GENEVA (ILO News) – The 106th International Labour Conference (ILC) closed following two weeks of deliberations on key world of work issues, including the promotion of peace and stability in countries emerging from conflict, strengthening labour migration governance and greening the economy.
The International Labour Conference adopted a new landmark standard, the Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience Recommendation, 2017 (No. 205), which updates the guidance of an earlier ILO Recommendation adopted in 1944 to provide responses to contemporary crisis situations arising from conflicts and disasters. It also widens the focus of the standard on reconstruction and recovery to include prevention and preparedness.
The new standard provides a unique normative framework focusing on world of work related measures to prevent and respond to the devastating effects of conflicts and disasters on economies and societies, paying special attention to vulnerable population groups, such as children, young people, women and displaced people.
The Conference also adopted a Resolution which requests the ILO Director-General to take a lead in strengthening partnerships at the international level to promote the new standard. The adoption of a new Recommendation on Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience – is very significant at several levels,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, in his closing remarks to the ILC.
“Significant because it shows, unequivocally, that the ILO is ready and able to update its standards, making them robust and relevant. And significant because it is a vital answer from the world of work to have millions of people, affected by crisis, disaster, or displacement. Not only are we listening to them, we are acting for them and acting with them.”
The head of the ILO also reminded delegates of the ILO’s responsibilities in respect of labour migration. He referred to the “widespread governance deficits which allow space for abuse, and too frequently a deterioration of public attitudes and political discourse towards migrants and migration.” He called on the international community “to make no concessions to attitudes which are offensive to the ILO’s values and standards and to provide real guidance and leadership in the construction of governance systems (…) which allow the realization of the benefits of migration for all concerned.”
Ryder lauded the “valuable debate” and “many expressions of support for the Paris Agreement”, reminding his audience that there was not a “linear transition from brown to green”. He insisted on the value of social dialogue between governments and the social partners in this transition: “Tripartism does deliver the goods.”
Women at WorkThe Conference held a World of Work Summit on Women at Work on 15 June to discuss how to shape a better future for women at work, and what is needed to overcome obstacles for women in the world of work. The same day, three women Presidents highlighted concrete action they have taken to advance gender equality in the world of work: Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (Malta), Ameenah Gurib-Fakim (Mauritius) and Bidya Devi Bhandar (Nepal).
Another President, Dr Tabaré Vázquez (Uruguay), addressed the ILO’s world parliament of labour on the opening day.
This year’s World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June focussed on the impact of conflicts and disasters on child labour.
Delegates also discussed a report of the Director-General drawing the world’s attention to the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories.
The 106th International Labour Conference adopted a programme and budget for the 2018-19 biennium of US$784 million which in nominal terms is some 2 per cent lower than for 2016-17.
The Conference also decided to abrogate four and withdraw two international labour standards.
A record 6,000 accredited delegates from 187 ILO member States attended the 106th ILC. The Conference was presided over by Luis Ernesto Carles, Minister of Labour from Panama.
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