Report of the Resolutions Committee
1. The Resolutions Committee, set up by the Conference at its First Sitting on 2 June 1998, was originally composed of 109 voting members (58 Government members, 22 Employer members, 29 Worker members). An appropriate weighting system ensured equality of voting strength.
2. The Committee first elected its Officers. On the proposal of Mr. Guillen-Beker (Government member, Peru), Mr. Carlos Castillo Cardona (Government member, Colombia), seconded by Mr. Varga (Government member, Hungary), speaking on behalf of the Eastern and Central European Governments, was elected to the Chair. In accordance with the Committee's usual practice, the Chairperson was also elected Reporter. The Committee elected as Vice-Chairpersons Mr. Steve Marshall (Employer member, New Zealand) and Ms. Patricia O'Donovan (Worker member, Ireland).
3. The Committee had before it eight resolutions submitted in accordance with article 17 of the Standing Orders of the Conference. In keeping with the same article, these were introduced by one of their authors in the following order: (a) resolution concerning youth employment; (b) resolution concerning international labour standards; (c) resolution concerning the 50th anniversary of the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87); (d) resolution concerning labour courts and similar mechanisms; (e) resolution concerning the protection of workers during the restructuring of enterprises; (f) resolution concerning the 50th anniversary of the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87); (g) resolution concerning unemployment and social exclusion in the global labour market; and (h) resolution concerning labour and business in the twenty-first century: building a new partnership for growth, employment and social equity.
4. After the introduction of the resolutions and before the vote held in accordance with the procedure laid down in article 17, paragraph 5(a), of the Standing Orders, the two resolutions concerning the 50th anniversary of the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87), were combined by their authors. The first of these resolutions had been submitted by the following Worker members: Mr. Peirens (Belgium) and Mrs. Stolwijk (Netherlands), and the second by the following Worker members: Mr. Agyei (Ghana), Mr. Ahmed (Pakistan), Mr. Basnet (Nepal), Mr. Blondel (France), Mr. Brett (United Kingdom), Ms. Buverud-Pedersen (Norway), Mr. Douglas (New Zealand), Ms. Engelen-Kefer (Germany), Mr. Itoh (Japan), Ms. O'Donovan (Ireland), Mr. Parrot (Canada), Mr. Rampak (Malaysia), Mr. Sahbani (Tunisia), Mr. Sánchez Madariaga (Mexico), Mr. Sibanda (Zimbabwe), Mr. Sutton (Australia), Mr. Trotman (Barbados), Ms. Valkonen (Finland), Mr. Verzetnitsch (Austria) and Mr. Zellhoefer (United States).
5. In accordance with the procedure laid down in article 17, paragraph 5(a), of the Standing Orders of the Conference, and using the traditional system of balloting, the Committee convened at its third sitting to determine the first five resolutions to be considered among the seven resolutions remaining before the Committee and their order of priority.
6. Owing to a change in the composition of the Committee there were at the time of voting 107 voting members (72 Government members with 143 votes each; 13 Employer members with 792 votes each; and 22 Worker members with 468 votes each.(1)
7. The first five resolutions and the votes cast for them were as follows:
(1) Resolution concerning youth employment: 80,561 weighted votes;
(2) Resolution concerning international labour standards: 76,947 weighted votes;
(3) Resolution concerning the 50th anniversary of the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87): 70,277 weighted votes;
(4) Resolution concerning labour courts and similar mechanisms: 65,832 weighted votes;
(5) Resolution concerning unemployment and social exclusion in the global labour market: 62,840 weighted votes.
8. In accordance with article 17, paragraph 5(b), of the Standing Orders the Committee, at its fourth sitting, set up a Working Party to make recommendations as to the order in which the remaining resolutions before the Committee should be examined.
9. The Working Party was composed as follows:
Mr. Melas (Austria)
Mrs. Temina-Janjua (Pakistan)
Mr. Abdelmoneim (Egypt)
Mr. Durling (Panama)
Mr. Allen (United Kingdom)
Mr. Huttunen (Finland)
Mr. Liato (Zambia)
Mr. Thakkar (India)
Ms. Hemmer (Finland)
10. At the Committee's sixth sitting, the Chairman announced that the Working Party had met and had favoured the following order of priority:
(6) Resolution concerning the protection of workers during the restructuring of enterprises;
(7) Resolution concerning labour and business in the twenty-first century: Building a new partnership for growth, employment and social equity.
