The Cook Islands government is applying to become a member of the United Nations International Labour Organisation.
Te internal affairs minister, Albert Nicholas, says becoming an ILO member can assist in promoting work rights and encourage and enhance a number of work-related issues.
The announcement has been welcomed by the Cook Islands WorkersAssociation, which says it has been campaigning for the country to become a member for 20 years.
The Cook Islands News reports that the Cook Islands' membership will be comprised of representatives from government, employer, and employee associations.
However, an official from the Foreign Ministry, Josh Mitchell, says because the Cook Islands is not a UN member state, it will need a two-thirds majority vote by members in favour of the application.
A secretary at the internal affairs ministry says current Cook Islands law only covers six of the eight core conventions of the ILO, and more work will be required for it to meet the requirements for child labour and equal remuneration.