Informality is a labour issue which is very relevant to this region. It is not about the quantity, but the quality of jobs. The informal economy poses a formidable yet unavoidable challenge, in order to move towards a future of sustainable and equitable development. Formalized work leads to growth, social inclusion and sustainable development, and this is true for all countries."ILO Director-General Guy Ryder at the 18th American Regional Meeting of the ILO, 13 October 2014.
- Through its Regional Programme for the Promotion of Formalization in Latin America and the Caribbean (FORLAC), the ILO has developed several initiatives that have led to legislative and policy changes in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
- In 2015 the Jamaica Employer’s Federation, with ILO support, adopted a gender-sensitive policy on the transition to formality – with guidance to support its members towards business formalization.
- The ILO has also implemented significant projects to support public institutions and social partners so that they can create an enabling environment where respect for rights at work is promoted. Similar efforts strengthened labour inspection and labour mediation institutions in Guatemala and Colombia.
- In June 2014, the ILO launched a project supporting the labour inspectorate of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Haiti. A ministry task force has now been set up, and training for the ministrys’ mediators, conciliators and labour inspectors has been provided in collaboration with the Labour Ombudsperson and Better Work Haiti.
- At the ILO’s 2014 American Regional Meeting, 25 countries launched an initiative with the goal of achieving a region free of child labour by 2025: the Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour Regional Initiative. In a South–South cooperation forum held in 2015, more than 50 agreements were reached between Latin American countries to share experience on matters such as school-to-work transition, child labour in agriculture, policy decentralization, and child labour in value chains.
- The ILO has supported the development of national strategies to address child labour, such as Crecer Felices (Growing up happy) in Chile.
- In 2015, Cuba became the 180th ILO Member State to ratify Convention No. 182, which calls for the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour.