ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations
ILO-en-strap

GB.273/PFA/7
273rd Session
Geneva, November 1998


Programme, Financial and Administrative Committee

PFA


SEVENTH ITEM ON THE AGENDA

Preparation of the Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01

 

Contents

I.

The programming framework

 

Parameters in terms of resources

 

Strategic and operational objectives

 

II.

Priorities and orientation

 

Follow-up on the Declaration

 

Active Partnership Policy and technical cooperation

 

Other priorities

 

III.

Overview of the proposals

 

Strategic Objective No. 1:
The principles set out in the ILO Constitution related to fundamental rights
and to tripartism and social dialogue are widely realized, and the relevant
Conventions are extensively ratified and fully applied

 

Operational Objective 1(a):
The ILO constitutional principles concerning fundamental rights
are widely respected in practice and fundamental Conventions
are extensively ratified and fully applied

 

Operational Objective 1(b):
Child labour is progressively eliminated,
with priority to the urgent elimination of its worst forms

 

Operational Objective 1(c):
Employers' and workers' organizations have the necessary
capacity to serve their members and to influence economic and social policy

 

Operational Objective 1(d):
Machinery for social dialogue and consensus is widely adopted
and fully operational, on a bipartite or tripartite basis as appropriate

 

Operational Objective 1(e):
The international community, including the international financial institutions,
provides advice and assistance to support member States' efforts to realize the
ILO's constitutional principles concerning fundamental rights

 

Strategic Objective No. 2:
Policies and programmes for more and better jobs are effectively implemented

 

Operational Objective 2(a):
ILO constituents are equipped to analyse economic and labour market developments
and to elaborate effective employment promotion policies and programmes

 

Operational Objective 2(b):
Employment-friendly enterprise development policies and programmes are effectively implemented

 

Operational Objective 2(c):
Women have access to more and better jobs

 

Operational Objective 2(d):
Policies and programmes to upgrade the conditions of
informal sector activities are effectively implemented

 

Operational Objective 2(e):
Employment policy and practice are targeted to improve the opportunities
of groups left behind in the process of job creation and recruitment

 

Operational Objective 2(f):
ILO constituents are equipped to influence global and
regional policy development related to employment

 

Operational Objective 2(g):
The international community, and especially the international
financial institutions, make full use of ILO research and tripartite policy
guidance on employment issues in their development advice
and funding decisions

 

Strategic Objective No. 3:
Policies and programmes for the protection of workers
are better targeted, more effective and more widely applied

 

Operational Objective 3(a):
International labour standards related to protection
of workers are widely ratified and effectively applied

 

Operational Objective 3(b):
Member States have broadened the scope of social security systems,
improved benefits, strengthened governance and management,
and developed policies to overcome financial constraints

 

Operational Objective 3(c):
Targeted policies and programmes of action on workers' protection are
implemented for the most difficult-to-reach sectors and the most vulnerable
and exploited groups, and voluntary measures are applied to reach workers
who are insufficiently protected by existing machinery

 

Operational Objective 3(d):
ILO constituents target and take effective action
against extremely hazardous conditions at the workplace

 

Operational Objective 3(e):
ILO constituents at the national level are equipped to analyse
the implications of globalization and develop effective policies
to protect workers from adverse social effects

 

Operational Objective 3(f):
The international community, and especially the international
financial institutions, take workers' protection
into consideration in their advice and investment decisions

 

Office-wide objectives

 

Office-wide objective A:
ILO principles, policies and action are well-known to
policy-makers, the international community and the general public

 

Office-wide objective B:
ILO staff have the skills and capacities, as well as the tools and
resources, necessary to carry out their work in a changing world

 

Office-wide objective C:
ILO programming and management systems are streamlined and transparent

 

Office-wide objective D:
ILO constituents have the necessary materials and facilities
(documents, interpretation, well-organized meetings and other supporting services)
to carry out effectively and efficiently their role in the formulation and implementation
of ILO policies, standards and programmes

 

The Turin Centre and the International Institute for Labour Studies

 

Action programmes

 

Technical meetings

 

Tables

 

Table 1

Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01:

Indicative distribution of resources by sector of activity

 

Table 2

Indicative distribution of resources of substantive and

operational programmes by strategic objective

 

Table 3

Strategic Objective No. 1: Operational objectives

 

Table 4

Strategic Objective No. 2: Operational objectives

 

Table 5

Strategic Objective No. 3: Operational objectives

 

 

Appendices

Appendix I.

Strategic and operational objectives and Office-wide objectives: synopsis

 

Appendix II.

Proposed Action Programmes

 

Appendix III.

Choice of technical meetings

 


 

I. The programming framework

1. The present paper is part of the continuing process of consultation of the Governing Body during the development of Programme and Budget proposals. It attempts to meet the expectations the Governing Body expressed in its discussion of the preliminary consultation paper presented in March 1998. It provides information on the proposals that the Office has been developing since that discussion, and requests guidance on the full proposals to be submitted to the Governing Body in March 1999.

2. The paper starts by describing the context and framework of the proposals, including events outside and inside the ILO, resources available to meet the demand for ILO services, and the form of presentation of the proposals. It then indicates the main priorities and orientations, with special attention to follow-up on the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. An overview of the proposals is then provided in relation to strategic objectives. Finally, in addition to guidance on all these points, the Governing Body is asked to express its priorities for the selection of Action Programmes and technical meetings.

3. The Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01 are symbolic as the first of the next millennium, but their content also reflects major developments that have a considerable impact on the living and working conditions of millions of workers. These include globalization, whose consequences for the Organization's objectives concerning workers' fundamental rights, employment and social protection must be taken into account. They also include serious financial crises such as that which has recently afflicted Asia, from which no part of the world can now claim to be protected. In such circumstances the Organization is primarily expected to offer curative action, that is, to collaborate in the development of policies designed to offset the negative effects; but it is at least as important for the ILO's activities also to make a contribution of a preventive kind which, although it may not prevent such crises, at least contains their effects. Experience shows that strong social institutions and effective dialogue are essential to the handling of such situations. The ILO must be active in this field.

4. The programme proposals must also take account of the recent major events in the life of the Organization, such as the adoption by the International Labour Conference of the ILO Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work and its follow-up. This document gives indications on this subject, which will be updated and expanded on the basis of the guidance given by the Governing Body at its present session concerning follow-up on the Declaration.

5. Other important discussions will take place at the present session of the Governing Body whose results will influence the Programme and Budget proposals. These naturally include the discussion in the Committee on Sectoral and Technical Meetings and Related Issues on the programme of sectoral activities, and that in the Committee on Technical Cooperation on the conclusions of the Working Party on the Evaluation of the Active Partnership Policy. Discussions on work in the field of the liberalization of international trade will also be taken into consideration.

6. To these should be added the other major events of 1999, such as the discussion at the International Labour Conference in June on the report that the new Director-General will submit to it and the probable adoption of a new instrument on child labour, which will call for decisive promotional activities. In addition, the Organization must be prepared to promote the contribution it has made to follow-up on the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen) and the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing).

 

Parameters in terms of resources

7. The Director-General has expressed the wish that the Programme and Budget proposals presented in March 1999 should be in line, both in form and in content, with the guidance provided in particular by the Governing Body, while allowing an appropriate and adequate degree of flexibility to the International Labour Conference, the Governing Body, and the new Director-General.

8. With this in mind, the programme proposals will reflect, in terms of resources, the status quo of the Programme and Budget for 1998-99. This means that the total amount of the proposals will, as in the current biennium, be US$481,050,000 (in constant dollars), representing zero real growth. This status quo will largely be reflected in the major sectors of activity. Nevertheless, adjustments will be made within those sectors to accommodate the priorities and choices made by the Governing Body. Productivity improvements proposed in the service and support sector will also be taken into account.

9. The most important element affecting the status quo will be the provision for follow-up on the ILO Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work and its follow-up. The resources to be allocated will depend on the orientations given by the Governing Body. A preliminary estimate sets the cost at some 2 to 2.5 million dollars, which will have to be financed within the overall envelope, that is, by reductions in expenditure on other programmes.

10. The priorities expressed by the Governing Body for the action programmes and meetings will also mean adjustments in terms of resources among the major substantive and operational programmes.

11. The Programme and Budget proposals will also include changes that do not affect the status quo in terms of resources. This applies in particular to regional services and operational programmes, where the current level of resources should be maintained. This means that the proposed innovations will have to be financed out of savings in this sector. In other words, for the regions, there should not be any increases that are not compensated by savings.

12. Within this framework, apart from that indicated above, it has not been possible to accommodate the various requests for increases in resources in the proposals that will be presented. This highlights two problems to which no solution has been found within the imposed resource limits. First, there is the imperative need for the Office to modernize the applications used to manage the financial and accounting work of the Office as a whole, the cost of which is estimated at US$15 to 20 million, which cannot be absorbed within the resources allocated to that sector. PERSIS faces a similar situation, as its implementation has suffered as a result of the delays in the UN's IMIS project. Here too the development resources necessary for the successful completion of this project, estimated at $1.6 million, could not be found for the moment within the resource limits of the major programme concerned. This question is addressed in greater detail in a separate document submitted to the Committee at the present session.

13. The following table showing resources by major sector reflects these resource parameters.


Table 1

Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01:
Indicative distribution of resources by sector of activity


1998-99

2000-01

Difference

 




Programme and budget

% total budget

Proposals

% total budget

US$

% change

 







Policy-making organs

65,636,386

13.64

65,893,917

13.7

257,531

0.39

General management

7,837,894

1.63

7,837,894

1.63

-

-

Technical programmes

148,279,658

30.82

149,771,355

31.13

1,491,697

1.01

Regional programmes

139,324,873

28.96

139,424,873

28.98

100,000

0.07

Substantive and operational programmes

287,604,531

59.79

289,196,228

60.12

1,591,697

0.55

Service and support activities

102,576,423

21.32

100,863,695

20.97

-1,712,728

-1.67

Miscellaneous

17,394,766

3.62

17,258,266

3.59

-136,500

-0.78

 







481,050,000

100

481,050,000

100

-

0


Strategic and operational objectives

14. During the Governing Body's discussion of the preliminary consultation paper on the Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01,(1) there were a number of calls for greater clarity and fuller detail in the presentation of priorities and activities. The IMEC governments in particular advocated the specification of objectives, outputs and measurable indicators of achievement. Statements by the Employers' and Workers' groups and by other governments suggested that there was a broad consensus in this regard.

15. In response to the Governing Body's concerns, the Office plans to improve the presentation of the Programme and Budget proposals, as described in the Appendix to the preliminary consultation paper of March. The proposals will be presented in two separate documents. The first will be a strategic paper that will provide a concise description of the policy orientations underlying the proposals and will summarize their contributions to the strategic and operational objectives presented below. It will also give synthetic and explanatory data in the form of tables and graphs. The second document will contain the Programme and Budget proposals, organized according to the major programme structure.

16. After the March discussions, a number of Governing Body groups and members, as well as the incoming Director-General, have indicated that a certain flexibility in the proposals would be appropriate. This would permit the programme to be adjusted to take into account the results of discussions prior to the start of the biennium, in particular the debate on the Director-General's report to the International Labour Conference in June 1999. Accordingly, it is envisaged that the main Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01 (the second document referred to in the preceding paragraph) will be as concise as possible, while responding to the longstanding request of the Governing Body that the proposals specify verifiable objectives based on the identification of the problems and needs of constituents.

17. Based on the Governing Body's guidance, three strategic objectives have been identified and, for each of these, operational objectives on which significant progress could be expected in the medium term. The three strategic objectives correspond to the priority areas that have frequently met with the Governing Body's approval in earlier programme discussions : democracy and human rights, poverty alleviation and employment, and the protection of workers. In addition, four Office-wide objectives are identified concerning the visibility and effectiveness of ILO action. A full listing of the strategic and operational objectives, the Office-wide objectives and the problems to which they respond, is found in Appendix I.

18. During the process of developing the proposals, each of the substantive and operational programme managers was asked to identify the contributions its proposals would make to the strategic and operational objectives. This information has been used to construct a synthetic overview of the proposals (section III of this paper).

19. A single activity will often contribute to more than one objective: for example, activities to combat discrimination against women should, if they are effective, also contribute to increasing women's employment and reducing their poverty. To deal with this and related problems, proposals are attached to strategic and operational objectives proportionately, based on the judgement of the programme managers concerned. The International labour standards and human rights major programme, for example, attributes the bulk of its work to Strategic Objective No. 1. This is due to the extensive activities related to the promotion and supervision of the fundamental Conventions. At the same time, the proposals cover the promotion and supervision of standards related to employment (Strategic Objective No. 2) and to the protection of workers (Strategic Objective No. 3).

20. The strategic and operational objectives provide a transparent view of the Programme and Budget proposals. They are intended to help the Governing Body and the International Labour Conference to provide guidance and to indicate priorities. The objectives will need to be adjusted and adapted in a dynamic fashion based on experience with their use and on new and emerging priorities.

 

II. Priorities and orientation

Follow-up on the Declaration

21. The adoption at the June 1998 session of the International Labour Conference of the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up was a major event, and will have a forceful impact on the Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01. Without prejudice to the Governing Body's discussion concerning follow-up on the Declaration,(2) information is provided below on the most important programming consequences. The final Programme and Budget proposals will reflect the decisions of the Governing Body.

22. The Declaration reflects the parallel commitment of member States to respect the principles of freedom of association, non-discrimination and abolition of forced and child labour, and of the Organization to assist member States to this effect. This has far-reaching implications for both policy and operational work in the Office, including the Active Partnership Policy. Action that has already been taken in this field will be reviewed and built upon. This includes such measures as assistance in the framework of country objectives, various activities to promote fundamental Conventions, and measures to follow up on the findings of the supervisory mechanism.

23. The strategic and operational objectives described earlier in this paper show that the Declaration has already had a significant impact on the preliminary Programme and Budget proposals (see Section III of the paper, and more specifically Strategic Objective No. 1).

24. The Annex to the Declaration provides for annual follow-up on unratified fundamental Conventions by the Governing Body and a global report which is to be discussed every year by the Conference. Both are oriented towards technical assistance, and it will be important to ensure that constituents have ready access to such assistance. This should take place in three stages. First, constituents should be assisted, if necessary, in evaluating their needs and reviewing any ongoing assistance. Secondly, needs for assistance identified in the annual reports on unratified Conventions should be followed up. Thirdly, after each Conference the Governing Body should establish a plan of action for the next four years concerning the set of principles and rights covered by that year's global report.

