World Day for Safety and Health at Work Public march in Addis Ababa urged for a strong safety culture at work

More than 250 representatives from government, employers’ and workers’ organizations, staff members from the Public Health Department of Addis Ababa University and the International Labour Organization (ILO) called for a strong safety culture at work on 26th April at a public rally in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Press release | 28 April 2009

ADDIS ABABA (ILO News) – More than 250 representatives from government, employers’ and workers’ organizations, staff members from the Public Health Department of Addis Ababa University and the International Labour Organization (ILO) called for a strong safety culture at work on 26th April at a public rally in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Celebrating the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, the participants - led by the Federal Police marching band - weaved through the city drawing crowds and cheerful spectators.

The public march, which was organized by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in line with the themes of the 90th Anniversary of the ILO, is part of larger international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work.

As stated by the ILO Director-general, Mr. Juan Somavia, “Then, as today, the call to protect workers against sickness, disease and injury arising out of employment has been at the heart of the ILO’s agenda, a major focus of standard-setting and other means of action”.

H.E. W/or Zenebu Tadesse, Sate Minister of Labour and Social Affairs and Mr. George Okutho, Director of Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Africa, reaffirmed their commitment to working together and with the social partners in promoting a preventative safety and health culture in Ethiopia.

The public rally guided the participants to the exhibition at the Addis Ababa National Exhibition Center where the main focus was the practical steps employers’ and workers’ organizations as well as the government could continue to take to cultivate a safety and health culture.

The booths featured technical cooperation projects such as floriculture, cotton and textile, solid waste management with an emphasis on safety and health. A selection of women entrepreneurs and local NGO’s promoting their merchandises were also among the exhibiters.

The Director General of the ILO urged the international community to “be particularly vigilant to ensure that strategies for adjustment and economic recovery do not follow a low road which devalues human life and safety in the workplace”.

For media coverage, interviews and photos:

Guebray Berhane, ILO Regional Office for Africa, guebray@ilo.org

Tel: + 251/115-444415 or + 251/911-218115

Rahel Kebede, rahel@ilo.org

Tel: + 251/115/444454 or + 251/911-218113

The ILO is dedicated to bringing Decent Work to the people of all countries. For more information you can view a short Web movie.