Committee on Sectoral and Technical Meetings
and Related Issues
SECOND ITEM ON THE AGENDA
Effect to be given to the recommendations of the
Tripartite Meeting on Improving the Conditions of
Employment and Work of Agricultural Wage Workers
in the Context of Economic Restructuring
(Geneva, 23-27 September 1996)
1. The Tripartite Meeting on Improving the Conditions of Employment and Work of Agricultural Wage Workers in the Context of Economic Restructuring was held in Geneva from 23 to 27 September 1996, under the chairmanship of Dr. L. Mishra (India).
2. The Meeting had before it a report entitled Wage workers in agriculture: Conditions of employment and work, prepared by the International Labour Office.
3. The Meeting unanimously adopted the following conclusions and resolutions:
conclusions on improving the conditions of employment and work of agricultural wage workers in the context of economic restructuring;
resolution concerning future ILO activities in the field of agriculture;
resolution concerning sustainable agriculture;
resolution concerning the World Food Summit;
resolution concerning the Conventions relating to fundamental human rights and other Conventions that are of major importance to agriculture.
4. These texts, together with a summary of the proceedings of the Meeting, appear in the Meeting's Note on the proceedings, which is appended to the present paper.(1) In accordance with the Committee's earlier decision,(2) the Note on the proceedings has already been distributed to the participants. The texts call, inter alia, for certain action by the ILO, as detailed below.
5. The role of the ILO in relation to conditions of employment and work of agricultural wage workers is dealt with in paragraphs 25 and 26 of the conclusions. In paragraph 25 the Meeting requests the ILO to carry out objective research and provide advisory services in order to equip its constituents with information and analysis on recent trends in the sector. Some of the topics suggested are: the impact of trade liberalization on agricultural wage workers; the situation of women agricultural wage workers; and employment promotion policies and programmes. In paragraph 26 the Meeting requests the ILO to make available more information on cost-effective measures in occupational safety and health training in agrochemicals. Training in collective bargaining, gender issues and the safe handling of agrochemicals is also requested, as is assistance in the preparation or revision of national legislation as well as the monitoring of the application of ratified Conventions.
6. The role of the ILO in regard to agricultural wage workers is addressed in the resolution concerning future ILO activities in the field of agriculture, which was adopted unanimously. In the operative part of this resolution, the Governing Body is invited --
to allocate the necessary resources for the ILO Sectoral Activities Programme to ensure implementation of the Meeting's decisions;
to convene as soon as possible the next sectoral meeting for agriculture and to consider putting on the agenda one of the following items: "Moving to sustainable agricultural development: The prospects for increased employment and better working conditions for agricultural workers" or "The modernization of agriculture and employment in a globalized economy";
to continue to implement measures to facilitate the adequate participation of women in future tripartite meetings on agriculture;
to request the Director-General --
to prepare a study on the impact of globalization on the agricultural sector, specifically the role of multinational enterprises in agriculture and the impact of trade liberalization on agricultural commodities and the consequences for employment, food security and food quality;
to call on governments to consult and involve workers' organizations and employers' organizations when they consider measures to be taken as follow-up on the Meeting;
to design and carry out a major programme of assistance to governments and to employers' and workers' organizations on training in order to improve employment, labour regulation and skills in agriculture;
to intensify research, information and publications on improvements in productivity, the creation of productive employment and new methods of production in agriculture;
to prepare without delay a study on successful cases of productive employment creation, and widely disseminate its results.
7. In the resolution concerning sustainable agriculture, adopted unanimously, the Governing Body is invited --
to call on member States to adopt measures to move to sustainable agriculture, while ensuring the safety of workers, within a reasonable time-frame;
to encourage member States to intensify research to develop products that do not endanger humans or the environment;
to request the Director-General --
to conduct research on the job-creation potential of sustainable agriculture;
to allocate resources to ensure the implementation of effective education programmes on environmental issues and sustainable development.
8. In the resolution concerning the World Food Summit, adopted unanimously, the Governing Body is invited --
to ensure that the ILO plays an active role in the World Food Summit (WFS) to promote understanding of the role of agricultural workers, farmers and employers in food security and the need to involve them in policy formulation;
to call on member States to include representatives of agricultural workers' trade unions and employers' organizations in national delegations to the WFS.
9. In the resolution concerning the Conventions relating to fundamental human rights and other Conventions that are of major importance to agriculture, adopted unanimously, the Governing Body is invited --
(1) to urge all member States --
to ratify and implement existing Conventions concerning fundamental human rights, such as the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87); the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98); the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29); the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105); the Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100); and the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111);
to consider ratifying and implement the following Conventions that are of particular significance to the agricultural sector: the Plantations Convention, 1958 (No. 110); the Rural Workers' Organisations Convention, 1975 (No. 141); the Right of Association (Agriculture) Convention, 1921 (No. 11); the Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129); the Minimum Wage Fixing Machinery (Agriculture) Convention, 1951 (No. 99); the Minimum Age (Agriculture) Convention, 1921 (No. 10); the Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 97); and the Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975 (No. 143);
(2) to report regularly on the application of fundamental standards for agricultural workers.
10. The Committee on Sectoral and Technical Meetings and Related Issues may wish to recommend that the Governing Body authorize the Director-General to communicate the Note on the proceedings containing the texts mentioned in paragraph 3 above --
to governments, requesting them to communicate these texts to the employers' and workers' organizations concerned;
to the international employers' and workers' organizations concerned;
to the international organizations concerned.
11. The Committee on Sectoral and Technical Meetings and Related Issues may wish to recommend that the Governing Body request the Director-General to bear in mind, when drawing up proposals for the future programme of work of the Office, the wishes expressed by the Meeting in paragraphs 25 and 26 of the conclusions and in the relevant parts of the resolutions.
Geneva, 10 February 1997.
Points for decision: Paragraph 10; Paragraph 11.
Updated by VC. Approved by NdW. Last update: 4 February 2000.
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