25. In order to commence work so that the follow-up can be operational in 2000-01, the Director-General proposes to establish a Bureau that would report direct to a member of the General Management. This Bureau would be responsible for the annual report on unratified Conventions as well as the global report. It would also have responsibility for assisting the new group of three to five experts who would prepare the discussions of the Governing Body on the annual report.

26. This Bureau would be supported by inputs from the major programmes most directly concerned, and in particular those on International Labour Standards and Human Rights, Industrial Relations and Labour Administration, Working Conditions and Environment, and Employment and Training. The work of the Bureau would be multidisciplinary in approach, geared towards technical assistance, and in line with the expressed objectives of the Declaration and its follow-up. The Bureau would have responsibility for promotion of the Declaration, including by assisting dialogue and cooperation within the multilateral system. Research on matters directly related to the Declaration and its follow-up, if needed, could be carried out or supported by the proposed Bureau.

27. This Bureau would participate in the design and, as appropriate, execution of technical cooperation activities. However, it should be understood that its primary role is to develop the tools for such assistance which would then take place in the context of the Active Partnership Policy, with increasing emphasis on action by the multidisciplinary teams.

 

Active Partnership Policy and technical cooperation

28. The report of the Working Party on the Evaluation of the Active Partnership Policy is the subject of a discussion by the Committee on Technical Cooperation at the Governing Body's present session. Without prejudging its outcome, the report of the Working Party contains various observations that must underscore the Programme and Budget proposals for the next biennium. Thus, it seems that the implementation of the Active Partnership Policy has had a positive influence on the quality and relevance of the services provided to constituents and on the Office's capacity to comprehend the diversity of their needs. One essential element of this positive assessment is the tripartite dialogue instituted between constituents, in particular in the preparation of the country objectives. Two initiatives are proposed in this respect for the coming biennium. First is a new cycle of country objectives in 2000-01 covering countries in which no such exercise has yet been conducted and those where it seems necessary to update the existing country objectives. The second consists in associating other parties in this tripartite dialogue, such as ministries of planning, social affairs, finance and rural development. It is also proposed, again to take account of the concerns expressed by the Working Party on the Evaluation of the Active Partnership Policy, to organize periodic meetings with constituents at the national level concerning monitoring of the implementation of the established country objectives and to strengthen the ILO's relations, in connection with objectives and priorities, with other partners that may contribute to the implementation of technical cooperation programmes and projects. Arrangements will be made to allow for regular appraisals of the results of the APP.

29. It is also proposed to review the organization and coverage of the Organization's field structures, and in particular the network of multidisciplinary teams. The programme proposals will include the creation of two, or even three, new small multidisciplinary teams, whose financing will have to be covered within the resources currently allocated to the regions. One such new team will be installed in Asia, and the other in the Americas region, adding to the two new multidisciplinary teams established during the current biennium in Africa and Europe. In addition, the process of integrating the operations of the area offices and the multidisciplinary teams, which has already begun, will continue. At the same time, the number and profiles of the MDT specialists will be reviewed so as to respond more specifically to constituents' priorities.

30. The issue of technical cooperation is included in the agenda of the International Labour Conference of June 1999. New orientations will result from its discussion. Some can already be foreseen: technical cooperation will have to play an important role in follow-up on the ILO Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work and its follow-up. This means that it will be necessary to intensify the Office's efforts to mobilize extrabudgetary resources. The major global programmes, such as the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), that on More and Better Jobs for Women, the International Small Enterprise Programme (ISEP), and the Strategies and Tools against Social Exclusion and Poverty (STEP) will form a strategic framework for the development of national activities in these fields. As a result of the implementation of the resource mobilization strategy, the Office has set itself the objective, in 2000-01, of an increase of the order of 10 per cent in the total extrabudgetary resources allocated to technical cooperation activities.

 

Other priorities

31. In its discussion of the preliminary consultation paper and on other occasions when it has discussed substantive priorities, the Governing Body has referred to a number of themes and events that should be reflected in the proposals. These include child labour, enterprise policy, globalization and social policy, follow-up on the Social Summit, and follow-up on the Fourth World Conference on Women.

32. The new device of operational objectives helps to show exactly what work is proposed on a specific theme. Section III of this paper contains a summary of the work proposed under each operational objective. For example, operational objective 1(b) relates to child labour, and the proposals on child labour are found under that objective. In addition, it will be seen that it is proposed to devote 12 per cent of the resources for Strategic Objective No. 1 to this theme, which is an increase over previous biennia.

33. The case of enterprise policy is similar, though slightly more complex. The Employers' group in particular considered that this was not just a narrow question of policies and programmes to support entrepreneurship and enterprise growth as a means of creating and sustaining employment, though this is very important. They also wished to see the Office as a whole take better account of the role of enterprises in wealth and employment creation. A summary of both kinds of action will be found under operational objective 2(b).

34. The broad topic of globalization and social policy is referred to under several operational objectives. Under 2(a), work is foreseen on strengthening the capacities of ILO constituents to analyse national economic and labour market developments, including the implications of globalization, and to elaborate effective employment promotion policies and programmes. Under 2(f), the focus is on equipping constituents to influence global and regional policy development related to employment. As regards workers' protection, the aim of strengthened capacity of constituents to analyse the implications of globalization and develop effective policies to protect workers from adverse social effects is covered under 3(e). Globalization is also related to the Governing Body's emphasis on greater collaboration with the international financial institutions, which is covered under 1(e), 2(g) and 3(f).

35. Follow-up on the World Summit for Social Development covers work in almost all areas of the ILO's competence, and it is only possible to mention here a few specific items. The ILO already is actively involved in the preparation of the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the Implementation of the Outcome of the World Summit for Social Development, to be held in 2000. It is expected that the Special Session will confirm the leading role of the ILO in the field of employment, and that Commitment 3, the achievement of full employment, will be a major component of the follow-up. This will provide policy support to essentially all the proposed work on employment. In particular, the experience gained from country employment policy reviews will continue to be used to establish models of best practice and to promote ratification and full implementation of the Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No. 122).

36. Special efforts will be made to put into practice the provisions of the Programme of Action adopted by the Social Summit that call on enterprises to pursue investment and other policies, including non-commercial activities, to contribute to social development programmes, including the generation of employment opportunities and social support services at the workplace.

37. A Special Session of the General Assembly to follow up on the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing will be held in 2000. As in the case of the Social Summit, the ILO is already active in preparing for this event. In 2000-01, the activities described under operational objective 2(c) will continue to improve employment opportunities for women, particularly through the International Programme on More and Better Jobs for Women. Additional action is found in relation to the fundamental standards on equality (under 1(a)) and working conditions (under 3(a)). Finally, mainstreaming has resulted in proposed action under numerous headings, including the promotion of entrepreneurship and self-employment for women, workers' education, and reconciliation of work and family responsibilities.

 

III. Overview of the proposals

38. This section provides an overview of the objectives, orientations and main outputs of the Programme and Budget proposals. The proposals are summarized under each of the strategic and operational objectives described earlier in this paper. The Governing Body is invited to provide guidance on any adjustments that should be introduced in the proposals to be submitted to the Governing Body in March 1999.

39. In order to make it easier to identify proposals for substantive action within the field structure, these are summarized in a separate paragraph under each of the first three strategic objectives.

40. Table 2 below shows indicative estimates of the attribution of resources to the three strategic objectives. The figures will change based on the Governing Body's selection of Action Programmes and technical meetings, as well as the guidance given on overall programme priorities.


Table 2

Indicative distribution of resources of substantive and
operational programmes by strategic objective


 

Strategic Objective


 

  1

 

The principles set out in the ILO Constitution related to fundamental rights and to tripartism and social dialogue are widely realized, and the relevant Conventions are extensively ratified and fully applied.

 

32%

  2

 

Policies and programmes for more and better jobs are effectively implemented.

 

40.5%

  3

 

Policies and programmes for the protection of workers are better targeted, more effective and more widely applied.

 

27.5%


41. At this stage, prior to the Governing Body's decisions on Action Programmes and technical meetings and its guidance on other matters, it is not possible to give estimates of the budgets of individual programmes. It should be recalled that the allocation of resources to the technical and operational sector as a whole is expected to be stable as a proportion of ILO resources, or to increase slightly as a result of savings in the administrative sector. In the proposals to be submitted to the Governing Body in March, and in particular in the new strategic document, information will be provided on contributions to strategic and operational objectives at the major programme, programme and subprogramme levels.

42. This overview, revised after the Governing Body's discussions and including references to relevant subprogrammes in the main proposals, will be one of the principal elements of the new document providing the strategic orientation of the Programme and Budget proposals.

 

Strategic Objective No. 1:
The principles set out in the ILO Constitution related to
fundamental rights and to tripartism and social dialogue
are widely realized, and the relevant Conventions are
extensively ratified and fully applied

43. The Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work adopted at the 86th Session of the International Labour Conference in June 1998 shows the importance of this strategic objective, while making clear that follow-up on the Declaration is not a substitute for the established supervisory machinery.

44. The Governing Body will provide guidance concerning follow-up on the Declaration at its present session. Without anticipating the outcome of that discussion, it seems appropriate to assume that the follow-up will be placed under this strategic objective, along with other promotional and advisory work related to standards. In addition, other work related to the fundamental constitutional principles of the Organization, and in particular activities that directly support employers' and workers' organizations, have been placed under this strategic objective unless they relate specifically to one of the other objectives.

45. Table 3 below shows how resources are distributed among the operational objectives under Strategic Objective No. 1 at this stage in the programming process. As might be expected, well over half the work relates to promotion of the ratification and application of fundamental standards, including the supervisory process for those standards.


Table 3

Strategic Objective No. 1:
The principles set out in the ILO Constitution related to
fundamental rights and to tripartism and social dialogue
are widely realized, and the relevant Conventions are
extensively ratified and fully applied


Operational objectives

% of the substantive &
operational programmes

% within
Strategic Objective No. 1

 




1 (a)

The ILO constitutional principles concerning fundamental rights are widely respected in practice and fundamental Conventions are extensively ratified and fully applied

13

42

1 (b)

Child labour is progressively eliminated, with priority to the urgent elimination of its worst forms

4

12

1 (c)

Employers' and workers' organizations have the necessary capacity to serve their members and to influence economic and social policy

10.5

33

1 (d)

Machinery for social dialogue and consensus is widely adopted and fully operational, on a bipartite or tripartite basis, as appropriate

4

12

1 (e)

The international community, including the international financial institutions, provides advice and assistance to support member States' efforts to realize the ILO's constitutional principles concerning fundamental rights

0.5

1

 

 



32

100


46. All regional programmes will place greater emphasis on fundamental principles and workers' rights. Each region has set a ratification goal for the seven fundamental Conventions and has developed plans to support member States in revising legislation and related reforms. Machinery for social dialogue and the resolution of labour conflicts is by now established in most countries, but it still has limited influence in policy decision-making concerning globalization, regional integration and economic crisis issues. The constituents request assistance to strengthen labour institutions and social dialogue as a means of stimulating democracy, participation and the consultative power of the social partners. In response, a relatively larger programme of technical assistance will be provided to employers' and workers' organizations, especially in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific and Europe. Newly-emerged tripartite bodies in French-speaking Africa and Latin America will build on the new impetus for dialogue and trade union rights. In all regions ILO action will promote stronger and better equipped employers' and workers' organizations through training, technical advisory services and the dissemination of information. In the Arab States and Central and Eastern Europe, advisory services, training and fellowship programmes will continue to be emphasized as a means to promote the establishment of independent and representative employers' and workers' organizations and to enhance their institutional capacity. New technical cooperation programmes and training activities will be launched in Africa, the Americas and Asia to help address the need for improved tripartite consultation and industrial relations engendered by the effects of economic crises, structural adjustment policies and technological changes. A significant increase in action on child labour is expected, with stronger support from MDTs and ILO Offices in Africa, the Americas and Asia. In particular, technical advice and assistance will be provided to governments and the social partners for the design of country plans to eliminate the worst forms of child labour, including the sale and trafficking of children and prostitution.



Operational Objective 1(a):
The ILO constitutional principles concerning fundamental rights
are widely respected in practice and fundamental Conventions
are extensively ratified and fully applied

47. The adoption of the Declaration has greatly raised the international visibility of the principles enshrined in the ILO Constitution and developed in the fundamental ILO Conventions. Moreover, there is a growing consensus that globalization and development must go hand in hand with respect for workers' rights. This provides an opportunity to work with the ILO's constituents to influence parliamentarians, public opinion leaders, multinational enterprises, and the development community.

48. The promotion of principles and standards in order to ensure their broader implementation will involve the full range of ILO means of action. More emphasis will be placed on technical cooperation, for which the annual report on unratified Conventions and the global reports on each of the sets of fundamental principles and rights will provide important tools.

49. It is planned to work more closely with employers' and workers' organizations in promoting standards. In addition to direct support from promotional activities, manuals on how to plan and execute training activities on standards will be developed to inform trade union leaders as well as rank and file trade unionists of the importance and impact of international labour standards and of the Declaration.

50. The fundamental Conventions cover four quite different and highly technical areas of work: freedom of association (Nos. 87 and 98), discrimination in employment and occupation (Nos. 100 and 111), abolition of forced labour (Nos. 29 and 105) and child labour (No. 138 and possibly a new Convention if adopted by the Conference in 1999). Separate promotional efforts will be carried out for each of these. Better understanding and application of the ILO's standards and principles on freedom of association will be pursued through the provision of advisory services, training activities and information dissemination. A particular effort will be made through seminars to encourage ratification of the principal Conventions on freedom of association by countries that have indicated their intention or desire to do so. Regarding discrimination in employment and occupation, the ILO will take advantage of national action plans developed in the framework of the International Programme on More and Better Jobs for Women in order to link equality of opportunity with work related to women's employment and incomes. As regards the abolition of forced labour, this represents a major part of the ILO's human rights campaign. Promotional activities towards the elimination of child labour are described under operational objective 1(b).

51. For each of the four sets of fundamental Conventions, there are important supervisory activities. This includes a portion of the costs of servicing the ILO Conference Committee on the Application of Standards, the Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards of the Governing Body, committees set up under article 24 of the Constitution and the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations. Principal outputs will include the Report of the Committee of Experts, direct requests sent to countries, various Conference committee documents, and registry and chancery services. An analysis will be produced in November 2001 on the operation of the reforms introduced in 1996 to the reporting system under article 22 of the Constitution.

