Committee on Sectoral and Technical Meetings
and Related Issues
FOURTH ITEM ON THE AGENDA
Effect to be given to the Tripartite Meeting
on the Globalization of the Footwear, Textiles
and Clothing Industries: Effects on Employment
and Working Conditions
(Geneva, 28 October-1 November 1996)
1. The Tripartite Meeting on the Globalization of the Footwear, Textiles and Clothing Industries: Effects on Employment and Working Conditions was held in Geneva from 28 October to 1 November 1996, under the chairmanship of Mr. L.P. Anand (Employer).
2. The Meeting had before it a report entitled Globalization of the footwear, textiles and clothing industries, prepared by the International Labour Office.
3. The Meeting unanimously adopted the following conclusions and resolutions:
conclusions on the effects of globalization of the footwear, textiles and clothing industries on employment and working conditions;
resolution concerning child labour in the footwear, textile and clothing industries;
resolution concerning future ILO action in the footwear, textile and clothing industries.
4. These texts, together with a summary of the proceedings of the Meeting, appear in the Note on the proceedings,(1) which is appended to the present document.
5. The proposed future role of the ILO is outlined in paragraphs 12 to 15 of the conclusions. Paragraph 12 relates to the need for the ILO to collect and disseminate information and statistics on employment and working conditions in the three sectors covered by the Meeting. Reference is also made to the holding of tripartite fora on best practices relating to training and retraining in textiles, clothing and footwear (TCF) enterprises. Paragraph 13 calls for a review of the application at the sectoral level of all ILO Conventions, in particular in the TCF industries. Paragraph 14 requests the ILO to continue the work already initiated concerning voluntary codes of conduct of TCF enterprises with a view to developing models that could be used for the provision of technical advisory services. Paragraph 15 refers to the need for the ILO to provide technical advisory services, technical cooperation and other practical assistance to its constituents in relation to the TCF industries.
6. The resolution concerning child labour in the footwear, textile and clothing industries invites the Governing Body --
(1) to call on governments in all member States --
to ratify and fully implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the ILO Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), the Forced Labour Convention, l930 (No. 29), and the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105), as a matter of priority, to disseminate information designed to increase public awareness of the problems associated with child labour, and to implement programmes for the elimination of child labour;
to support the adoption of the ILO Convention on the elimination of child labour at the 86th and 87th Sessions (1998 and 1999) of the International Labour Conference;
to allocate the necessary resources for the provision of free, universal and compulsory education, particularly from primary level, which should be followed by vocational training preparing for working life;
to continue to work to eliminate all child labour as early as possible and having as a target the year 2000, by encouraging an end to the new recruitment of child workers, by the removal of the youngest children from the workforce and their placement in schools, these children being replaced at work preferably by unemployed adult members from the same family, and by an immediate ban on all bonded labour and employment of children in hazardous occupations;
to undertake economic and social development programmes to promote adult employment and to eradicate poverty;
to call on all employers, employers' organizations, merchandisers and retailers of footwear, textile and clothing products:
to cooperate fully towards the elimination of child labour and adhere to the provisions of the resolutions adopted by the ILO and the International Organization of Employers;
to develop policies and adopt voluntary guidelines that aim to eliminate the use of child labour in the manufacturing, directly or indirectly, marketing or retailing of their products;
to support the adoption of programmes designed to promote adherence to these guidelines in particularly sensitive parts of the industries, aimed at providing consumers with information and guarantees that the products have not been made by children;
(2) to request the Director-General --
to promote strongly the ratification and implementation of the relevant ILO Conventions and Recommendations and to ensure that the ILO plays a full part in promoting effective application of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child;
to strengthen tripartite cooperation and the role of employers' and workers' organizations in the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC).
7. The resolution concerning future ILO action in the footwear, textile and clothing industries invites the Governing Body --
to ensure that tripartite meetings on the TCF industries take place regularly, with meetings of experts as required;
to devote the next tripartite meeting to an examination of labour practices in the footwear, textile and clothing industries;
to ensure that the footwear, textile and clothing industries continue to receive adequate attention and the resources necessary to enhance the levels of technical cooperation and research;
to express its continued support for the work of its Committee on Freedom of Association;
to request the Director-General --
Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, as well as all relevant ILO Conventions and Recommendations;
to provide for increased assistance to workers' organizations and management training in the TCF industries;
to include, in the ILO's future work programme, regional and subregional meetings specific to the TCF industries;
to include in the work programme meetings of experts on various relevant issues;
to arrange for the further collection and dissemination of statistics, specific and relevant to the TCF industries and including data on the impact of trade on workers' rights;
to undertake a study on the impact of multinational enterprises in the TCF industries;
to carry out further research work focusing specifically on the problems facing homeworkers in the TCF industries.
8.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.
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 12-15 of the conclusions and in the resolutions.
Geneva, 10 February 1997.
Points for decision: Paragraph 8; Paragraph 9.
Updated by VC. Approved by NdW. Last update: 4 February 2000.
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