18 March 2005
The killing of two labour inspectors in France and three inspectors and their driver in Brazil in the line of duty last year drew media headlines. But according to the ILO, these two extreme examples are only the tip of the iceberg as far as problems facing labour inspection are concerned. Last week, a high level ILO-European Union (EU) conference in Luxembourg called for a holistic approach to labour inspection which puts the workers' rights to decent working conditions into practice.
15 March 2005
After the democratic changes in October 2000, the Serbian economy opened up to the world. As a consequence, many local companies were unable to compete with foreign companies and had to close down. In 2001, the ILO started a local economic development project in South West Serbia followed by a new, more comprehensive one in 2004 covering South East Serbia. Such local economic development initiatives in Europe and Central Asia were also discussed at the recent European Regional Meeting of the ILO in Budapest, on 14-18 February. Serbian journalist Andreja Tomasevic reports.
14 March 2005
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the agricultural infrastructure of Eastern European and Central Asian countries is slowly recovering from profound structural reforms. With the aim of creating new jobs and generating income for the local population, the ILO has launched a project to revitalize the local economy in Kazakhstan. Local economic development initiatives in the region ( Note 1) were also discussed at the recent European Regional Meeting of the ILO in Budapest, on 14-18 February.
7th European Regional Meeting in Budapest In Central and Eastern Europe, gender "mainstreaming" gathers force
09 March 2005
In Norway, parents receive 12 months maternity leave - with mothers permitted nine months and fathers three - and moves are now afoot to introduce quotas for women's participation in company boards. In Central and Eastern Europe however, benefits haven't progressed this far, but the awareness of the special problems facing women in the world of work is growing. This report shows how efforts in gender "mainstreaming" are growing in the region.
08 March 2005
Social dialogue in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) mainly takes place at the national tripartite level and to a lesser extent at other levels, including the enterprise one. Bipartite social dialogue at the sectoral level remains relatively underdeveloped – in contrast to practices in Western Europe. Bridging the gap between these two levels has become an important goal for the European Union, which seeks to strengthen the social partners in new Member States so they can participate effectively in social dialogue at the sectoral, national, and EU level.
08 March 2005
One of the key items discussed at the ILO's 7th European Regional Meeting in Budapest was the 2004 report of the ILO's World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization. An informal ministerial meeting brought together labour ministers and other government representatives from 50 European and Central Asia countries, as well as European Union Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Vladimir Spidla, who gave the report strong support.
7th European Regional Meeting in Budapest Trade unions in Central and Eastern Europe confront challenges
18 February 2005
Throughout most of Europe, trade unions are struggling to meet the challenges posed by globalization. In the new EU Member States of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), as well as other countries in Eastern and Southeast Europe, these difficulties have been compounded by the economic and social costs of transition to systems of market democracy.
17 February 2005
Although the establishment of national pension schemes in the world's industrialized countries ranks among the great achievements of the twentieth century, and those schemes have proved effective in alleviating poverty among the elderly, adjustments are needed if current levels of well-being are to be maintained. Ageing and its impact on labour markets and pension systems is one of the main issues to be discussed at the European Regional Meeting of the ILO in Budapest on 14 to 18 February. ILO online spoke with Emmanuel Reynaud, head of the Social Security Policy and Development Branch.
7th European Regional Meeting in Budapest Balancing flexibility, stability and security in European labour markets
16 February 2005
Policymakers all over Europe are facing the crucial challenge of regulating a rapidly evolving labour market in the context of the globalized economy. Will they listen to calls made for greater flexibility to overcome what have often been characterized as the region's labour market rigidities: employment protection and legislation, union bargaining power, generous welfare systems and high labour taxation? Or can they place their trust in a "flexicurity" model: new ways of balancing flexibility and security in relation to employment, income and social protection? "Flexicurity" is one of the main issues to be discussed at the forthcoming European Regional Meeting of the ILO in Budapest on 14 to 18 February. ILO Online spoke with ILO employment experts Sandrine Cazes, Alena Nesporova and Peter Auer.
15 February 2005
BUDAPEST - Migration has become a defining issue in almost all countries in Europe and Central Asia, and policymakers are looking for possible responses. The number of economically active migrants in the region is estimated to be 26.5 million, or about 4 per cent of the total workforce. But their significance for the future of economies and societies in the region may well far outweigh their current numbers. Migration, both regular and irregular, is one of the main issues to be discussed at the European Regional Meeting of the ILO in Budapest, 14-18 February. ILO Online spoke with ILO experts Patrick Taran and Roger Plant.