52. Training will be provided to ILO constituents on standards supervision, both centrally and at the country level, special emphasis being placed on practical activities to help them fulfil their obligations under the Constitution. A complete set of training materials will be updated and improved each year. Guidance will continue to be provided on the characteristics of well-conceived contemporary labour legislation and successful labour law reform processes. A study will be published on the impact of ILO supervisory machinery in the field of freedom of association for the year 2001 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Committee on Freedom of Association.

53. A part of the advice and assistance provided to national authorities in the preparation of draft legislative texts concerns this operational objective. Information and guidance will be given on the characteristics of well-conceived contemporary labour legislation and successful labour law reform processes. This activity will build and expand on the Labour Law Guidelines developed in 1998-99. A variety of legal information, such as the principal labour laws of member States and legislative texts, will be processed and made available electronically and through NATLEX. New methods of standards-related Internet research will be added, including the dissemination of ILO Conventions and Recommendations in as many languages as possible. This work also relates to Strategic Objectives Nos. 2 and 3, and in particular to Operational Objective 3(a).

 

Operational Objective 1(b):
Child labour is progressively eliminated,
with priority to the urgent elimination of its worst forms

54.To facilitate the ratification and effective implementation of the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) and the new standards on the worst forms of child labour, multimedia promotional materials and a guide to the implementation of the new standards will be produced. The ILO will also contribute to international meetings and organize information and promotional meetings and workshops at the subregional and regional levels.

55.Analysis and information on the nature, magnitude and causes of the child labour problem will be published. This will build on analysis and policy-oriented research carried out during previous biennia and data generated by IPEC's Statistical Information and Monitoring Programme on Child Labour (SIMPOC). Transitional measures in the form of programmes and action taken at the national and industry levels to withdraw, reintegrate and rehabilitate working children will be reviewed and analysed.

56.The establishment of partnerships at the country level has proved effective in tackling the problem of child labour from different angles. Concerted action by employers' organizations will continue and meetings will be organized on trade union action on child labour to exchange experience and to plan for future action. Information materials on child labour will be produced to assist trade union policy development.

57.Resources allocated to this operational objective will also be used to orient and support the work of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). IPEC will continue to provide technical advice and assistance to governments and to employers' and workers' organizations as required, and will prepare national and sectoral plans of action. Important new outputs of the programme will include the development and establishment of credible independent monitoring mechanisms, improved statistics and information on the extent and scope of child labour, the most hazardous and exploitative forms of child labour and their location at country level. IPEC also aims to establish social protection schemes to provide alternatives for the affected children and their parents.

 

Operational Objective 1(c):
Employers' and workers' organizations have the necessary capacity
to serve their members and to influence economic and social policy

58. Liaison with employers' organizations will emphasize improvement of the ILO's image and visibility among such organizations and mobilization of ILO support for them. It will also help to ensure that the views of employers' organizations are heard and understood in relation to all forms of ILO action.

59. Employers' organizations will be assisted in devising strategies to respond to the needs of their members. This will include development of the capacity to provide services that improve the competitiveness of enterprises. They will also be helped where necessary to broaden their membership base, in particular through greater outreach to small enterprises. Much of this assistance will be provided in association with employer's organizations in industrialized countries.

60.Specially designed staff training will cover such areas as the management of employers' organizations, policy lobbying, information management, analysis and delivery, negotiations and training services. Successful examples of employer influence on education and training systems will be identified and disseminated. Other training and dissemination activities will cover occupational safety and health, industrial relations and productivity, including productivity bargaining.

61. Close relations will be maintained between the ILO and workers' organizations, and trade unions will be kept informed of ILO activities, programmes and policies. Training and information activities will be organized and support provided for the training courses, seminars and conferences held by trade unions to increase understanding among their members of the ILO, its standards and supervisory system, and to define the roles, policies and strategies to be followed by trade unions in their advocacy, particularly with other international organizations. Technical assistance will also be designed to help trade unions plan action to combat child labour.

62. Technical assistance and workers' education programmes will be undertaken in order to establish and strengthen workers' education infrastructures, strengthen basic trade union skills, such as collective bargaining, grievance handling, organizing techniques and initiatives to increase trade union density. Training manuals and studies, including the adaptation and translation of existing materials, information materials and papers, including those on labour education, will be published in order to inform trade union groups and members of the activities and services of the ILO.

63. Another priority will be to help trade unions overcome their communication deficit in relation to national and transnational enterprises through the adoption of new communication technologies and the improvement of their access to information, including ILO databases. Regional and international networks of trade union research staff with expertise in the identification and interpretation of information and distance learning techniques will be developed.

64. National and international trade union organizations will be helped to balance the debate about globalization. Research will be conducted on policy options and institutional arrangements that can be proposed by trade unions to improve the governance of globalization and ensure that its economic benefits are more broadly distributed. Training will be organized on economic policy and industrial relations practices adapted to the new situation. Meetings will be organized bringing together trade unions, policy-makers and representatives of international organizations, including the Bretton Woods institutions.

65. Trade unions and workers in particular situations will be given special attention, for example, to support trade union action for the protection of informal sector workers and the improvement of their working conditions. In transition countries, assistance will be provided to overcome new challenges in such areas as basic trade union functions, collective bargaining, grievance handling and organizing techniques. Rural workers will be helped to organize in spite of the constraints of poor access to education, training, capital and information.

 

Operational Objective 1(d):
Machinery for social dialogue and consensus is widely adopted
and fully operational, on a bipartite or tripartite basis as appropriate

66. Best practices which highlight tripartite approaches to improving productivity and competitiveness and promoting the social responsibility of enterprises will be disseminated through advisory services, training activities and the development of networks of partner organizations, including employers' and workers' organizations. A comprehensive study will be undertaken on enterprise responses to social expectations on the implications for enterprise management of applying international labour standards and the principles of corporate citizenship.

67. Advisory notes will be prepared for ILO constituents that review the current state of social dialogue, identify areas needing reform and proposing specific measures to encourage effective social dialogue. They will emphasize the positive contributions which collective bargaining, and industrial relations generally, can make to labour market flexibility and to employment creation and protection. Technical notes will also be prepared on aspects of collective agreements, the representativeness of workers' and employers' organizations, minimum wage determination etc. The feasibility of, and issues involved in , adopting new international labour standards in this area will be examined.

68. Efforts will be made to strengthen action by employers' and workers' organizations in order to enhance the contribution of multinational enterprises to economic and social progress and to minimize and resolve the difficulties to which their operations may give rise. The conclusion of social pacts will be encouraged.

69. Many sectors have recently undergone changes which have intensified the need for social dialogue and tripartite participation on labour issues, and the strengthening of social dialogue at the sectoral levels will focus on bringing general ILO principles down to the concrete level of action at the workplace. To assist in delivering these outputs and associated activities, the Industrial Relations Database (IRD) will be kept up to date and expanded to cover selected key industrial relations issues, such as union membership and density, as well as other issues for which information is collected. The ILO will make an important contribution to the development of tripartite dialogue by enhancing the capacity of employers' and workers' organizations to analyse issues and to influence policy. Much of this work is reported under Operational Objective 2(a) and Strategic Objective No. 3.

 

Operational Objective 1(e):
The international community, including the international financial institutions,
provides advice and assistance to support member States' efforts to realize the
ILO's constitutional principles concerning fundamental rights

70. The ILO will continue to promote its objectives within the UN system, in particular in the framework of ECOSOC and follow-up on the World Summit for Social Development and the Fourth World Conference on Women. Activities related to this are described under Office-wide objective A, but they will naturally emphasize fundamental principles and standards. Similarly, relations with donors will be reviewed to promote due attention to fundamental principles and standards.

71. Discussions with the staff of international financial institutions will be held with a view to achieving a better understanding of ILO standards and promoting stronger social content in their policies and programmes. In addition, it is hoped to achieve a better mutual understanding of the approaches taken by those institutions and the ILO as regards the relationship between labour law and industrial relations on the one hand, and economic efficiency on the other. Such meetings will build on experience of previous years and involve the social partners.

72. Trade unions and employers' organizations will be provided with the means to improve their advocacy vis--vis the Bretton Woods institutions and to make the ILO and its tripartite structure, as the competent interlocutor responsible for social standards, better known on the national and international scene. Policy makers and representatives of international organizations -- including financial institutions -- will be invited to attend seminars and conferences organized at the national and regional levels and by the international and national trade union centres on issues related to globalization. Employers' organizations will actively promote partnership between the private sector and the Bretton Woods organizations and the United Nations.

73. Renewed emphasis will be given to publicity for ILO values and principles, particularly in other organizations and industrialized countries through the network of Branch Offices.

 

Strategic Objective No. 2:
Policies and programmes for more and
better jobs are effectively implemented

74.At this stage of the programming process, about 44 percent of the total resources available under the substantive and operational programmes are expected to be available for work towards this Strategic Objective. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that it accounts for the bulk of technical cooperation expenditure. Work under this strategic objective will form the core of the ILO's contribution to follow-up on the World Summit for Social Development and the Fourth World Conference on Women.

75.The World Employment Report will continue to be the ILO's flagship publication in the employment field, and will help to make the ILO contribution under each related operational objective more visible and authoritative.

76.Table 4 below shows how resources are distributed among the operational objectives under Strategic Objective No. 2 at this stage in the programming process.


 

Table 4

Strategic Objective No. 2:
Policies and programmes for more and
better jobs are effectively implemented


 

Operational objectives

% of the substantive
& operational programmes

% within
Strategic Objective 2

 




2 (a)   

ILO constituents are equipped to analyse economic and labour market developments and to elaborate effective employment promotion policies and programmes.

14

36

2 (b)   

Employment-friendly enterprise development policies and programmes are effectively implemented

9

22

2 (c)   

Women have access to more and better jobs.

4

9

2 (d)   

Policies and programmes to upgrade the conditions of informal sector activities are effectively implemented.

5

12

2 (e)   

Employment policy and practice are targeted to improve the opportunities of groups left behind in the process of job creation and recruitment.

5

11

2 (f)   

ILO constituents are equipped to influence global and regional policy development related to employment.

2

6

2 (g)   

The international community, and especially the international financial institutions, make full use of ILO research and tripartite policy guidance on employment issues in their development advice and funding decisions.

1.5

4

 

 



40.5

100


77. Strategic Objective No. 2 has high priority in each developing region. More than 40 per cent of the overall resources in the five regional programmes will be devoted to the design and implementation of policies and programmes for more and better jobs. The country objectives documents show that the priority demands from constituents are concentrated in the following areas: job creation, labour market flexibility, skills development, poverty alleviation, better jobs for women, increased employment opportunities for vulnerable groups -- including ex-soldiers in countries emerging from armed conflicts -- micro- and small enterprise development, and the informal sector. Globalization and regional integration are expected to be key themes in ILO policy advice relating to employment growth, enterprise development and productivity. An important priority in Africa, Arab States and Asia will be employment policy reviews and the development of comprehensive employment strategies and programmes. The large ILO inter-regional and regional technical cooperation programmes, such as Jobs for Africa and More and Better Jobs for Women, will provide technical support to country projects on poverty alleviation and job creation. The recent financial crisis in Asia and Central and Eastern Europe is likely to continue to require attention. Recognition by the international community, with special regard to the international and regional financial institutions, of the need for employers' and workers' organizations to participate fully in policy dialogue on labour market reform and employment and investment policies will be a priority. Several technical cooperation projects will also be developed, in particular in the field of vocational training, labour-intensive public works, the informal sector and micro-enterprises, labour market information systems, and income-generating activities for rural people, young people, women, the disabled and ex-combatants in countries emerging from conflict.

 

Operational Objective 2(a):
ILO constituents are equipped to analyse economic and labour market developments
and to elaborate effective employment promotion policies and programmes

78. This is the largest operational objective in terms of resource allocations, with about 38 percent of the resources proposed for Strategic Objective No. 2 expected to be available. This reflects the greater emphasis placed on enhancing the capacities of the ILO's immediate constituents, that is ministries of labour and employers' and workers' organizations. It also results from the allocation of a larger proportion of resources to advisory services. Research continues to be necessary to ensure the credibility and visibility of the ILO in the face of rapid globalization, technological development, financial crises and the persistence of unemployment and poverty. However, links between research and practical action in direct support of constituents have been reinforced.

79. Greater tripartite influence over the institutions that regulate labour markets will be promoted through analysis of the functioning of national tripartite institutions in countries undergoing structural adjustment and of the contribution of good governance to overcoming constraints on employment growth. Labour markets themselves will continue to be a focus for action, with emphasis on labour market structures in transition economies, reform of state-owned enterprises in Asia and the CIS, inter-regional analysis of active labour market polices and a dynamic perspective on labour market regulation. Improvements in the quality and timeliness of labour market information will be supported, in particular through practical applications of existing work on key indicators of the labour market (KILM), improved measurement of labour market dynamics and the production of more complete indicators on global labour market trends.

80. Based on recent pilot activities, support will be provided to help member States to institutionalize their work on poverty alleviation, particularly through the intensification of social dialogue on anti-poverty strategies and the creation of bodies such as poverty policy planning units. Government agencies and the social partners will be provided with methodologies for the institutionalization of employment-intensive methods, including the establishment of national employment and investment policy planning units with tripartite participation. The social partners will be involved more fully in applying and monitoring labour recruitment and management practices in employment-intensive programmes.

81. The ILO will respond to the urgent need of constituents to adapt their training systems to the new and rapidly changing skill requirements of the labour force by placing emphasis on labour force adaptability, a more effective transition from school to work, public/private partnerships in training delivery, lifelong learning and training needs in countries affected by economic restructuring. A better basis for training policy decisions will be provided through the development of more effective methods of measuring skills and competencies in the labour force and of recognizing the wide range of skills acquired by workers throughout their careers. The World Employment Report 1998-99 is a major input to this work.

82. The training, information and advice provided to assist in the reform of employment services will focus on increasing their effectiveness and coverage through the adoption of new communications and information technologies, as well as more modern management practices and programme strategies.

