Articles

2011

  1. Empowering South Africans with decent work

    07 October 2011

    While African economies have bounced back from the economic crisis, daunting challenges for the continent remain, including poverty, unemployment and underemployment. Faced with these and other major challenges, the Republic of South Africa is one of the 27 African ILO Member States that are implementing Decent Work Country Programmes (DWCPs) aimed at promoting decent work as a key component of their national development. ILO Online reports from Johannesburg, South Africa.

  2. Questions and Answers on global trends and challenges on occupational safety and health

    12 September 2011

    The XIX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work to be held in Istanbul on 11-15 September provides a major forum to discuss the latest safety and health challenges in the world of work. ILO Online spoke with Seiji Machida, Director of the ILO’s Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (SafeWork), about the Congress and the challenges ahead.

  3. Questions and answers on the hidden reality of children in domestic work

    08 August 2011

    The recently approved ILO Convention No. 189 and Recommendation No. 201 on decent work for domestic workers aim to protect and improve working and living conditions of millions of workers worldwide, who have few – if any – labour rights. Many are children who spend long hours working as domestic helpers, performing tasks such as cleaning, ironing, cooking, minding other children and gardening instead of being at school. ILO News spoke to ILO experts Martin Oelz (TRAVAIL) and José M. Ramírez (IPEC) on the current situation of child domestic workers and how the new Convention and Recommendation can help impact their lives.

  4. South Africa and the ILO team up to promote public employment and community work programmes

    27 July 2011

    With an official unemployment rate of 25 per cent, the South African government knows that employment creation cannot be left to the private sector alone. There is a huge gap between the jobs that are needed and the jobs that the market can generate. The State has the responsibility to fill that gap. Today South Africa has become a prime example of a country where public employment programmes (PEPs) and its Community Work Programme (CWP) are playing a key role in providing a minimum level of employment where markets are failing to do so. The CWP, although not universal in coverage, is being designed to test an employment guarantee.

  5. Questions and answers on the ILO response to challenges in the Arab World

    08 July 2011

    On 8 July 2011, the International Labour Organization (ILO) hosted a meeting on “The Arab World, Towards a New Era of Social Justice”, which brought together representatives of countries from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the international community, donors and ILO constituents. A background paper entitled “Challenges in the Arab world: an ILO response” on the ILO’s strategy and response was the basis for the discussions. It provides figures and trends on the employment situation and answers a series of questions around creating decent work opportunities in the region. A series of concept notes was also presented, covering areas where the MENA countries have requested ILO assistance. ILO is developing work in the MENA countries and seeks additional funding for some of these programmes.

  6. Questions and answers on labour regulation, Decent Work and the economic and jobs crisis

    04 July 2011

    How can labour regulation benefit the economic and labour markets? What is the role of regulation in terms of the challenges and opportunities it affords? How has the recent economic crisis affected regulation of labour markets, and can regulation contribute to economic recovery? These and other questions were on the agenda of the second Conference on the wider meaning of the often misunderstood concept of labour regulation.

  7. The impact of pesticide exposure on child labourers in agriculture

    22 June 2011

    The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO held a side event during the conference (on 22 June at 13:00) to highlight the impact of pesticide exposure on children, and child labourers in particular. ILO News spoke to Paola Termine, ILO Technical specialist on child labour in agriculture, who is also coordinating the International partnership for cooperation on child labour in agriculture, ahead of the meeting.

  8. Discussions on social security for all get under way

    07 June 2011

    The 100th International Labour Conference has started discussions on ways to establish social security for all as a powerful and affordable tool to promote economic growth, reduce poverty and mitigate the impact of crises. Yet, only about 20 percent of the world’s working age population has access to comprehensive social security systems, according to a new conference report, entitled “Social Security for Social Justice and a fair Globalization”.

  9. Questions and answers on Growth, Productive Employment and Decent Work in the LDCs

    06 May 2011

    In preparation for the Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV), the International Labour Organization (ILO) has produced a report “Growth, Productive Employment and Decent Work in the LDCs,” which argues for transformative policies for decent work in LDCs. UN-NGLS (United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service) interviews José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, Executive Director for Employment, ILO, on the key insights and recommendations of the report.

  10. Reducing poverty through tourism (Questions & Answers)

    03 May 2011

    Least Developed Countries (LDCs) can draw on a range of policies to drive an agenda of structural transformation and decent work. A special event at the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries to be held in Istanbul from 9-13 May, 2011, features Hotel, Catering and Tourism (HCT) as one of the fastest-growing economic sectors worldwide which can significantly contribute to social and economic development, as well as poverty reduction in LDCs. ILO Online spoke with Wolfgang Weinz, Hotels, Catering and Tourism Specialist in the ILO’s Sectoral Activities Department.

  11. Developing self reliance – Building hope: The ILO Employment for Peace Programme in Somalia

    07 April 2011

    Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia, has been racked by violence and insecurity for nearly two decades. But there are signs of hope: among them, an ILO programme which provided a visible peace dividend to poor communities by engaging them in large scale employment-intensive projects. This and similar projects will be discussed at the ILO-IGAD-African Union Conference on "Employment for Peace, Stability and Development" on 11-12 April 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Conference will map out a regional strategy for the Horn of Africa built upon a “virtuous triangle” consisting of the creation of employment opportunities, social protection for the most vulnerable and empowerment of people and communities. ILO Online reports from Mogadishu.

  12. Youth unemployment in the Arab world is a major cause for rebellion

    05 April 2011

    While images from protests in the Arab region go around the world, it is timely to look at the reasons that brought these mostly young people on to the streets. An extremely high youth unemployment rate of 23.4 per cent in 2010, is one major but not the only cause for these popular uprisings, says Dorothea Schmidt, senior employment expert in the ILO office in Cairo.

2010

  1. Working together for development: Including people with disabilities

    01 December 2010

    This year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities focuses on “Keeping the Promise of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)” to ensure that disability and the concerns of people with disabilities are reflected in the commitments made by the international community to reduce poverty by 2015. ILO Online reports on how disability-inclusive development not only helps improve the lives of people with disabilities, but can boost achievement of the MDGs.

  2. Promoting job creation for young people in multinational enterprises

    01 September 2010

    Liberia’s 14 year war left gaping holes in the infrastructure critical to investment and recovery and delayed a generation of youth from entering the labour market. Today, almost two-thirds of the population live in poverty. Youth between ages of 15 and 35 make up 53 per cent of the workforce, yet constitute 58 per cent of the unemployed. The integration of young people into the labour market is critical for overall economic development and in securing stability in a post-conflict country like Liberia. ILO Online asked Yukiko Arai, senior specialist in the ILO’s Multinational Enterprises Programme, how multinational enterprises (MNEs) can contribute to the generation of more quality jobs for local youth.

  3. A decent income is the first step towards real freedom

    20 July 2010

    In his speech in December 2009 during World AIDS Day in December 2009 President Zuma demonstrated a renewed quest to deal with HIV and AIDS challenges in the country.

2009

  1. Somalia: addressing the root causes of piracy and warlordism

    13 October 2009

    Faced with a dramatic increase in piracy off the Horn of Africa, countries have stepped up their efforts to protect shipping in the region. However, attention is now turning more to the question of why people turn to piracy to make a living and what can be done to provide an alternative. ILO Online reports from Somalia where an ILO programme financed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) seeks to provide a visible peace dividend to poor communities by engaging them in large scale employment-intensive projects, together with enterprise skills development and the promotion of social dialogue.