18-19 April 2018

The Future of Work We Want: Workers’ perspective in South Asia

The conference will bring together together representatives from trade unions, governments, academia as well as employers to discuss the developments that are driving the world of work in the future.


Based on the slogan “The future of work we want”, the sub-regional conference in South Asia is structured around two main pillars: the first pillar concentrates on the changes witnessed in the world of work and the need for an alternative development path that benefits all. The second pillar addresses the role of the state and social partners in providing effective governance in the face of said challenges for the future world of work. Furthermore, two special dialogues will focus on the role of politics and politicians and on the Agenda 2030.

The goal is to contribute to the Future of Work Centenary Initiative from a trade union perspective based on the unique issues faced by the member countries of South Asia and discussing possible policy responses, both of governments and social partners, as a means to promoting social justice and protecting the rights of working men and women.


18 April 2018

9:30-10:00 Inauguration

  • Ms. Dagmar Walter, Director ILO DWT South Asia and CO New Delhi
  • Mr. Guang Zhang, ACFTU
  • Mr. Sanjeeva Reddy, President SARTUC, INTUC
  • Ms. Maria Helena Andre, Director ILO ACTRAV
  • Guy Ryder, Director-General ILO (Video)

Development paths towards a new social contract

10:30-12:30 Economic, social and sustainable development in a globalised world

Moderator: Dagmar Walter, Director ILO DWT South Asia and CO New Delhi
  • Dr. Biswajit Dhar (JNU),
  • Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe (Employers, Sri Lanka),
  • Mr Indra Shekhar Singh, Navdanya.

Comments from the participants:
  • Mr. Laxman Basnet, SARTUC
  • Sri. C.K. Sajinarayanan, BMS
  • Mr. Marimutthu, CWC
  • Mr. Rajeev Sharma, BWI
  • Mr Weijun Dan ACFTU

13:30-15:00 Role of work in society

Moderator: Anna Biondi, Deputy-Director, ILO ACTRAV
  • Dr. Praveen Jha (JNU)
  • Dr. Rizwanul Islam
  • Ms. Rehana Riyawala (SEWA), Ministry of Labour India (tbc)
Comments from participants:
  • Dr. Vijayalakshmi Bagalur Venkata, AITUC
  • Ms. Binda Pandey, GEFONT
  • Ms. Apoorva Kaiwar, INDUSTRI-ALL
  • Mr. Virjesh Upadhyay, BMS

15:30-17:00 Technological change

Moderator: Michael Watt, ILO ACTRAV
  • Dr. Dev Nathan (IHD),
  • Dr. Bino Paul (TISS),
  • Mr. Rajeev Dubey (Employers, India)
Comments from participants:
  • Mr. Chandrasekharan, INTUC
  • Mr. Harbhajan Singh Sidhu, HMS
  • Mr. Rajendra Kumar Acharya, UNI
  • Ms. Manasi Shah, SEWA

17:00-18:00 SPECIAL DIALOGUE: The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda

Moderator: Maria Helena Andre, Director, ILO ACTRAV
  • Mr. Yuri Afanasiev (UNRC, India)
  • Nitti Ayog, India (tbc)
  • Mr. Francis Kim Upgi, Senior Officer for Economic and Social Policy, ITUC-AP 

19 April 2018

Challenges of effective governance in an increasingly globalized world

9:30-11:30 The role of the state

Moderator: Nomaan Majid, Senior Employment Specialist ILO DWT for South Asia and Country Office for India
  • Dr. Kamala Sankaran (Delhi University),
  • Dr. Didar Singh (FoW Commission),
  • Ms. Miranda Fajerman, ILO DWT for South Asia and Country Office for India.
Comments from the Participants:
  • Mr. Ramachandra Khuntia, INTUC
  • Mrs. Christine Nathan, HMS/ITUC-AP Womens’ Chair
  • Mr Padmasiri Ranawakaarachchi, NTUF
  • Mr. V. Narasimhan, AINLIEF & PSI Country Representative

13:00-15:00 The role of trade unions

Moderator: Ariel Castro, ILO ACTRAV, Desk Officer for Asia and the Pacific
  • Pr. Shyam Sundar (XLRI),
  • Sultan Ahmed (BILS),
  • Dr. Pravin Sinha
Comments from participants:
  • Dr. Hemalatha, CITU
  • Mr. Ramesh Badal , GEFONT
  • Mr. Sangam Tripathy, ITF
  • Mr. Shakil Chowdhury, BLF

15:00-15:30 Closing ceremony

  • Maria Helena Andre, Director of ACTRAV