 

Operational Objective 2(b):
Employment-friendly enterprise development policies
and programmes are effectively implemented

83. The fundamental role of the enterprise in employment creation and in the practical application of principles underlying Strategic Objectives Nos. 1 and 3, is strongly reflected in the proposals. This includes, but goes well beyond the work proposed under Major Programme 65 (Enterprise and Cooperative Development). Throughout the ILO, the role of the enterprise will appear as a key factor in policy analysis and action. This includes strengthened recognition of the need to take the role of the enterprise into account in national employment and training policies. At the same time, the implications for enterprises and their capacity to provide employment will be a key factor in the Office's work on topics as diverse as labour law, social dialogue, alcohol and drug abuse in the workplace and social security.

84. Work specifically directed at the creation and strengthening of enterprises includes promoting micro-finance for entrepreneurs and small enterprises; fostering enterprise competitiveness and quality job creation; enhancing support services for enterprises; promoting effective human resource management; increasing the participation of women in enterprise management and development; and supporting productivity growth based on skills upgrading, sound industrial relations, good labour-management cooperation, and the equitable sharing of gains from productivity increases. An important aspect of this work will be the promotion of quality jobs in small enterprises along the lines of the Job Creation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Recommendation, 1998 (No. 189).

85. Increasingly, the establishment and development of viable and self-reliant cooperatives of small producers, consumers, workers and the self-employed requires the same business effectiveness as private enterprises. Work in this area will include cooperative reform, the development of cooperative training networks, strengthening cooperative trade linkages between developing and industrialized countries and supporting the expansion of cooperative social support services, particularly those associated with workers' organizations. In addition, emphasis will be placed on the development of support structures to help cooperative enterprises manage their associations and economic undertakings efficiently, effectively and democratically. The ILO's participatory approaches to poverty alleviation and employment creation which have been successfully applied, inter alia, in sub-Saharan Africa, will be expanded, for example, to indigenous and tribal peoples, rural women workers and in the context of community-based infrastructure and informal sector projects.

86. In the field of employment promotion, work comprising a strong component on enterprises includes income generation for women through the development of small and micro-enterprises; the development of stronger linkages between modern enterprises which are well-integrated into the global economy and informal sector operators, for example through innovative subcontracting arrangements; and research and advisory services on labour market policies and programmes. Employment-intensive programmes will continue to promote entrepreneurship through training and through subcontracting arrangements that incorporate workers' basic rights. Emphasis will be placed on strengthening the ILO's comparative advantage in the field of enterprise development, which lies in the greater sustainability of growth that combines enterprise development with a competitive labour force working under better conditions. This involves combining enterprise development with human resources development; the promotion of collective bargaining; the formulation of labour law that gives equal weight to workers' protection and flexibility; the improvement of safety and health; and the development of effective techniques for dispute prevention and resolution at the enterprise level.

 

Operational Objective 2(c):
Women have access to more and better jobs

87. Through a long-term and in-depth process of mainstreaming, women and gender questions are covered systematically in a wide variety of ILO research and action related to employment. Resources will be provided for coordination, relations and training to ensure that the mainstreaming process continues and that the improvement of the situation of women workers is an important component of all ILO programmes. In addition, the global programme on More and Better Jobs for Women will provide an expanded framework for action that specifically and intensively addresses women's concerns. In 2000-01, this programme will concentrate on developing national action plans and an international framework for follow-up on the Beijing Conference, with emphasis on the establishment and strengthening of national institutions responsible for gender concerns and the demonstration of practical approaches to creating and improving women's jobs through technical cooperation activities. Other work will include research and action on the role of women in development and enhancing dignity at the workplace, with emphasis on reconciling work and family responsibilities, maternity protection and the prevention of sexual harassment. Action in support of the fundamental standards on equality of opportunity and treatment will also contribute to improving the employment situation of women.

 

Operational Objective 2(d):
Policies and programmes to upgrade the conditions of
informal sector activities are effectively implemented

88. The inclusion of the informal sector in national development policies and programmes will be systematically promoted. This will be based on interventions in a range of fields, including the creation of self-employment and micro-enterprises, improving the performance of existing small enterprises and establishing and strengthening associations of informal sector workers, which provide an effective vehicle for advocacy, social protection and community initiatives. Policy advice and support will help to identify and remove legal, fiscal and administrative barriers preventing the inclusion of informal sector operators in the modern economy. This will be supplemented by the creation of closer linkages between informal and modern enterprises, for example through innovative subcontracting arrangements and the development of more efficient intermediaries in production chains. In these activities, employment creation and poverty alleviation will be combined with the improvement of social protection and safety and health, using the innovative methodologies developed in pilot activities.

89. An important contribution to the achievement of this operational objective will also be made by activities in areas such as cooperative development, micro-finance, and training for informal sector workers. The same approaches will also be applied in the ILO's activities to improve the situation of rural workers, including the support provided to strengthen rural workers' organizations, the development of associations of rural enterprises and community-based and public infrastructure works.

 

Operational Objective 2(e):
Employment policy and practice are targeted to improve the opportunities of
groups left behind in the process of job creation and recruitment

90. Groups that are frequently left behind in terms of employment and incomes include young people, migrant workers, the disabled and indigenous and tribal peoples. They are the subject of mainstreaming approaches in many of the proposals, usually with modest resource implications. More focused work is found in terms of training policy and access to training as a means of social integration, with particular reference to the problems of young people in finding their first job. Specific action on the disabled includes the development of a code of practice on the management of disability-related issues in the workplace. Advocacy materials will be prepared on policies towards migrant workers that are compatible with international labour standards, and employment programmes will be supported for potential migrants and returning migrant workers, including assistance for the investment of their savings in the creation of enterprises or self-employment.

91. Wherever possible, in these activities partnerships will be promoted between employers' and workers' organizations and associations of the persons concerned, and particularly persons with disabilities and indigenous and tribal peoples.

92. The assistance provided to countries emerging from conflict will be expanded. This assistance will focus on employment creation, particularly through enterprise development and training for the worst affected groups, including ex-combatants, the disabled, internally displaced persons and returning refugees.

 

Operational Objective 2(f):
ILO constituents are equipped to influence global and
regional policy development related to employment

93. Globalization and regional integration are major influences on employment and will be taken into account in almost all research in the field of employment policy, even if the main focus is elsewhere. Emphasis will be placed on the relation between globalization and business location, business investment and the contribution of enterprises to employment growth. The effects of globalization on world income and its distribution will be analysed. Within the context of increased regional integration, an information base will be constituted on harmonized systems of skill certification, and advances in this field in different regions of the world will be analysed and promoted.

94. The capacity of employers' organizations to provide the services required by enterprises in a global business environment will be strengthened. Assistance to workers' organizations will be based on research on policy options and institutional arrangements that trade unions can propose to ensure that any economic benefits derived from globalization are more broadly distributed. Support will also be provided for the participation by employers' and workers' organizations in the institutions set up during the processes of regional integration, based on the experience acquired in the Americas. Many of the ILO's sectoral activities are also designed to help constituents develop policies on issues arising out of globalization. Research will be undertaken on the changing impact of multinational enterprises on employment in order to enhance the capacity of ILO constituents to influence policy related to foreign direct investment.

 

Operational Objective 2(g):
The international community, and especially the international
financial institutions, make full use of ILO research and tripartite policy guidance
on employment issues in their development advice and funding decisions

95. The dialogue with the international community, and especially with the international financial institutions, is necessarily based on high-quality ILO research that addresses the issues of labour and employment in ways that these institutions find both relevant and convincing. The World Employment Report, for example, will continue to emphasize topics and analysis that are persuasive not only to the constituents directly concerned, but also to banking, investment and trade specialists. The same is true for all the research mentioned under Strategic Objective No. 2. Special mention should be made of the work on micro-finance, which is of direct interest to the international financial institutions. In the context of technical cooperation activities financed or implemented in cooperation with the international financial institutions and other donors, particularly in the fields of employment creation, employment-intensive projects and enterprise development, greater emphasis will be placed on tripartite involvement in the design and implementation of projects, as well as their subsequent institutionalization. Based on experience during the previous biennium, more national, regional and subregional meetings will be organized with participation by the social partners and donors, including the Bretton Woods institutions, to examine approaches to structural adjustment. Emphasis will also be placed on tripartite participation in social measures adopted in this context, and particularly in social funds.

 

Strategic Objective No. 3:
Policies and programmes for the protection of workers
are better targeted, more effective and more widely applied

96. Many of the changes associated with globalization and technological progress are placing the traditional systems and institutions designed to guarantee workers' protection under increased pressure. Yet there is also growing recognition among constituents that workers' protection is a vital component of improved performance, higher productivity and the longer-term sustainability of socio-economic systems.

97. Table 5 below shows how resources are distributed among the operational objectives under Strategic Objective No. 3 at this stage in the programming process.


Table 5

Strategic Objective No. 3:
Policies and programmes for the protection of workers
are better targeted, more effective and more widely applied


Operational objectives

% of the substantive &
operational programmes

% within
Strategic Objective 3

 




3 (a)

International labour standards related to protection of workers are widely ratified and effectively applied

5

18

3 (b)

Member States have broadened the scope of social security systems, improved benefits, strengthened governance and management, and developed policies to overcome financial constraints

6

22

3 (c)

Targeted policies and programmes of action on workers' protection are implemented for the most difficult-to-reach sectors and the most vulnerable and exploited groups, and voluntary measures are applied to reach workers who are insufficiently protected by existing machinery

6

23

3 (d)

ILO constituents target and take effective action against extremely hazardous conditions at the workplace

6

21

3 (e)

ILO constituents at the national level are equipped to analyse the implications of globalization and develop effective policies to protect workers from adverse social effects

4

14

3 (f)

The international community, and especially the international financial institutions, take workers' protection into consideration in their advice and investment decisions

0.5

2

 

 



27.5

100


98. Country objectives show that occupational safety and health remains the main priority in field programmes related to workers' protection. Particular attention will be given to the issue of health and safety in small and medium-sized enterprises, including in the informal sector and agriculture. Specialized training on safety and health will be provided to labour ministries, including labour inspectorates and safety councils, as well as to employers' and workers' organizations. In response to the increased concern shown by the social partners, and particularly employers' organizations, greater attention will be paid to safety and health issues in collective bargaining and social dialogue.

99. In the field of social protection a range of new technical cooperation programmes will be launched to improve the governance, management and efficiency of social security schemes in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe. In the Americas, constituents will place greater emphasis on regional and subregional dialogue on social security for the enhancement of the regional integration process. Based on current research, new programmes will be launched in Africa and in Asia and the Pacific for the extension of social protection to a larger proportion of the population, in particular to workers in small enterprises, cooperatives and the informal sector. An innovative feature will be the introduction of schemes for the unemployed in Asian countries confronted with the social consequences of the economic and financial crisis.

 

Operational Objective 3(a):
International labour standards related to protection
of workers are widely ratified and effectively applied

100. The fact that the majority of ILO standards cover subjects related to the protection of workers means that a large proportion of the resources devoted to the supervision of standards relates to standards on workers' protection. This includes all of the supervisory procedure already mentioned under Operational Objective 1(a), in particular the servicing of the Conference Committee on the Application of Standards and the Committee of Experts. In addition, many new and revised standards relate to workers' protection. Under the guidance of the Governing Body's Working Party on Policy regarding the Revision of Standards, work will be continued to strengthen and improve the relevance of international labour standards through the development of new standards and the revision or elimination of those that have become obsolete. This work also relates to Operational Objective 1(a) and Strategic Objective No. 2.

101. The application of standards will be promoted through technical assistance to bring national legislation into conformity with ILO Conventions and through policy advisory services, information activities and advocacy. Assistance will also be given to strengthening labour inspection and the implementation of labour laws, and to the development of effective labour administrations capable of ensuring the effective implementation of labour laws and collective and other agreements while adapting to changes in the world of work. Increased attention will be paid to the application of standards to migrant workers, particularly in areas such as discrimination, social security and conditions of work. A study will be undertaken of the impact on national law and practice of selected unratified Conventions on occupational safety and health and conditions of work. In the assistance provided to strengthen labour inspection services for the application of laws, emphasis will be placed on accident and hazard prevention, the greater involvement of workers' representatives in inspections, and the extension of the scope of labour inspectorates to smaller and micro-enterprises.

102. Further ratifications and improved application of sector-specific international labour Conventions will be sought. These include the Plantations Convention, 1958 (No. 110), the Rural Workers' Organisations Convention, 1975 (No. 141), the Safety and Health in Construction Convention, 1988 (No. 167), and the Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995 (No. 176). At a proposed session of the Joint Maritime Commission, a review of maritime instruments would take place as well as the updating of the ILO's minimum basic wage for able seamen. A report will be prepared on seafarers' working and living conditions. Building on the experience acquired with the maritime sector, partnerships will be developed with employers' and workers' organizations in other sectors to raise awareness of the impact of drug and alcohol abuse on the health of workers and their productivity and to establish preventive and rehabilitation programmes. Building on experience in the forestry sector, codes of practice will be developed, in consultation with the social partners, on sustainable agricultural development and safety and health in the non-ferrous metal industries.

 

Operational Objective 3(b):
Member States have broadened the scope of social security systems,
improved benefits, strengthened governance and management,
and developed policies to overcome financial constraints

103. The assistance provided to constituents in the field of social security will respond to the concerns expressed during the global consultation process carried out in the previous biennium and will be designed to adapt and reform social security systems to the new trends in employment and the labour market. The role of ILO standards in meeting the new social security challenges will be examined, including the possible revision and development of new standards. This will result in a report to the Governing Body outlining various alternative approaches to standard setting in the area of social security.

104. Particular emphasis will be placed on extending the scope of social security systems to improve their benefits and cover the vast segments of society excluded from social protection in many countries, including informal-sector and rural workers. Technical support will be provided to the innovative social security institutions that have been set up, including mutual health funds for informal-sector workers, and cooperative associations providing social coverage to their members, particularly under the aegis of workers' organizations. Assistance will be provided for the replication of such schemes in countries where they are not yet common. A comparative assessment will be undertaken of targeted social support systems and guidelines for the design of effective social safety nets for vulnerable groups of women workers.

105. Publications will be prepared on the planning and development of social protection schemes, and a new statistical publication will be produced on World Social Expenditure. Documentation and training materials on social security will be disseminated in different languages, and a training programme will be carried out for national officials responsible for policy formulation and legislation. Guidelines will be drafted on the design and management of social protection schemes for the unemployed.

106. An evaluation will be undertaken, of medical savings accounts as a new form of health insurance, and consideration will be given to health system performance indicators of relevance and adaptability. A model for a health information system will be designed, for monitoring, control and policy purposes.

