Germany signs Declaration of Intent with ILO

Agreement targets work on improving labour standards in global supply chains, creating jobs for young people, eliminating the worst forms of child labour, and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples.

Press release | 13 May 2014
BERLIN - ILO Director-General Guy Ryder and Mr Gerd Müller, Minister for Development Cooperation of Germany (BMZ), today signed a joint Declaration of Intent in Berlin.

The new Declaration builds on that of 2007 which stated that “within their cooperation, the BMZ and the ILO will do whatever is necessary to succeed in reducing poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals, together with the Decent Work for All Agenda and other internationally agreed development targets, by strengthening the social dimension of development cooperation."

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder and Gerd Müller,
Minister for Development Cooperation of Germany
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The Declaration considers the central challenge facing the international community to be to ensure that globalization is fair and socially balanced, and that the process of determining the post-2015 international development framework for sustainable development needs a stronger focus on sustainability standards, in particular social and labour standards, as well as environmental standards. The implementation of the ILO's Decent Work Agenda is regarded as an essential part of improving the way labour and social standards are realized in developing countries and in international supply chains.

For these reasons the BMZ and the ILO will work together to improve labour standards in global supply chains, improve working conditions and productivity, and, in the medium and longer term, contribute to the post-2015 agenda for sustainable development. Gender equality, tripartism and the social partners’ involvement are cross-cutting concerns, and will be duly taken into account in the design and implementation of cooperation programmes. Integration between ILO standard setting and technical cooperation activities should be pursued by ensuring that programme design and implementation contribute to the full application of relevant labour standards.

The focus of BMZ-ILO cooperation in the coming years will be the implementation of labour standards across global supply chains, including but not restricted to the ILO core labour standards, and encompassing the enabling environment and framework, involving governments, employers' and workers' organizations, and will specifically but not exclusively aim at addressing the challenges in the Asian garment sector. Proven concepts and successful practices resulting from BMZ-ILO cooperation will be replicated to other sectors and regions. The cooperation will also consider social challenges in upstream tiers of supply chains as well as pilot programmes in other member States.

Cooperation will place particular emphasis on jointly addressing employment issues and working together to create a greater number of more productive and decent jobs, particularly for Africa’s young people, through job creation in the formal sector, vocational training and education (TVET), and skills development.

Cooperation will promote the implementation of ILO core labour standards, especially the effective abolition of child labour, with priority being given to the urgent elimination of its worst forms and the provision of alternatives for children and their families.

The ILO and BMZ will seek to exploit synergies between their individual work programmes on indigenous peoples, with priority being given to ongoing and planned activities in Africa and Asia, as well as the enhancement of the knowledge base of the business sector with regard to the rights of indigenous peoples.

The Declaration of Intent will be concretized through further discussions between the two parties before the end of 2014.