ILC concludes with praise for Forced Labour Protocol

The annual International Labour Conference has ended Thursday. In his closing remarks Director General Guy Ryder pointed to the successful adoption of the forced labour protocol as a notable achievement.

Audio | 12 June 2014
The ILO’s 103rd labour conference ended Thursday after two weeks of talks on key concerns in labour markets. The eradication of forced labour, the growing challenge of migration and the continuing need to bring people from the informal economy to the formal economy were some of the major areas under discussion.

In closing remarks ILO Director-General Guy Ryder singled out the adoption of the protocol on forced labour as a high point of this years conference:
"… It is the fruit of our collective determination to put an end to an abomination which still afflicts our world of work, and to free its 21 million victims; it is a demonstration of our capacity to adopt international labour standards to meet real needs and …. to defend and promote fundamental principles and rights at work…"

On the question of the transition to the formal economy Mr Ryder noted that it remains a work in progress:

"...It is not just the magnitude of the challenge but the complexity of the phenomenon of informality and the very different forms it takes around the world that we have had to confront."

In final comments the Director-General urged delegates to move beyond their differences on the issue of the application of ILO standards:

"...the ILO must have strong, authoritative standards enjoying full tripartite support."

The Two week conference in Geneva brought together nearly four and a half thousand delegates representing governments, employers and employees from around the world.

Reporting from Geneva for the ILO this is Pete Forster.