107. Manuals prepared in collaboration with the ISSA, the World Bank, WHO, IMF and OECD on actuarial practice for social pension schemes, social budgeting, the financial assessment of social health care schemes, and financing techniques for social security will be completed and widely circulated. Improved versions of the economic, labour force and unemployment modules of the Social Budget Model will be prepared and manuals on quantitative techniques in social protection will be disseminated to social security experts. Principles and practice regarding the investment of social security funds will be explored at combined tripartite expert and inter-agency meetings, and a monograph will be published.

 

Operational Objective 3(c):
Targeted policies and programmes of action on workers' protection are implemented
for the most difficult-to-reach sectors and the most vulnerable and exploited groups,
and voluntary measures are applied to reach workers who are insufficiently protected by existing machinery

108. The approaches developed in pilot activities to improve the safety and health of vulnerable groups of workers will be applied widely in the ILO's technical assistance activities and policy advisory services. Associations of informal-sector workers, and particularly mutual health funds, will be used as a channel for introducing simple but effective improvements in working conditions. Organizations of rural workers will be assisted in launching information and prevention campaigns to improve the safety and health of agricultural and other rural workers. The support provided to associations of indigenous and tribal peoples will include the strengthening of their training programmes in such areas as occupational safety and health.

109. In view of the poor record of many small enterprises in the area of working conditions, the ILO's Work Improvement in Small Enterprises (WISE) methodology will be more widely applied throughout its small and micro-enterprise development activities, including those carried out by employers' organizations. Training programmes to improve productivity in small enterprises will emphasize the close relationship between higher productivity and better working conditions. The contractual arrangements established for employment-intensive programmes and community-based infrastructure projects will be designed to improve the protection of workers, with emphasis on safety and health, invalidity benefits, the right of association and minimum wages.

110. A database will be developed in order to increase awareness of discrimination against the most vulnerable, defenceless and exploited groups of migrant workers, and to assist assessment of the dimensions of the irregular employment of migrants in many countries. Information will be developed and information disseminated on best practices for combating discrimination against migrant workers, especially those under temporary employment schemes.

 

Operational Objective 3(d):
ILO constituents target and take effective action
against extremely hazardous conditions at the workplace

111. Hazards at the workplace are made more dangerous by lack of information. Moreover, at a period of rapidly increasing global exchanges of hazardous products and processes, greater global coordination is required for the achievement of effective workplace safety programmes and measures. Considerable emphasis will therefore be placed on the establishment and strengthening of networks for the dissemination of information at the national level, as well as on collaboration with other international bodies to provide the necessary guidance. Follow-up on Agenda 21 will concentrate on those aspects of the UN-wide effort where the workplace has a key role, such as chemical safety and the prevention of industrial disasters. Harmonized hazard classification criteria will be gathered on labelling provisions and chemical safety data sheets for all chemical products to serve as basis for the implementation of the new Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). Guidance and advice will be provided on policies and programmes, awareness raising, and training activities aimed at small enterprises, hazardous occupations and the informal sector.

112. Throughout the ILO's action on occupational safety and health, special emphasis will be placed on hazardous occupations and industries. The extent and the causes of occupational accidents and diseases in especially hazardous sectors and jobs will be evaluated and the results widely disseminated. Guidance will be provided on jobs, occupations, processes and agents to which specific groups are especially vulnerable, such as children, and young and older workers. Guidelines will be prepared for identifying, assessing and eliminating workplace hazards. Multilingual data sheets on selected hazardous occupations will be produced.

113. Increased emphasis will be placed on strengthening the services provided by employers' and workers' organizations to their members in the field of occupational safety and health, including their participation in safety and health committees. The involvement of the social partners in safety and health issues, and particularly in relation to the most hazardous conditions at the workplace, will be strengthened through the application of such techniques as hazard mapping, in which employers and workers' representatives analyse the hazards in dangerous workplaces, such as mines.

114. Since national data collection is often weak, a statistical programme on occupational safety and health in hazardous types of work will be launched. The use of modern methods of data collection and dissemination such as the Internet will reinforce communications between the Office and its constituents and revitalize the Occupational Safety and Health Hazard Alert System. The ILO's capacity to provide assistance to member States will be strengthened through the Global Programme on Occupational Safety, Health and the Environment.

115. Practical guides on management systems and the improvement of safety culture at the national and enterprise levels will be developed. A report will be published on enterprise-level action to deal with work-related environmental hazards and the role of the social partners in the design and implementation of preventive and protective measures. The development of national policies and targeted occupational safety, health and environment programmes will be supported, including the promotion of action at the national level on hazardous occupations, the elimination of silicosis and the environmentally sound management of chemicals.

 

Operational Objective 3(e):
ILO constituents at the national level are equipped to analyse
the implications of globalization and develop effective policies
to protect workers from adverse social effects

116. In many countries, as a consequence of globalization, there is an increasing tendency towards the informalization of employment. Another dimension of the changes brought by globalization is the increasing mobility of workers, which has created a market for cheap foreign labour which member States have found it difficult to control. Hazardous working conditions, discriminatory treatment, unfair wages, and exclusion from the most basic forms of social protection characterize the lot of disadvantaged categories of workers, including migrant workers.

117. Tripartite seminars and workshops will be held in several countries to promote policy dialogue on the impact of globalization on specific groups and the development of effective policy responses. Many of the policy advisory and research activities carried out under both Strategic Objectives Nos. 2 and 3 will contribute to the achievement of this operational objective.

 

Operational Objective 3(f):
The international community, and especially the international
financial institutions, take workers' protection into consideration
in their advice and investment decisions

118. In response to the increased concern of the international community, including the international financial institutions, regarding the impact of structural adjustment measures on vulnerable groups of the population, it is expected that the international financial institutions and other relevant institutions will collaborate with the ILO in the determination of measures to support vulnerable groups, including social funds and employment-intensive investments, and in the development of the appropriate technical cooperation programmes. Case studies will also be prepared on social protection schemes for the unemployed in the OECD, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

119. The capacity of trade unions and employers' organizations will be enhanced to deal with protection of the health and safety of those working under precarious conditions as well as the protection of the environment, and to intervene with the international financial institutions and other relevant institutions to ensure that the economic reforms they advocate are developed through tripartite dialogue and with regard to international labour standards.

 

Office-wide objectives

120. These objectives concern all sectors of activity. They each contribute to creating the conditions that make it possible to pursue the strategic and operational objectives.

 

Office-wide objective A:
ILO principles, policies and action are well-known to
policy-makers, the international community and the general public 

121. The work of the ILO in attaining this objective largely comprises three types of action. Perhaps the first and most obvious way is to ensure that the media receive high-quality, topical material from the ILO about its work, policies and programmes. In this regard the ILO will pursue its strategy of targeting the media, both printed and visual, with new data and insights based on its main studies and outputs on topical labour and social issues, thus enhancing the ILO's influence and reinforcing its reputation for leadership on these issues.

122. Another very different way in which the ILO ensures that its principles and policies are well-known to international policy makers is through a pro-active approach to policy debates within the United Nations system and among inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations. The ILO will continue to actively contribute to the major policy debates on social and labour issues falling under the ILO's mandate. Particular emphasis will be placed on providing substantive input for follow-up on the World Summit for Social Development and the Fourth World Conference on Women. The ILO will also influence the work of UN bodies, such as ECOSOC and ACC, and the Bretton Woods institutions, and will support UN system-wide reform initiatives, including special initiatives to enhance the role of trade unions and of employers' organizations in the reform process.

123. Special mention should be made of the Internet as a highly effective means of disseminating information widely and cost-effectively. The ILO Web site already receives over one million hits per month, and it is expected that this will become an even more widely used form of dissemination.

124. ILO publications are yet another way of ensuring that its policies and programmes are well known. By producing a select number of high-quality, well- researched and interesting publications and the quarterly International Labour Review, the ILO enhances readers' understanding of major issues in the fields of labour and employment, and promotes the ILO's policies and programmes in these fields. Particular emphasis will be given to extending the audience for these publications through concentrated marketing efforts and making more products available in electronic form.

125. Timely access to information on labour is a critical requirement for the ILO's constituents, the general public and the ILO's staff. The priority in this area will be to continue to meet the constituents' and staff's needs for labour and employment information by providing reliable and thorough library services.

 

Office-wide objective B:
ILO staff have the skills and capacities, as well as the tools and
resources, necessary to carry out their work in a changing world

126. As almost 70 per cent of the total expenditure of the ILO covers human resources, the functions of ensuring the appropriate selection, recruitment, assessment, classification and training of staff are of critical importance. During the 2000-01 biennium, special emphasis will be placed on ensuring the high quality of staff, improving methods for filling vacancies, facilitating mobility and succession planning, reducing the causes for grievances and disciplinary cases, and improving and streamlining administrative procedures.

127. In order to provide a suitable and productive working environment, considerable logistical coordination and support is necessary. The staff and the Office as a whole need effective communication systems and procedures, proper working equipment and materials, and efficient information technology in order to allow the staff to perform their duties. Particular emphasis will be placed on identifying and applying efficient logistic and administrative services. Emphasis will also be placed on ensuring access to new technologies as well as upgrades and extensions of existing technologies to make the work of its staff more effective in delivering services to constituents, especially in the more decentralized environment in which the Office currently operates.

 

Office-wide objective C:
ILO programming and management systems
are streamlined and transparent 

128. During the 2000-01 biennium, all programmes providing services will continue to give a great deal of attention towards achieving this objective by searching for more efficient methods and procedures to carry out their ongoing activities. No matter what the activity, providing language services for the ILO's policy-making organs, accounting activities, or producing the Programme and Budget, this objective will be foremost in managers' agendas.

129. The introduction of new technologies is perhaps the most obvious means of ensuring that management systems are effective and efficient. In order to service meetings and conferences as efficiently as possible, special measures have been introduced to facilitate and accelerate the introduction and support of new techniques, procedures and systems with the purpose of reducing costs or increasing productivity. The considerable efforts started already in the last two biennia to search out and evaluate new technologies that will further automate mandatory processes such as translation, interpretation, document processing and distribution, will be continued and reinforced. The functions related to printing have been reorganized in order to allow printing to be handled electronically, thus bringing possible savings in future biennia. All of these initiatives will be pursued, in addition to providing the regular services required to organize and support all ILO meetings and conferences.

130. Based on a request by the Governing Body, a separate paper before the Committee addresses the long-term outlook for information technology in the Office.(3)

131. Improvements in management at all levels will be supported by providing tools and training to permit better monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of both regular budget and extra-budgetary programmes. The application of coherent management concepts and tools throughout the Office will be strengthened, building on the monitoring, evaluation and reporting system (MERS) for greater transparency and thus introducing further improvements in management and evaluation.

132. The long overdue modernization of the ILO's accounting system is a major concern for the future not only because of the problems and risks associated with the present system, but also because such modernization requires financial resources in excess of those available at present. A preliminary analysis has shown that such modernization would cost some $15 to 20 million, spread over two to three biennia. The issue is being submitted to the Committee in a separate document.3

133. In addition to providing central administrative services to ensure satisfactory working conditions in the Office and administering the headquarters building in Geneva, a number of new initiatives will be pursued that will contribute to achieving this objective. Specifically, the computerized building management system will be fully implemented, as well as the automation of travel administration procedures. The new procurement system will also be extended for use in field offices, and the global records management system will be implemented. It is expected that these initiatives will contribute to productivity improvements and cost containment.

134. The proposals include resources to cover the maintenance of the existing PERSIS modules. Due largely to the delays in developing the payroll module of IMIS in New York, it will not be possible to complete the payroll module during the current biennium. Furthermore, due to the need to respect the zero growth principle and given the current estimate of $1.6 million to install the payroll module, it has proved impossible at this stage to provide resources for the completion of this module during the next biennium within the present level of resources of this programme.

 

Office-wide objective D:
ILO constituents have the necessary materials and facilities
(documents, interpretation, well-organized meetings and other supporting services)
to carry out effectively and efficiently their role in the formulation
and implementation of ILO policies, standards and programmes

135. The achievement of this objective is largely within the scope of the work of policy-making organs. The provision of high-quality and timely working papers in multiple languages, the careful planning of meetings, the provision of high-quality interpretation services in the necessary languages, and the provision of qualified staff to service the meetings, all enable meetings, conferences and Governing Body sessions to run smoothly and enables these meetings to take appropriate decisions and provide suitable policy guidance.

136. Another aspect of this objective is the provision of solid legal advice and guidance to ensure that action taken by the policy-making organs is legally sound in relation not only to the legal texts of the Organization but also to international law. ILO constituents and participants in ILO meetings need to have at their disposal the necessary tools and advice to permit them to perform their functions in accordance with established rules and procedures and take decisions in the interest of the Organization that respect applicable legal provisions. This is especially important in the context of the Governing Body's Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards (LILS) and its Working Party on Policy regarding the Revision of Standards, as well as the Working Party on the Social Dimensions of the Liberalization of International Trade.

 

The Turin Centre and the
International Institute for Labour Studies

137. Partnerships between the Turin Centre and ILO technical programmes reinforce the effectiveness of ILO action related to all three strategic objectives. The Centre offers training and meeting facilities, advanced audio-visual capabilities, extensive experience with multi-cultural and high-impact training methodologies, and a long-term commitment to the ILO's principles and objectives. In addition, the Centre provides human resource development opportunities for ILO staff and promotes ILO policies throughout the United Nations system through its Staff College. It supports ILO technical cooperation and participates in several action programmes and inter-regional ILO programmes, notably IPEC, STEP, ISEP and More and Better Jobs for Women. At the same time, in an increasingly competitive market, the Centre will concentrate on training activities that receive financial sponsorship. The Centre's second Development Plan will terminate in 2000, as will the current phase of the United Nations Staff College project. These two completion dates will provide an opportunity for the Centre to review activities undertaken in the 1990s and the Centre's role in the UN system in order to orient its future activities.

138. The International Institute for Labour Studies carries out research to identify emerging labour policy issues. Its social policy forums allow ILO constituents and staff to engage in dialogue with the international academic community and other policy-makers. The Institute's courses introduce new tripartite leaders to the ILO, and provide them with an international comparative perspective on labour issues. The activities of the Institute focus on the changing interaction between labour institutions, social actors and economic development in a global economy. Its programmes aim at placing tripartism in the contemporary perspective of globalization and social change. In accordance with the usual practice, detailed Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01 will be submitted to the Institute's Board and to the Governing Body in November 1999.

