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.
18 May 2005
The ILO estimate of the number of victims of forced labour in Latin America and the Caribbean is 1.3 million. Brazil has taken the lead in addressing the problem through its 2003 National Action Plan for the Eradication of Slavery, including the liberation of workers and measures to fight impunity. In 2004, countries like Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay also made important commitments against forced labour.
18 May 2005
With an estimated 9.5 million, the Asia and Pacific region claims the highest number of people among the estimated 12.3 million victims of forced labour in the world today. The region is struggling against both traditional and newer forms of forced labour. An 8.1 million people are trapped in forced labour by means other than trafficking, primarily through debt bondage. But the region is also home to state-imposed forced labour in Myanmar. ILO online reviews the tragic reality of forced labour in Asia.
13 May 2005
The ILO estimate of the number of victims of forced labour in sub-Saharan Africa is 660,000. In this region, the figure reflects the stubborn survival of traditional forms of servitude, but also relates to extreme poverty, a high incidence of child labour, and a context of severe political violence. Where armed conflicts and ethnic tensions have flared, nations have been confronted with the forced recruitment of child soldiers, abductions, and enslavement of whole segments of their population. ILO online draws a picture of forced labour in Africa.
12 May 2005
Today, an estimated 2.4 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking, says a new ILO report ( Note 1). While in Asia, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion of trafficked persons is less than 20 per cent of all forced labour, trafficking in industrialized and transition countries accounts for more than 75 per cent of the total. According to the report, economic incentives for trafficking are powerful: the total illicit profits – produced in one year by a single commercial sex worker in industrialized countries – attain an average of US$ 67,200 per year. ILO online draws a picture of human trafficking in Europe.
11 May 2005
A new report by the ILO estimates that more than 12 million people worldwide are victims of forced labour. But this modern day form of slavery is not restricted to developing countries, and can also be found in industrialized countries, where approximately 360,000 people are forced to work. Two examples of this practice are migrant workers in the German meat industry, and fruit pickers in Florida, United States.