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Impact and people


  1. From cockle pickers to computer programmers: New approaches for migrant workers

    01 June 2004

    In February 2004, 20 Chinese citizens were drowned on the coast of northwest England while picking cockles (a speciality shellfish). The workers were irregular migrants, employed by an organized gang. Their fate highlighted the precariousness of many migrants' existence, their exposure to exploitation, and the need for action to regulate migration around the world. While some migrants are able to secure employment in hi-tech or similarly skilled professions, many must accept exploitation with no legal protection, in order to survive. This year's International Labour Conference is to discuss the issue and what the ILO and its member States can do about it.

  2. "Do no harm": How social dialogue benefits patients, too

    01 June 2004

    Today's under-resourced health services are putting both workers and patients at risk. But with "quick-fix" solutions unfeasible, how to address this global problem? ILO expert Susan Maybud explains how increased cooperation between workers, employers and governments will not only benefit those working in the health services, but their patients as well.

  3. Second Global Report on freedom of association and collective bargaining

    01 June 2004

    Freedom of association and collective bargaining are called fundamental rights in the workplace for good reason. These are the rights which make it possible for both workers and employers to join together to promote their interests and to defend other rights. The ILO Constitution upholds these rights, and they are set out in core Conventions. But what is their status in the world today? The second ILO Global Report on freedom of association and collective bargaining, Organizing for Social Justice, delivers a message of cautious optimism.

  4. Getting out of the "poor man's mine shaft": How Poland faces globalization and EU accession

    28 May 2004

    Poland and the other new members of the European Union are jumping on a fast moving train. Will other newcomers be able to do the same? That was the subject of a meeting of workers, employers and governments from Nordic and Baltic States and Poland in Vilnius on 14 May, held to discuss regional aspects of globalization and EU accession, and how they might fit into the process. Piotr Zeydler, a Polish economist, examines the situation in Poland after its accession to the EU.

  5. HIV/AIDS prevention: How empowering men and boys to promote gender equality can help

    25 May 2004

    The empowerment of women has long been considered a crucial element in the response to HIV/AIDS. New evidence, however, points to another important element in the equation - addressing the role of men and boys in promoting gender equality as a way of helping to prevent HIV-infection. ILO online spoke with Linda Wirth, director of the ILO Bureau for Gender Equality about these issues and the first-ever intergovernmental process to address them.

  6. Rural community based tourism: a portal to living cultures

    10 May 2004

    In the age of globalization, tourism is spreading beyond traditional tourist destinations. In Latin America, a number of small communities are taking up the challenge and seizing the opportunity to improve their conditions of life in ways that respect their heritage.

  7. Fighting child labour in Indonesia: ILO launches new programme

    05 May 2004

    Some 4 million children below the age of 18 in Indonesia work in often dangerous jobs. Can they find another way of life that benefits them and their families? As the ILO launches a new programme in Indonesia to fight child labour, ILO Online examines how one child traded work for education and found a better future for himself and his family in the process.

  8. 28 April, World Day for Safety and Health at Work - Two million work deaths a year: A preventable tragedy

    28 April 2004

    Work kills more people than wars – some 6,000 a day. And almost 270 million accidents are recorded each year, of which 350,000 are fatal. Many of these could be prevented, the International Labour Office believes. 20 years after one of the worst industrial accidents on record – the Bhopal disaster, which killed 2,500 people and injured 200,000 in the space of a few hours, later some 20 000 have died – the situation has scarcely improved.

  9. Gawanas Bience: "Decent work is about realizing how each of us can make a contribution to the whole"

    23 April 2004

  10. Pulling back from the edge of poverty: Social security coverage for all

    14 April 2004

    Only 5-10% of Africa's workers have any social security coverage to tide them through sickness, disability, unemployment, pregnancy or old age. In the face of tremendous challenges, the ILO experience in West Africa has shown that there are ways to extend coverage. In Senegal, where community-based micro health insurance schemes are paving the way, the ILO is launching the "Global Campaign on Social Security and Coverage for All" in Dakar on 14 April.