Employment and Decent Work for peace and resilience

ILO revises the Recommendation concerning Employment Organisation in the Transition from War to Peace

News | 20 March 2017
In June 2016 the International Labour Conference launched the revision of the Employment (Transition from War to Peace) Recommendation, 1944 (No. 71). This standard-setting process upholds the ILO’s constitutional principles of social justice and peace, principles that are deeply rooted in the reconstruction and peace-building efforts made following the First and Second World Wars.

Recommendation No. 71 was adopted at the end of the Second World War to provide guidance on employment promotion efforts in the transition from war to peace. It is still today the only normative instrument in the United Nations system for responding to crises through employment and job creation. The recurring and changing nature of conflicts and disasters, and their wide-ranging impact on development and stability and on the pursuit of decent work goals in many regions, make the need for a more comprehensive and updated normative basis for crisis response urgent. New and timely responses are required, with strengthened partnerships and emphasis on prevention and resilience, as well as on recovery. Moreover, the ILO’s mandate, approach and expertise in crisis response have evolved and expanded over the years and now include the promotion of durable solutions for communities and countries affected by armed conflicts and/or disasters. The Organization can thus be called on to promote employment, reinforce state institutions, foster social protection, social dialogue and respect for fundamental rights.

In light of the above, the Governing Body decided, at its 320th Session (March 2014), to place this item on the agenda of the 105th Session of the International Labour Conference (2016), under the double discussion procedure, to reflect the increased attention being paid to the matter, which is at the crossroads of developmental, humanitarian and peacebuilding initiatives at the national and international levels. This initiative builds on the ILO’s critical role of employment and decent work in situations of crisis over the last three decades, the 2009 United Nations Policy for Post-Conflict Employment Creation, Income Generation and Reintegration (UN Policy), the outcome of the March 2014 Governing Body discussion on ILO technical cooperation in fragile States, and the subsequent High-Level Panel on Decent Work in Fragile States, among others.

The Office prepared two reports for the first discussion. The law and practice report, Employment and decent work for peace and resilience (ILC.105/V/1), made available to all member States in April 2015, provides an overview of the notion of crisis and its evolution beyond international warfare to include non-international armed conflicts and other situations of widespread violence, as well as natural and man-made disasters. The report examines the development of crisis responses in different country and regional contexts, as well as the ILO’s response to crisis and disaster. It describes the architecture of the international crisis response system, and analyses the ILO’s role within this system and its engagement to influence the design and implementation of recovery and reconstruction programmes in line with decent work concerns. Finally, the report illustrates the measures that could be included in a revised standard to support member States in promoting peace, preventing crises, enabling recovery and building resilience.

The second report, Employment and decent work for peace and resilience (ILC.105/V/2), dispatched to member States in early 2016, is based on the replies received to the questionnaire drawn up under article 39 of the Standing Orders of the Conference, and contained in the first report, to seek constituents’ views in preparing a draft Recommendation. It summarizes and comments on the replies received to the questionnaire. It also contains a set of draft conclusions prepared on the basis of these replies and intended to support the discussion by the 105th Session of the Conference. Details and outcomes of the first discussion can be found on the dedicated web page of the Committee on Employment and decent work for the transition to peace.

Following the first discussion, the Office prepared a further report, Employment and decent work for peace and resilience (ILC.106/V/1), which includes the text of a proposed Recommendation. This was communicated to governments in August 2016, with the request that they provide the Office, after consulting the most representative employers’ and workers’ organizations, with any proposals for amendments to, or comments on, the text.  

For the second discussion, to be held at the 106th session of the Conference in June 2017, the Office prepared the fourth and last report on the item, Employment and decent work for peace and resilience (ILC.106/V/2A), which contains the essence of the replies received from governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations. The draft text of the proposed Recommendation, which will be the focus of the Committee’s discussions, is included in a separate volume, Employment and decent work for peace and resilience (ILC.106/V/2B).

For further information please contact: REVISIONR71@ilo.org