28 June 2005
The newly elected Chairman of the Governing Body of the International Labour Office (ILO), Carlos A. Tomada says employment should be seen as an important element of democratic stability and the fight against poverty. The link between employment, democracy and poverty will be on top of the agenda of the next Summit of the Americas scheduled in November in the Argentine city of Mar del Plata.
23 June 2005
A recent high-level discussion held by the Youth Employment Network (YEN) brought international policy-makers face-to-face with young people to discuss the role of youth employment in the international development agenda. That agenda has been the subject of discussions here on finding solutions to the global youth employment crisis that will require the creations of tens of millions of new jobs for youth over the next decade just to maintain the current youth jobs status quo. The youth agreed they needed decent jobs. But how to translate this into projects and programmes that will close the youth hope gap? This feature examines the responses of young men and women.
22 June 2005
Safety at work in Armenia has been deteriorating since the Soviet Union's collapse. The situation is typical for many transition countries but Armenia has taken the first steps now to promote safer and healthier working environments. Occupational safety and health was also on the agenda of the International Labour Conference which considered a new promotional framework in this area. Delegates decided to establish such a framework through a Convention supplemented by a Recommendation. The development of national occupational safety and health programmes and the continual improvement of national occupational safety and health systems would be at the heart of the new Convention to be adopted by a future Conference.
21 June 2005
Delegates to the International Labour Conference discussed youth unemployment which has reached record levels in recent years. In Azerbaijan, young people account for 69 per cent of the country's unemployment. Olga Bogdanova from the ILO Office, Moscow, reports from Baku.
93rd International Labour Conference ILO Knowledge Fair: Uniting workers and employers to address the challenges of the informal economy
17 June 2005
As recent campaigns to end poverty have shown, a common cause links people worldwide: at the International Labour Organization's annual conference, a Knowledge Fair on the informal economy sponsored by the ILO secretariat with financial support from UK Department for International Development (DFID), has seen some interesting encounters. Shortly after the fair opened, a Mexican trade union leader established a warm rapport over shared concerns with a trade union leader from Cameroon despite their inability to speak each other's language fluently. What bridged the linguistic divide? Their struggle to achieve the same goal - social protection and rights for workers outside the formal economy. The Fair highlights examples of how action on decent work and the informal economy is critical to fighting poverty. In a panel on 13 June, employer and worker leaders stressed the need to look at the causes of informality. They voiced their commitment to promoting job creation and social protection, while ensuring that fundamental rights at work are respected wherever people work.
93rd International Labour Conference Forced labour in the Russian Federation: building dachas in Stavropol
16 June 2005
Delegates to the International Labour Conference also discussed the ILO's global report on forced labour ( Note 1) during a special sitting last week. According to the report, no country is exempted from forced labour. In Russia, where the shadow economy accounts for some 10 million employees and 22 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it is also an acute problem and a vast field for illegal exploitation practices. Olga Bogdanova from the ILO's Moscow office reports from the Russian Federation.
14 June 2005
This year's World Day Against Child Labour focused attention on the plight of child labourers in mines and quarries. The ILO estimates that about a tenth of the 13 million workers engaged in small-scale mining and quarrying activities worldwide are aged 5 to 17. In Ukraine there are more than 800 illegal coal mines where children are often required to do the same work as adult workers. ILO online reports from the mining communities in the Ukrainian Donbass.
93rd International Labour Conference Working hours around the world: balancing flexibility and protection
13 June 2005
In today's fast-moving world of virtual offices, home work and globalized commerce, are international labour standards on working time still needed? Yes, according to a study prepared by an ILO Commission of experts and delegates at the Organization's annual Conference. The Commission, an independent body monitoring the application of ILO standards, has concluded that international labour standards limiting working time are still necessary to contribute to fair competition between countries in a globalized world. Still, it is also clear that ILO Conventions Nos. 1 and 30 don't fully reflect modern realities in the regulation of working time and are viewed by an increasing number of countries as prescribing overly rigid standards. A panel of delegates to the Conference recently discussed the world of diversification, decentralization and individualization of working hours around the world.
WORLD DAY AGAINST CHILD LABOUR 2005 Digging for survival: The harsh reality of child mining worldwide
09 June 2005
Of the estimated 250 million child labourers worldwide, the ILO believes more than one million work in mines and quarries. Under ILO Convention No. 182, working in mines and quarries can be defined as one of the worst forms of child labour - exposing children to severe occupational hazards and often depriving them of basic freedoms. Still, the ILO says child labour in mines and quarries is a problem that can be solved.
93rd International Labour Conference Promoting Youth Employment: The road to decent and productive jobs
01 June 2005
In 2015, 660 million young people will either be working or looking for work - an increase of 7.5 per cent over the number of youth in the labour force in 2003 - and decent employment opportunities for young people will need to grow substantially to meet this challenge. Between 2003 and 2015, the growth in the number of young people looking for a job will be greatest in sub-Saharan Africa (28 per cent) and South Asia (15 per cent). Helping youth find new paths to employment will be among the issues being discussed by delegates to this year's International Labour Conference.