 

Action programmes

139. The 23 action programmes listed below are submitted for the Committee's consideration and decision as to which to retain in the Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01. A summary text indicating the needs to be addressed by each action programme, its objectives and its main products is given in Appendix II.

140. The action programmes are multidisciplinary in nature and respond to the operational objectives. They are directed at the production of concrete outputs of immediate utility to the ILO's constituents. The proposals are linked to the country objective reviews and respond to the priority needs of constituents in member States.

141. It should be recalled that a total of 16 action programmes were included in the Programme and Budget for 1998-99. The total amount of resources devoted to the 16 action programmes amounted to $8.1 million. While the average cost of the action programmes was some $505,000, the resources attached to the individual action programmes ranged from $300,000 for the smallest programme to $845,000 for the largest.

142. As the proposals for 2000-01 must adhere to the principle of zero real growth, the total amount of resources to be devoted to action programmes in the next biennium should also remain close to $8.1 million. The total cost of the 23 proposed action programmes amounts to $18.3 million, and the cost of the individual programmes ranges from $455,000 to $850,000. However, the average cost of the proposed action programmes has risen from $505,000 in 1998-99 to some $685,000, due to their wider scope. Thus, in order to remain within the overall resource constraint of zero real growth, 12 action programmes can be included in the Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01.

143. The proposals are as follows:

  1. Youth employment: More and better routes into jobs.
  2. Integrated policies and programmes to reduce redundancies.
  3. Regional integration, employment and skills development.
  4. Skills for social and economic inclusion.
  5. Equal rights and equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
  6. The creation of enterprises creation by the unemployed: The role of micro-finance.
  7. Local economic development in conflict-affected countries.
  8. Fast-growth enterprises and quality job creation.
  9. Small enterprise support services provided by employers' organizations.
  10. Minimizing the social cost of enterprise restructuring.
  11. Women, unions and industrial relations.
  12. Improving social dialogue and tripartism.
  13. A framework for the coexistence of public employment services and private employment agencies.
  14. An operational framework for time-bound national programmes against child labour.
  15. First things first : Action to protect workers in hazardous industries and occupations.
  16. Eradicating the worst forms of abuse against migrant workers.
  17. Women in management.
  18. The extension of social protection: A framework for policies and design.
  19. World and regional estimates of the labour force, employment and unemployment.
  20. The informalization of employment in the global economy.
  21. Gender, poverty and employment: A capacity-building programme.
  22. Strengthening the capacity of employers' organizations to improve workplace employment relations.
  23. Promoting collective consultations and negotiations in the context of globalization.

 

Technical meetings

144. In the course of the development of the proposals for the next biennium, some 15 proposals for technical meetings have been prepared and are submitted to the Committee for its consideration. These are described in Appendix III.

145. The Committee is advised of two meetings due to be held as a result of inter-organizational agreements between the ILO and other agencies. One is the Joint ILO/UNESCO Committee of Experts on the Application of the Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, to be held in 2000. The second is the 18th Ordinary Session of the Intergovernmental Committee of the International Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (the Rome Convention, 1961), to be held in 2001 in cooperation with UNESCO and WIPO. Both of these meetings rotate on different time-scales and between the Geneva and Paris headquarters of the organizations involved, and it falls to ILO to host one session of each during the next biennium.

146. It is suggested that the Committee make a choice of seven additional meetings out of the 15 proposed, listed below and described in Appendix III. Resources amounting to $1.6 million have provisionally been set aside to cover the direct costs of these meetings (cost of participants' travel and subsistence and the preparation and organization of each meeting). It is recalled that, in addition to these proposals, the Committee on Sectoral and Technical Meetings and Related Issues of the Governing Body will recommend 12 sectoral meetings for the next biennium.(4)

147. The meetings proposed are as follows:

  1. World Employment Forum.
  2. International Symposium on Changing Gender Relations in the World of Work.
  3. Tripartite Meeting of Experts on the Management of Disability at the Workplace.
  4. Third Enterprise Forum.
  5. Meeting of Experts on Workers in Situations Needing Protection.
  6. International Symposium on Collective Bargaining.
  7. Joint ILO/International Financial Institutions Meeting on Labour Law Reform.
  8. Meeting of Experts on Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems and Safety Culture.
  9. Meeting of Experts on Safety in the Use of Biological Agents at Work.
  10. International Symposium on Organizational Innovation and the Future of Work.
  11. Meeting of Experts on Labour Statistics: Consumer Price Indices (Part A) and Household Budget Surveys (Part II).
  12. Meeting of Experts on Labour Statistics: Comparison and Reconciliation of Employment and Unemployment Data from Different Sources.
  13. International Symposium on Informalization of Employment in the Global Economy.
  14. Employers' Symposium on Developing a Workforce for Enterprise Competitiveness and Employment Generation.
  15. International Symposium to Strengthen Workers' Participation in the UN System and impact on the Bretton-Woods Institutions.

* * *

 

148. The Committee may wish to provide further guidance to the Office on key priorities in the next biennium, and specifically on the choice of action programmes and of technical meetings to be included in the Programme and Budget proposals for 2000-01.

 

Geneva, 15 October 1998.

Point for decision: Paragraph 148.



Appendix I

Strategic and operational objectives and Office-wide objectives: synopsis
 

Strategic problems


Strategic objectives


Operational problems


Operational objectives


1. Democracy, social justice and development are impeded by the failure to apply universally the principles and rights set out in the ILO Constitution, reaffirmed in the ILO Declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work, and expressed and developed in the fundamental Conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining, discrimination and forced and child labour. Effective social dialogue -- including the contributions of strong and influential employers' and workers' organizations -- is required to achieve democracy and social justice in an environment of globalization, structural adjustment, economic crisis and rapid technological and social change.

1. The principles set out in the ILO Constitution related to fundamental rights and to tripartism and social dialogue are widely realized, and the relevant Conventions are extensively ratified and fully applied.

1(a) There continue to be cases of insufficient respect of the ILO constitutional principles concerning fundamental rights, and of inadequate application of fundamental Conventions.

1(a) The ILO constitutional principles concerning fundamental rights are widely respected in practice and fundamental Conventions are extensively ratified and fully applied.

1(b) Child labour, and in particular its worst forms, is a global tragedy of immense proportions.

1(b) Child labour is progressively eliminated, with priority to the urgent elimination of its worst forms.

1(c) Employers' and workers' organizations are faced with great challenges due to globalization and regional integration, sectoral and technological changes, and economic crises, yet their capacity and influence are often limited.

1(c) Employers' and workers' organizations have the necessary capacity to serve their members and to influence economic and social policy

1(d) Social and labour conflicts that hamper growth and development can only be resolved with the participation of all the parties concerned.

1(d) Machinery for social dialogue and consensus is widely adopted and fully operational, on a bipartite or tripartite basis as appropriate

1 (e) Member States require assistance beyond that directly available from the ILO to support their efforts to realize the ILO's constitutional principles concerning fundamental rights.

1(e) The international community, including the international financial institutions, provides advice and assistance to support member States' efforts to realize the ILO's constitutional principles concerning fundamental rights


2. Member States continue to find it difficult to expand the number of jobs and to offer good job opportunities to all who wish to work

2. Policies and programmes for more and better jobs are effectively implemented

2(a) National employment policies have often failed to take sufficient account of the effects of globalization, to anticipate potential crises, to make the most effective use of scarce national financial and human resources, and to help overcome failures and mismatches in labour markets

2(a) ILO constituents are equipped to analyse economic and labour market developments and to elaborate effective employment promotion policies and programmes

2(b) Enterprises, and especially small and medium-sized enterprises, are the engine of wealth and employment creation. However, poorly designed labour legislation and labour market policies and programmes can act as a constraint on their success. In particular, enterprises may have little incentive to expand employment and to invest in their workforces.

2(b) Employment-friendly enterprise development policies and programmes are effectively implemented

2(c) Discrimination against women continues to prevent them from having equal employment opportunities

2(c) Women have access to more and better jobs

2(d) The informal sector provides employment of last resort for a large proportion of the labour force, but often with inadequate productivity and income levels, and poor conditions of work

2(d) Policies and programmes to upgrade the conditions of informal sector activities are effectively implemented

2(e) Certain groups tend to be left behind in the process of job creation and recruitment: indigenous populations, the disabled, racial minorities, migrants and those living in backward or rural areas are prominent examples

2(e) Employment policy and practice are targeted to improve the opportunities of groups left behind in the process of job creation and recruitment

2(f) Globalization means that many decisions affecting employment within member States are taken outside national borders, and that the influence of regional and international institutions is growing, together with the influence of multinational enterprises. There is therefore a need for a greater capacity within member States to develop policies and action that take into account these new realities.

2(f) ILO constituents are equipped to influence global and regional policy development related to employment

2(g) The international financial institutions are key players in development policy decisions with large, direct impacts on employment. Without close collaboration with them on research, policy formulation and programme development, the ILO's influence will be seriously constrained.

2(g) The international community, and especially the international financial institutions make full use of ILO research and tripartite policy guidance on employment issues in their development advice and funding decisions


3. Problems of working conditions and social protection require urgent action

3. Policies and programmes for the protection of workers are better targeted, more effective and more widely applied

3(a) In the face of poor working conditions and insufficient social protection, international labour standards on occupational safety and health, conditions of work and social security -- as well as those on labour administration and inspection and collective bargaining -- contain valuable policy guidance, but they are often insufficiently ratified and applied.

3(a) International labour standards related to protection of workers are widely ratified and effectively applied

3(b) National social security systems are under increasing financial strain, and they are criticized as inefficient and as a brake on employment

3(b) Member States have broadened the scope of social security systems, improved benefits, strengthened governance and management, and developed policies to overcome financial constraints

3(c) Difficulties in ensuring adequate conditions of work and employment in small enterprises and the informal sector, as well as in subcontracting and work where precarious employment relationships are common

3(c) Targeted policies and programmes of action on workers' protection are implemented for the most difficult-to-reach sectors and the most vulnerable and exploited groups, and voluntary measures are applied to reach workers who are insufficiently protected by existing machinery

3(d) Extremely hazardous conditions at the workplace are responsible for intolerable numbers of deaths, injuries and occupational diseases

3(d) ILO constituents target and take effective action against extremely hazardous conditions at the workplace

3(e) Globalization may result in a deterioration of conditions for some workers, and may cause problems for the effective operation of national protective machinery

3(e) ILO constituents at national level are equipped to analyse the implications of globalization and develop effective policies to protect workers from adverse social effects

3(f) Financial crises and structural adjustment have an important impact on workers' protection as well as employment. Enterprises often have fewer resources and may be unable to provide normal protection or benefits. Budgetary restrictions on governments limit the capacity of labour administration and inspection as well as social protection schemes. Workers' organizations may be weakened or forced to concentrate almost exclusively on employment security. The international financial institutions, through their influence on development policy and investment decisions, can have a major impact on workers' protection.

3(f) The international community, and especially the international financial institutions, take workers' protection into consideration in their advice and investment decisions


 

Office-wide objectives


Problem A: A need for greater ILO influence on the wider public and more specifically on international economic policy

Objective A. ILO principles, policies and action are well-known to policy-makers, the international community and the general public.

Problem B: To strengthen its credibility and authority, and in particular the quality of its services to its constituents, the ILO needs highly capable staff with modern logistical support.

Objective B. ILO staff have the skills and capacities, as well as the tools and resources, necessary to carry out their work in a changing world.

Problem C: The ILO needs to review work organization and methods, reinforce internal systems and better train the persons with management responsibilities.

Objective C: ILO programming and management systems are streamlined and transparent.

Problem D: Without well-organized and well-serviced meetings and Conferences, and without appropriate official correspondence with constituents, ILO constituents and delegates to meetings cannot perform their function as policy-makers.

Objective D: ILO constituents have the necessary materials and facilities (documents, interpretation, well-organized meetings and other supporting services) to carry out effectively and efficiently their role in the formulation and implementation of ILO policies, standards and programmes


 

Appendix II

Proposed Action Programmes

1. Youth employment: More and better routes into jobs ($850,000)

Youth unemployment rates are generally considerably higher than those of adults. Getting the first job is very difficult, even for well-educated young people. Apprenticeship is one of the most promising means of promoting labour market insertion. The objective of the action programme is to develop a diversified portfolio of apprenticeship options, involving both improved forms of traditional apprenticeship and innovative ways of linking education, training and work experience for young people. It will focus on links between young workers and enterprises, the generation of skills and competence, and promoting the participation of young people from disadvantaged social groups or who are at high risk of unemployment. In June 1998, the Conference adopted a resolution concerning youth employment. The action programme is a direct response to the resolution. A database and an information system will be developed on best practices and experiences in youth employment and training policies and programmes. A survey of existing information will be supplemented by new data in several countries, obtained from employers, trade unions and experts. Policy recommendations will be presented for apprenticeship systems, with emphasis on their capacity for generating reliable routes into productive employment. Training modules will be prepared on the design, implementation and evaluation of youth employment programmes. The action programme will be carried out in collaboration with the youth employment programmes developed by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the International Organization of Employers.

 

2. Integrated policies and programmes to reduce redundancies ($591,000)

Many governments continue to be confronted by the challenge of redeploying large numbers of workers who have lost their jobs as a result of economic restructuring associated with globalization, technological change and structural adjustment. The objective of the action programme is that policy-makers develop greater capacity to foresee the employment impact of these economic changes; to limit the number of workers made redundant by the changes; to implement policies to speed up re-employment; and to provide adequate safety net measures. The feasibility and effectiveness of integrated policies and programmes to reduce redundancy and speed up redeployment will be tested through national demonstration projects in countries undergoing substantial employment change. These projects will comprise advisory services and technical assistance on how to limit redundancy, redeploy redundant workers and mitigate the social costs of restructuring. The effectiveness of existing active labour market programmes in matching the need for a socially acceptable approach to redundancies will be reviewed by experts, and recommendations will be made for their improvement. A report will be prepared on the lessons learned, emphasizing the policies and programmes that have been effective and their institutional framework. Training modules will also be produced, in collaboration with the Turin Centre, on effective policy responses to redundancies.

