The 103rd International Labour Conference seen by the participants

Over 4,000 delegates representing Government, Employers and Employees have gathered in Geneva for the 103rd International Labour Conference. Up for discussion this year: forced labour, moving from the informal to the formal economy and migration. ILO radio spoke with a few of them to find out who they are and what's on their minds.

Audio | 03 June 2014
ILO Radio: So, who comes to the International Labour Conferences and what issues concern them. To find out, ILO radio went wandering the halls of the Palais des Nations. First, we visited one of the grandest of many grand rooms at the Palais …the Assembly Hall, there we found delegates chatting after a presentation. We asked them a little about themselves and what their hopes are for the conference…

"What's your name..."

Brenda Cuthbert: "My name is Brenda Cuthbert . I'm from Jamaica representing the employers..."

ILO: "So what are your expectations of the conference? What can you get done at a conference like this?"

Brenda Cuthbert " I take from the conference not just the committees that I sit on but the networking. The information that is there imparted and the ability to really move across countries, to speak with persons, to recognize how similar we are in terms of a lot of issues".

Ernest Nadome:
 "I’m called Ernest Nadome. I’m from Kenya. I’m the National Gender Secretary of the Electrical Worker’s Union in the country. I will say I expect a lot because this is almost my 7th year consecutively attending the ILC. As the workers' representative I expect that the issues that are going to be discussed will be of importance to the workers at large..".

(Ambient coffee shop noises..)

Not so far away front the Grandeur of the assembly hall, and one floor down is a little cafe. It was here we found delegates from all over the world grabbing a bite to eat, working on their submissions or just chilling out. The first delegate we met was Takaaki Sakurada, Advisor on International Affairs for the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, who spoke to us through his interpreter, Michiko.

Mr Takaaki:
"This conference is very timely in order to challenge, to solve the problems existing all over the world. We know that there are so many complex and difficult problems in the world existing, but ILO is the single organisation that is having the tripartism. So that tripartism with decent work agenda we are expecting very much".

Martin Kerimli: "My name is Martin Kerimli and I am deputy minister of Labour and Social Protection of the republic of Azerbaijan".

ILO: "What do you, or your group hope to learn or contribute to the International Labour Conference?"

Martin Kerimli: "There are several issues on the agenda of the international labour conference: forced labour, transition from the informal economy to the formal economy and migration issues… these all three issues are of relevance..."

Teréza Borosné Bartha: "I’m Teréza Borosné Bartha, from the Hungarian employers".

ILO "Why do you come to these conferences? What are you hoping to take away or contribute?"

Teréza Borosné Bartha: "Well, it’s a matter of contribution first of all. I and then naturally you can gain a lot of experience, a lot of different views and you can really share your views with the others globally".

Jeanne-Marie Francisca: "I’m Jeanne-Marie Francisca and I am the Minister of Labour, Social Development and Welfare from Curacao. This is my first conference, yes. So for me it is very exciting to be here and I hope to get a lot of knowledge so that I can bring it back home". 

Delegates to the 103rd International Labour Conference. Reporting for ILO radio in Geneva this is Pete Forster.