the relevant Committee(s).
  • 2020

    • pdf icon 2020 International Labour Organisation Reports [1Mb]
      • Workmen's Compensation (Agriculture) Convention, 1921 (No. 12)
      • Workmen's Compensation (Accidents) Convention, 1925 (No. 17)
      • Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation) Convention, 1925 (No. 19)
      • Sickness Insurance (Industry) Convention, 1927 (No. 24)
      • Sickness Insurance (Agriculture) Convention, 1927 (No. 25)
      • Forced Labour Convention (No. 29)
      • Workmen's Compensation (Occupational Diseases) Convention (Revised), 1934 (No. 42)
      • Statistics  of Wages and Hours of Work Convention, 1938 (No. 63)
      • Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81)
      • Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105)
      • Radiation Protection Convention, 1960 (No. 115)
      • Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration) Convention, 1997 (No. 148)
      • Labour Administration Convention, 1978 (No. 150)
      • Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)
    • The ILO reports and Direct Requests do not contain the attachments; for queries, please contact the relevant Committee(s).
  • 2019

    • pdf icon 2019 International Labour Organisation Reports [508kb]
      • Workmen's Compensation (Agriculture) Convention, 1921 (No. 12)
      • Workmen's Compensation (Accidents) Convention, 1925 (No. 17)
      • Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation) Convention, 1925 (No. 19)
      • Sickness Insurance (Industry) Convention, 1927 (No. 24)
      • Sickness Insurance (Agriculture) Convention, 1927 (No. 25)
      • Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)
      • Workmen's Compensation (Occupation Diseases) Convention (Revised), 1934 (No. 42)
      • Convention concerning Statistics of Wages and Hours of Work Convention, 1938 (No. 63)
      • Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81)
      • Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105)
      • Radiation Protection Convention, 1960 (No. 115)
      • Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration) Convention, 1977 (No. 148)
      • Labour Administration Convention, 1978 (No. 150)
      • Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)
  • 2018

  • 2017

  • 2016

    • pdf icon 2016 International Labour Organisation Reports [737kb]
      • Right of Association (Agriculture) Convention (No. 11)
      • Workmen's Compensation (Agriculture) Convention, 1921 (No. 12)
      • Workman's Compensation (Accidents) Convention, 1921 (No. 17)
      • Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation) Convention, 1925 (No. 19)
      • Sickness Insurance (Industry) Convention, 1927 (No. 24)
      • Sickness Insurance (Agriculture) Convention, 1927 (No. 25)
      • Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)
      • Workmen's Compensation (Occupational Diseases), 1934 (No. 42)
      • Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81)
      • Abolition of Forced Labour, 1957 (No. 105)
      • Fisherman's Articles of Agreement, 1959 (No. 114)
      • Rural Worker's Organisations (No. 141)
      • Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999 (No. 182)
  • 2015

    • pdf icon 2015 International Labour Organisation Reports [417kb]
      • Minimum Age (Sea) Convention, 1920 (No. 7)
      • Unemployment Indemnity (Shipwreck) Convention, 1920 (No. 8)
      • Medical Examination of Young Persons (Sea) Convention, 1921 (No. 16)
      • Seamen's Articles of Agreement Convention, 1926 (No .22)
      • Sickness Insurance (Sea) Convention, 1936 (No. 56)
      • Convention concerning Statistics of Wages and Hours of Work, 1938 (No. 63)
      • Certification of Ships' Cooks Convention 1946 (No. 69)
      • Certification of Able Seamen Convention, 1946 (No. 74)
      • Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87)
      • Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98)
      • Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention, 1958 (No. 108)
      • Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No. 122)
      • Labour Administration Convention, 1978 (No. 150)
  • 2013

    • pdf icon 2013 International Labour Organisation Reports [840kb]
      • Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)
      • Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81)
      • Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No.105)
      • Human Resources Development Convention, 1975 (No. 142)
      • Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)
  • 2011

    • pdf icon 2011 International Labour Organisation Reports [924kb]
      • Rights of Association (Agriculture) Convention, 1921 (No.11)
      • Workmen's Compensation (Agriculture) Convention, 1921 (No. 12)
      • Workmen's Compensation (Accidents) Convention, 1925 (No. 17)
      • Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation) Convention, 1925 (No. 19)
      • Sickness Insurance (Industry) Convention, 1927 (No. 24)
      • Sickness Insurance (Agriculture) Convention, 1927 (No. 25)
      • Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)
      • Workmen's Compensation (Occupational Diseases) Convention (Revised), 1934 (No. 42)
      • Sickness Insurance (Sea) Convention, 1936 (No. 56)
      • Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81)
      • Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105)
      • Fishermen's Articles of Agreement Convention, 1959 (No. 114)
      • Rural Workers' Organisations Convention, 1975 (No. 141)
      • Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)
  • 2009

    • United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination
    • pdf icon 2009 International Labour Organisation Reports [512kb]
      • Worst form of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)
      • Labour Relations (Public Service), 1978 (No. 151)
      • Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration), 1977 (No. 148)
      • Human Resources Development, 1975 (No. 142)
      • Workers Representatives, 1971 (No. 135)
      • Radiation Protection, 1960 (No. 115)
      • Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105)
      • Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81)
      • Forced Labour, 1930 (No. 29)
      • Unemployment, 1919 (No. 2)
    • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • 2008

    • United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
    • pdf icon 2008 International Labour Organisation Reports [376kb]
      • Human Resources Development, 1975 (No. 142)
      • Employment Policy, 1964 (No. 122)
      • Abolition of Forced Labour, 1957 (No. 105)
      • Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining, 1949 (No. 98)
      • Freedom of Association and Protection of Right to Organise, 1948 (No. 87)
      • Labour Inspection, 1947 (No. 81)
      • Protection Against Accidents (Dockers)(Revised), 1932 (No. 32)
      • Forced Labour, 1930 (No. 29)
      • Minimum Age (Agriculture), 1921 (No. 10)

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