 

3. Regional integration, employment and skill development ($604,000)

The labour market implications of participation in regional integration processes go beyond the immediate effects of trade liberalization. Increased trade within regional blocs, as well as changes in the pattern of foreign and domestic investment, affect the demand for skills, labour mobility and the creation of new jobs. The objective of the action programme is that constituents develop their capacity to foresee the impact of further liberalization on employment and to implement programmes that improve the employability of the workers affected. Employment observatories, or their equivalent, will be established. An assessment will be made of the establishment and role of regional secretariats, cooperation between national organizations of workers and employers and between semi-independent national agencies in various sectors in regional trading arrangements, where common trade legislation is in force and where trade flows have increased. The employment impact of these arrangements and their likely future evolution will be analysed in a number of regional agreements with a strong institutional base, in cooperation with the tripartite constituency. Country-level activities will concentrate on programmes to raise the employability and functional flexibility of the workers affected by regional integration processes. A synthesis report will be prepared on the principal employment issues arising from economic integration.

 

4. Skills for social and economic inclusion ($676,000)

The lack of the skills and capabilities required by the changing labour market is a crucial factor in the social and economic exclusion of the long-term unemployed, low productivity informal-sector workers, young people without initial labour market access and many other groups. Training and skills development are therefore a vital part of policies and programmes to overcome poverty and promote social inclusion by promoting access to jobs and incomes. This action programme will address the ways in which training can play this role. The objective of the action programme is that constituents develop the capacity to integrate training initiatives and skills development programmes for disadvantaged groups into comprehensive programmes of action against poverty and social exclusion. Initiatives of this type will be reviewed and guidelines will be produced on the practical aspects of policy implementation. The outputs of the action programme will include recommendations on the types of training that are effective, their linkage with other policies for social and economic inclusion, and the institutions that can support them. The ILO's capacity to deliver technical advisory services to its constituents in this field will be reinforced.

 

5. Equal rights and equal opportunities for people with disabilities ($692,000)

Ten per cent of the world's population are people with disabilities. Large groups of persons with disabilities are denied equal rights and equal opportunities in training and work. All over the world, most persons with disabilities live in extreme poverty. The costs of disability are becoming untenable for individual enterprises, national economies and benefit and welfare systems. But perhaps the highest cost is borne by the persons with disabilities themselves and their families, who suffer social and economic exclusion. The objective of the action programme is that member States, as well as employers' and workers' organizations, develop comprehensive policies and programmes to address disability issues, and particularly strategies to mainstream disability issues into their overall training and employment policies and programmes. Comprehensive national strategies and action plans will be developed in four to five participating countries. A package of tested tools and guides on sector-specific measures will be prepared and disseminated.

 

6. The creation of enterprises by the unemployed: The role of micro-finance ($600,000)

The collapse of the financial markets in emerging market countries has led to the insolvency and closure of large numbers of businesses. Many workers have lost their jobs over a short period of time, putting a critical strain on labour markets which are clearly not able to absorb all of them. In response, some workers endeavour to set up their own businesses, but are often unable to obtain access to capital or credit. Micro-finance schemes for self-employment can provide a solution. Such schemes reduce the costs of unemployment insurance and social security, alleviate the burden of welfare budgets and generate tax income and revenues for the social security system. The objective of this action programme is that governments and the social partners launch micro-finance schemes for self-employment by the unemployed. The action programme will address issues such as the outreach and sustainability of such schemes, their resource base, fiscal considerations, their legal status and links to privatized agencies. The main outputs will include case studies of a variety of successful micro-finance schemes for self-employment, a systematic overview of the financing mechanisms used and their respective strengths and weaknesses, manuals and other training materials, as well as the development of networks of stakeholders.

 

7. Local economic development in conflict-affected countries ($611,000)

The development of many countries, particularly in Africa, is compromised by the fact that they are still suffering the consequences of armed conflict. To prevent conflict from recurring, they have to reintegrate large numbers of returning refugees, internally displaced persons and ex-combatants and provide them with employment and incomes. Most countries, however, lack the financial and human resources needed to design and implement effective employment promotion programmes. Experience in Central America and Cambodia has shown that one way to overcome these constraints is to create local mechanisms to rehabilitate the economy, particularly through the promotion of small enterprises and cooperatives. This approach to local economic development is particularly appropriate because it helps build a consensus around economic objectives among parties who may have been on opposing sides during the conflict. It also brings together all those with a stake in the local economy, including local representatives of government agencies, employers' and workers' organizations, private enterprises, United Nations agencies, other international organizations and NGOs. The objective of the action programme is that conflict-affected countries, particularly in Africa, design and implement effective employment promotion strategies, using a local economic development approach. Constituents and other policy-makers will be trained in the design of cost-effective and high-impact reintegration and reconstruction programmes. Assistance will be provided for the mobilization of resources and the implementation of pilot local economic development programmes.

 

8. Fast-growth enterprises and quality job creation ($741,000)

Small enterprises are the main source of new jobs in practically all countries. Nevertheless, most of these enterprises tend to remain small, and up to one-third of them go out of business within the first three years. Only a few achieve consistent growth. Yet the largest contributions to job creation and national wealth are made by fast-growth firms, which are also more likely to offer higher quality jobs. It is therefore important to stimulate the growth of these firms. Their growth is often held back by a lack of equity finance and the absence of local economic development policies and programmes which help link small enterprises to the larger production and distribution chain. To enable small enterprises to grow, it is necessary to create and strengthen efficient and reliable financial intermediaries and instruments. An examination will be carried out of vertical and horizontal linkages, such as supplier-buyer relationships and technical and marketing alliances, as well as the linkages with and between support systems and institutions. The objective of the action programme is the adoption by member States of measures and programmes that help small enterprises realize their growth potential in terms of job creation by overcoming existing constraints. The outputs and activities of the action programme will form part of the International Small Enterprise Programme (ISEP). The programme will identify the types of small enterprises that create jobs and the sectors in which they are located. It will also prepare guidelines to help government and other agencies provide support services which facilitate the growth of small enterprises and their integration and upgrading in the value chain.

 

9. Small enterprise support services provided by employers' organizations ($745,000)

To maintain and enhance their competitiveness in an increasingly global and demanding marketplace, small enterprises need support in such areas as management, productivity and quality control, business planning, linkages with larger enterprises and information on markets and technology. This support must be cost-effective and meet their immediate needs. The objective of the action programme is that employers' organizations provide more affordable high-quality support services to small enterprises. Employers' organizations will benefit directly through the extension of their membership base. A survey will be conducted of the experience gained by employers' organizations in providing support services for small enterprises, both in developed and developing countries. The types of services for which employers' organizations are most suited and can deliver on a sustainable basis will be identified. Guidelines and training materials will be produced for employers' organizations on the planning, development, design, marketing and implementation of support services for small enterprises.

 

10. Minimizing the social cost of enterprise restructuring ($749,000)

In a global and increasingly competitive economic environment, enterprises have to constantly adjust and restructure to survive and grow. Restructuring often involves dislocation and the loss of jobs, at least in the short term. The challenge is therefore to achieve dynamic competitiveness and attain long-term viability, while minimizing the social cost of enterprise restructuring. Enterprises with a focus on human resources, including both managers and workers, are often able to maintain their competitive advantage and go through radical restructuring processes with a minimum negative impact on employment and job quality. When it is linked with strategic planning, effective human resource management can anticipate the need for restructuring and facilitate the consultative and participatory processes which make employability and redeployment feasible. The objective of the action programme is that constituents, enterprise managers and workers adopt enterprise restructuring approaches and strategies that achieve productivity and competitiveness objectives, while minimizing their social cost. A series of case studies of successful enterprise restructuring in different economic contexts will be undertaken, focusing on national policies, the institutional and programme framework and the way the restructuring process was handled in terms of human resource management. Guidelines and training materials will be produced on enterprise restructuring and revitalization.

 

11. Women, unions and industrial relations ($750,000)

Despite the significant increase in the participation of women in the labour market in recent decades, insufficient attention has been given to the specific needs and concerns of women workers by the trade union movement. The objective of this action programme is that more women workers participate in trade unions and that their representation is increased on the policy-making bodies of trade unions. In this way, the collective bargaining agendas of the trade unions will reflect more closely the specific needs and concerns of women workers. Funding will be sought for seminars in selected countries in all regions to draw together working women and trade union representatives to discuss how unions can become more responsive to women's needs. The main outputs of the action programme will be: a report outlining the present situation of women workers in terms of union membership and their participation in higher-level bodies; a report drawing together survey responses from working women; and a third report identifying successful experiences in addressing the above issues. A range of ongoing support activities will be identified for incorporation in relevant ILO programmes and projects.

 

12. Improving social dialogue and tripartism ($658,000)

While there is widespread endorsement of the principle of tripartite consultation and negotiation in many developing, transition and newly industrialized countries, the results in terms of putting this principle into practice have been mixed. There are a number of common problems, including a lack of political will, weaknesses in employers' and workers' organizations, inadequate bipartite relations, limited experience of working in a tripartite framework, and a lack of knowledge and skills among the participants of how to deal with the issues that are being examined. The objective of the action programme is that constituents in these countries establish properly functioning systems of social dialogue capable of leading to agreed outcomes which are efficient and economically and socially equitable. A report will identify factors facilitating and inhibiting social dialogue. Guidelines and initial action plans will be designed to improve social institutions, and procedures will be developed to facilitate social dialogue and tripartism. Finally, training materials will be developed and training programmes undertaken in a number of developing, transition and newly industrialized countries.

 

13. A framework for the coexistence of public employment services and private employment agencies ($750,000)

The role of private employment agencies (PREAs) is becoming more significant in labour markets in an increasing number of industrialized, emerging market and transition economies. But more needs to be known about their practices and relationships with public employment services (PES). In many countries, there is a lack of information on and/or distrust of each other's activities which prevents them from working together for the benefit of jobseekers and employers. The objective of the action programme is that the countries concerned develop and implement cooperative partnerships between PES and PREAs, particularly in the areas of access to labour market information, employment counselling and placement services. The programme will support the implementation of the Private Employment Agencies Convention, 1997 (No. 181). A synthesis report will be prepared, based on studies from selected emerging market and transition economies, and will be discussed in a regional seminar with a view to securing agreement around certain preferred partnership models. Pilot projects will then be undertaken in several countries, their outcomes evaluated and a number of technical cooperation projects developed on the basis of an agreed framework for public-private partnership.

 

14. An operational framework for time-bound national programmes against child labour ($775,000)

There is today a chance for a decisive breakthrough in the fight against child labour. Governments and civil society in many parts of the world are determined to put an end to child labour, especially in its worst forms. In order to achieve durable solutions, large-scale and vigorous programmes of action will have to be established with a view to eliminating child labour within a clearly defined time-frame. These programmes could be at the national level and aim at ending all child labour in a given country or, as a starting point, abolishing child labour in specific sectors. Recent international conferences on child labour have urged countries to launch time-bound programmes of action to eliminate child labour, starting with its worst forms, as a decisive new step in the fight against child labour. Before embarking on such ambitious programmes, however, member States will need advice and information on the financial implications, as well as a set of planning and design tools, enabling them to make well-informed policy and programme decisions. The objective of the action programme is that member States develop a greater capacity to eliminate child labour, especially its worst forms, within a clearly defined time-frame. Building on previous research work, guidelines will be prepared on programme approaches and policy options for the development and implementation of time-bound programmes of action. Pilot time-bound programmes will be implemented in two or three countries in a particular industry or sector. The outputs of this action programme will be used in advisory work and as an advocacy tool to promote the design and implementation of time-bound programmes.

 

15. First things first: Action to protect workers in hazardous industries and occupations ($748,000)

Every job has its risks and every worker deserves protection from them. Yet in many parts of the world member States do not have the necessary resources to provide basic and appropriate protection to all workers. Certain occupations and industries are intrinsically dangerous, due to the materials and technology employed. In others, lack of respect for minimum standards and the scarcity of fundamental safety and health policies and programmes contribute to an environment where workplace fatalities, severe injuries, disease and disability continue to be tolerated, putting at risk the health and physical safety of workers. The objective of the action programme is that member States have available better tools for the protection of workers in especially hazardous occupations. A report will analyse hazardous industrial processes and jobs, identify the types and causes of occupational accidents, and review experiences in dealing with them. Guidelines for identifying, assessing and eliminating workplace hazards and for the establishment and operation of occupational safety and health (OSH) management systems will be prepared, as well as multilingual data sheets on selected, high-profile hazardous occupations. Positive experiences will be reviewed. As a result of this work, it is expected that several member States will have developed appropriate national strategies and programmes for reducing the number of especially hazardous workplaces and lowering risk levels in intrinsically hazardous occupations.

 

16. Eradicating the worst forms of abuse of migrant workers ($745,000)

Many men and women migrant workers are subjected to abusive and slave-like conditions of employment. Many thousands of migrant workers work for long hours in hazardous occupations, are underpaid and sometimes even physically maltreated and abused. The objective of the action programme is that concrete measures are adopted at the national and international levels to bring an end to the worst forms of abuse and exploitation of migrant workers. The action programme will address the concern for equality of treatment for migrant workers enunciated in the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up. Support for a global campaign to address the worst forms of abuse and exploitation of migrant workers will be mobilized. A global report will evaluate the measures taken by governments and propose strategies for action. Multimedia information materials will be prepared and disseminated to trade unions, employers' organizations and other members of civil society. A database will also be produced and made available through the Internet.

 

17. Women in management ($457,000)

In most countries, women continue to suffer from occupational segregation in the workplace and rarely break through the so-called glass ceiling preventing them from attaining top-level management and professional positions. Although the number of women in management is slowly increasing, women still occupy only 2 to 3 per cent of senior management positions in the largest and most powerful organizations worldwide. As a consequence, women tend to earn less than men, which has a negative impact on their contribution to household income. Women's skills are under-utilized, with the subsequent loss of performance for enterprises. Women's lack of access to decision-making functions is increasingly unacceptable from the perspective of human rights and social justice. This action programme is proposed as follow-up on the ILO Tripartite Meeting on Breaking through the Glass Ceiling: Women in Management (Geneva, December 1997), which stressed that women's access to management and decision-making positions is a key issue to be addressed urgently and systematically. The objective of the action programme is that the proportion of women in management is increased through intensified tripartite dialogue and the adoption by constituents of national and enterprise polices and programmes to facilitate the access of women to managerial positions, and particularly the most senior decision-making positions. Comparative analyses will be conducted of different economic sectors on issues such as occupational segregation and sex stereotyping, recruitment and career development, and equality of access to managerial, technical and leadership training. The findings will be widely disseminated through monographs and meetings. A practical guide based on good practices will be produced

 

18. The extension of social protection: A framework for policies and design ($693,000)

More than half of the world's labour force and their families, and in some cases up to 90 per cent of the population, are excluded from social security schemes. Governments and social partners, who are aware of this situation, are increasingly calling upon the ILO to provide advice. The World Summit for Social Development recommended that social protection schemes be extended beyond their current coverage. Clearly, existing social security schemes are unable to cope. The action programme will build on the experience acquired by the ILO on social protection in the informal sector, social safety nets and poverty prevention, as well as the experience of the Strategies and Tools against Social Exclusion and Poverty (STEP) global programme. The objective of the action programme is that governments, social security agencies, social partners and other concerned parties formulate policies, finance programmes and design and implement sustainable social security schemes that meet the needs of those who are excluded from social protection. Experience of policies, programmes and schemes to extend social protection will be synthesized, and policy guidelines produced. Training modules will be prepared on the design and management of such schemes. Particular attention will be paid to the implications of the extension of social protection for ILO standards.

 

19. World and regional estimates of the labour force, employment and unemployment ($593,862)

One of the statistical implications of the globalization of the world economy is the need for aggregate global and regional data to monitor changes in the main economic and social trends, and particularly in employment and unemployment. The objective of the action programme is that constituents have test data on the labour force, employment and unemployment at the global and regional levels available for information and use by the end of the biennium. To achieve this objective, world and regional estimates of employment and unemployment and world estimates and projections of the economically active population (1950-2010) will be produced.

 

20. The informalization of employment in the global economy ($750,000)

The informalization of significant segments of economies and labour markets has become an important feature of the economies of countries at all levels of development. The growth of informal employment poses new challenges to governments, as well as to employers' and workers' organizations. The issues that need to be addressed in this field include the costs and benefits associated with the informal sector's linkage with the formal sector and the global economy; the social protection and conditions of work of those engaged in the informal sector; the organization of employers and workers in the sector with a view to providing them with a voice to defend their rights and protect their interests; and the role of local authorities in responding to the situation of the growing informalization of economies. The objective of the action programme is that governments and workers' and employers' organizations are capable of improving the quality of employment and extending social protection in the informal sector. Analytical and policy-oriented reports will be produced on how the benefits of the informal sector's linkage with the formal sector can be enhanced. An innovative conceptual framework and the modalities for its application will be developed to extend social protection to and improve working conditions in the informal sector. Guidelines and training materials will be prepared for use by employers' associations and trade unions in organizing employers and workers in the sector, and to raise awareness among local government officials of the role and contribution of the informal sector.

 

21. Gender, poverty and employment: A capacity-building programme ($749,799)

In recent years, employment promotion and poverty eradication have been reinstated as priority goals of development and social agenda at the national and international levels. The World Summit on Social Development renewed the global commitment to the inter-related goals of employment promotion, poverty eradication and social cohesion. In addition, the Fourth World Conference on Women placed the alarming trend of the "feminization of poverty" at the centre of the debate. Country Objective reviews also identify the increased need of constituents to address the question of gender, poverty and employment. In order to respond to these needs, a capacity-building strategy and package on gender, poverty and employment was developed in 1997. The objective of the action programme is that ILO constituents adopt policies and programmes to combat poverty and exclusion among women and improve the quality of women's employment. In addition, the package will be adapted to the specific contexts and priorities of transition countries. Similarly, in response to the interest expressed by the World Bank, UNDP and other United Nations agencies for the use of the package, a dissemination strategy and collaborative initiatives with these institutions will be developed. The main outputs will include the implementation of capacity-building programmes in six countries and the evaluation of their impact for use in future capacity-building, advisory services and gender mainstreaming strategies.

 

22. Strengthening the capacity of employers' organizations to improve workplace employment relations ($597,000)

Even though industry organizations provide direct services to enterprises on labour relations issues, many employers' organizations have concentrated in the past on policy lobbying, tripartite and bipartite policy dialogue and negotiations above the enterprise level. Many employers are now requesting assistance from their organizations to facilitate change at the enterprise level. Employers' organizations could be a highly effective channel for the provision of information and training on how to improve workplace relations, but they rarely have the programmes and/or staff to offer these services. The objective of the action programme is that employers' organizations develop the capacity to provide advice, information and training on how to improve workplace relations. In this way, enterprises will be able to contribute directly to improved dialogue and changes in workplace relations, policies and practices, in conformity with the Labour Clauses (Public Contracts) Convention, 1949 (No. 94), the Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129), and the Labour Administration Convention, 1978 (No. 150). A compendium of best practices will be compiled, based on case studies of industrial relations at the enterprise level and the links between sound employment relations and overall performance. A training module will also be provided to selected employers' organizations and their members.

 

23. Promoting collective consultations and negotiations in the context of globalization ($687,000)

For collective bargaining to operate effectively and equitably, there needs to be a reasonable balance in the strength of the social partners. A traditional role of the State in industrial relations has been to establish a legislative and institutional framework that ensures that trade unions and representatives of employers can meet each other "on a level playing field". Unfortunately, the ability of any individual government to create a reasonable industrial relations power balance is being severely constrained by developments in the global economy. New mechanisms are required at the international level to enable trade unions to protect and promote their interests in a global economy. The objective of the action programme is the establishment of transnational institutions for collective consultations and negotiations on economic and social issues. Support will be provided to national trade union centres to help them advocate the creation of institutional arrangements for transnational consultations and make policy proposals within such institutional arrangements which contribute to economic efficiency, social equity and harmonious industrial relations. A report will be published outlining the strategic thinking in trade unions on the impact of globalization on collective bargaining and other related subjects. Working papers will also be compiled on the impact of trade unions in regional forums in the European Union, NAFTA and MERCOSUR, as well as training manuals and other information materials.


Appendix III

Choice of technical meetings

As indicated in the preliminary consultation paper of March 1998, proposals for technical meetings have been prepared. The Committee is invited to choose seven meetings out of the 15 proposed meetings listed below, together with a brief description of their objectives.

The Director-General considers that the proposed Meeting of Experts on Workers in Situations Needing Protection merits especially favourable consideration, as it responds to a resolution adopted by the 86th Session (1998) of the International Labour Conference.

 

1. World Employment Forum ($248,000)

The purpose of such a Forum would be to review outstanding issues in the employment field and seek new approaches to the creation of more and good quality jobs consistent with commitments made at the World Summit for Social Development. The Forum would take place in the interim between the International Consultation concerning Follow-up on the World Summit for Social Development (November 1999) and the Special Session of the General Assembly on the Implementation of the Outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and Further Initiatives (2000). It would be attended by delegates to the International Labour Conference, selected guests and speakers and representatives of the labour and business communities and NGOs. After an introductory session, a number of panels would convene covering the following: globalization, trade and quality employment, the activation of labour market policies, the employment of young people, women's employment and discrimination in jobs, training and employability, enterprise employment strategies, labour market segmentation and employment in the informal sector, income security in a changing world and governance and job creation.

 

2. International Symposium on Changing Gender Relations in the World of Work ($209,000)

The purpose of the symposium would be to discuss the implications of changing gender relations in the workplace and to identify policies and programmes needed to deal with these, thus identifying future directions for a wide range of ILO activities. Some of the main issues to be discussed would be: the continuing need for equal opportunity policies and affirmative action; the implications for education and training programmes, family responsibilities and social welfare programmes; how workers' and employers' organizations should address the implications of changing gender relations within their membership and in industrial relations; and how gender sensitization and awareness-raising programmes could more effectively take into account changing gender relations at work and within society. The symposium would also demonstrate that the More and Better Jobs for Women programme takes into account the concerns of men and improved gender relations.

 

3. Tripartite Meeting of Experts on the Management of Disability at the Workplace ($235,000)

This meeting would be held in order to review and possibly adopt a code of practice to be drafted by the Office on the management in the workplace of disability-related issues. Components of the draft will include enterprise measures, incentives and practices concerning the employment of working-age persons with disabilities; the job retention and return to work of workers who become disabled and practices and means to prevent and protect against workplace illness, injury and disability occurrence and costs. It will also include the development of an enterprise policy on disability in the workplace and special workplace integration strategies and models for workers with disabilities.

 

4. Third ILO Enterprise Forum ($254,000)

It is proposed to organize a third ILO Enterprise Forum, which would bring together entrepreneurs, representatives of governments and of employers' and workers' organizations, academics and practitioners to discuss the role of enterprises and of employers' and workers' organizations in job creation and other social initiatives. The precise agenda for the third Forum would be determined in consultation with the Governing Body at a later date.

 

5. Meeting of Experts on Workers in Situations Needing Protection ($246,000)

The purpose of this meeting of experts would be to examine issues arising out of the work of the Committee on Contract Labour at the Conference in 1998 (in accordance with the resolution adopted by that Committee), to place the issues discussed by the Committee on the agenda of a future session of the International Labour Conference, and to advise the Conference on the scope and contents of possible ILO instruments in this regard, so that the process is completed no later than the year 2002. The issues to be examined by the Meeting of Experts would be as follows:

  1. which workers, in the situations that had begun to be identified by the Conference Committee, were in need of protection;
  2. appropriate ways in which such workers could be protected, and the possibility of dealing separately with the various situations;
  3. how such workers would be defined, bearing in mind the different legal systems that exist and language differences. The report and conclusions of this Meeting would serve to prepare the law and practice report that would be sent to ILO constituents, with a view to having the standard-setting discussion on this subject in 2002.

 

6. International Symposium on Collective Bargaining ($272,000)

This tripartite meeting would be organized in order to review and exchange views on major trends and developments in the levels at which collective bargaining takes place, as well as the issues it deals with. The meeting would also seek to identify the best ways of enhancing the effectiveness of collective bargaining in its broadest sense, particularly at the central and sectoral levels, as an instrument that protects workers while simultaneously contributing to finding solutions to economic pressures imposed by globalization.

 

7. Joint ILO/International Financial Institutions Meeting on Labour Law Reform ($160,000)

The purpose of this meeting would be to enhance coherence between the approaches of the international and regional financial institutions regarding the reform of labour law. In the view of the ILO, social considerations and ILO standards are not sufficiently taken into account in the approaches taken by these institutions. ILO constituents, together with representatives of international and regional financial institutions, would attend the Meeting. The Meeting's report and conclusions would be published and widely disseminated.

 

8. Meeting of Experts on Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems and Safety Culture ($167,000)

This meeting would be held in order to review guidelines being elaborated in the framework of the Action Programme on Safety Culture being carried out in the current (1998-99) biennium, with a view to their eventual approval in a single code of practice. During an earlier discussion at the International Workshop on Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems Standardization, organized by ISO in collaboration with ILO and WHO (1996), it was confirmed that the ILO, due to its tripartite structure, had the mandate to elaborate international guidelines for the establishment of effective safety management systems.

 

9. Meeting of Experts on Safety in the Use of Biological Agents at Work ($136,000)

The purpose of this meeting would be to review and approve a possible draft Code of practice on safety in the use of biological agents at work which is being prepared in the current 1998-99 biennium. This is in response to a resolution adopted by the Conference in 1993 concerning exposure to and safety in the use of biological agents at work. In the context of follow-up on Agenda 21, the ILO was invited to take a lead role in work related to the occupational safety and health aspects of biotechnology.

 

10. International Symposium on Organizational Innovation and the Future of Work ($197,000)

The purpose of this symposium would be to provide a forum for ILO constituents, practitioners and researchers to exchange ideas and experience regarding what is happening to work, workplaces and working relationships and what this means to traditional concepts, rules and practices. It would also assist the Governing Body in identifying emerging areas of work and ways in which the Office could respond to the needs of constituents in this complex field.

 

11. Meeting of Experts on Labour Statistics: Consumer Price Indices (Part A) and Household Budget Surveys (Part II) ($185,000)

The purpose of the meeting would be to provide users and producers of statistics with an opportunity to examine the various issues involved in these two related topics and to discuss the different solutions. Such meetings of experts are an important phase of the standard-setting process, and the Bureau of Statistics would follow the recommendations of this meeting in the development of draft guidelines on the subject for consideration by the 17th International Conference of Labour Statisticians, which it would be appropriate to hold in 2003 (five years after the last such Conference in 1998).

 

12. Meeting of Experts on Labour Statistics: Comparison and Reconciliation of Employment and Unemployment Data from Different Sources ($124,000)

As with the previous proposal, this meeting would be held in order to prepare the ground for the 17th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) and would examine the report to be prepared by the Bureau of Statistics, including draft international standards on comparison and reconciliation of employment and unemployment data from different sources. Based on the conclusions of this Meeting, a proposal on the framework and scope of a new resolution on the subject would be prepared, for consideration by the 17th ICLS, possibly to be held during the 2002-03 biennium.

 

13. International Symposium on Informalization of Employment in the Global Economy ($230,000)

In the context of the action programme "Informalization of Employment in the Global Economy", the aim of this symposium would be to involve constituents closely in the process of formulating a strategy for the informal sector in the context of informalization of employment in the global economy, in order to review the strategy on the sector formulated in the course of earlier ILO work.

 

14. Employers' Symposium on Developing a Workforce for Enterprise Competitiveness and Employment Generation ($183,000)

The purpose of the symposium would be to develop the role and enhance the involvement of employers' organizations in developing the type of workforce that enterprises need to improve their competitiveness, create the capacity for economies to upgrade themselves and generate jobs in the process.

 

15. International Symposium to Strengthen Workers' Participation in the UN System and Impact on the Bretton Woods Institutions ($215,000)

The purpose of this Symposium would be to discuss the evolution in the relationship between trade unions and relevant sections of the UN system; to discuss the implications of proposals to introduce greater social partner involvement in organizations like WTO; to devise strategies that maximize the benefits for workers of the more receptive attitude to dialogue with trade unions at the highest levels in the IMF and World Bank; to translate IMF/World Bank policy statements on core labour standards and social issues into concrete programmes and action involving both the Bretton Woods institutions and the trade union movement; and to consider ways of sensitizing other international financial institutions and other relevant agencies in the UN system to the importance of core labour standards, trade union rights and the economic policies being advocated by the international trade union movement.


1. GB.271/5.

2. GB.273/3.

3. GB.273/PFA/6.

4. GB.273/STM/1.


Updated by VC. Approved by RH. Last update: 26 January 2000.