11. The Committee took note of the information given.
Resolution concerning youth employment
12. The Worker Vice-Chairperson wanted to record her group's regret that there was not a majority in favour of giving priority to the resolution marking the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87). This was a critical time for the International Labour Organization as it sought to assert its unique identity and ensure its role in the area of fundamental human rights at work. This decision did not augur well for the tripartite consensus which was the cornerstone of the Organization. The question of youth employment raised many fundamental economic and social questions. It could not be addressed in isolation from the macroeconomic framework which determined the employment prospects of all. Youth unemployment was just one dimension of the global unemployment problem. Tackling youth unemployment required a macroeconomic strategy -- at the national and international levels -- designed to stimulate growth, employment and social equity. Unfortunately, the text of the draft resolution did not acknowledge this in any meaningful way. The draft text had proposed that youth unemployment be addressed mainly through training and unemployment measures targeted at young people. However, introducing such measures in a society which offered no real prospect of quality employment was simply dealing with elements of the question and could lead to great disillusionment and resentment on the part of the young people concerned. This had been the overwhelming experience in most countries that had pursued such an approach. Despite undertaking more and various training and employment schemes many young people still ended up either unemployed or at the bottom end of the labour market in low-paid, insecure, unproductive jobs. The speaker referred to the ILO report The challenge of youth unemployment (Geneva, 1997) which pointed out that the basic cause of youth unemployment was insufficient aggregate demand rather than there being something intrinsically wrong with young workers that could be remedied by some kind of reorientation, re-education or retraining. The report pointed out: "The problem of youth unemployment cannot be tackled in isolation from the wider problems facing the economy. The wholesale introduction of training programmes for young people will do little more than temporarily ease the problem for that group unless measures are taken to ensure that they will be taken on by employers at the end of schemes.". With its emphasis on supply-side measures the draft resolution fell into this very trap. The Workers' group recognized that there was an important role for active labour market policies and measures for disadvantaged youth, such as early school-leavers, young people with disabilities and learning difficulties, younger women and youth from ethnic minorities. Properly funded and evaluated training and employment schemes designed for these groups had been successful. Attempting to find a single solution to youth unemployment, which this draft resolution did, would not work. A differentiated approach was needed which recognized young people's diverse needs. It was essential that the resolution emerging from the Committee's discussions brought real added value to the work already under way on this topic. The International Labour Organization had a responsibility to the young people concerned not simply to repeat empty formulae or give credence to failed strategies. Neither should the resolution be used as a vehicle for reducing existing basic protection in recognition of the vulnerability of young people entering the labour market. If this were to happen it would be particularly ironic in view of the important discussions on the elimination of child labour under way at this session of the Conference. In fact, there was a strong case to be made for increasing and strengthening the protection afforded to young people entering the labour market. The ILO report referred to earlier pointed out that one of the main reasons for the high rate of youth unemployment was the low opportunity cost of dismissing younger people. Many young people became and remained unemployed because their initial experience of employment discouraged them from participation. Temporary, contract and part-time work were the hallmarks of most jobs offered to young people. This type of work was normally accompanied by low pay and sometimes by intimidation and a reluctance on the part of the worker to exercise his or her fundamental right to join a trade union. The Workers' group would look carefully at those parts of the draft resolution that advocated deregulation with respect to the training of young workers and would ensure that the issue of exploitation was fully addressed. Turning to specific points in the draft text, the speaker said that at the enterprise level it was important to create the means for people to develop and be promoted and training should be geared towards this. Many enterprises were not prepared to invest in training, relying on state-funded training or on their ability to recruit workers trained by other enterprises. Governments must be involved in the training of young people and all enterprises should be required to contribute to the cost of training, either through their own programmes or by paying a training levy. The Workers' group acknowledged that small and medium enterprises were significant sources of jobs for young people but they were not a panacea. Enterprises did not create jobs; jobs were created as a result of demand for goods and services. Enterprises were the medium for channelling demand for goods and services into jobs. Without demand there would be no enterprises and no jobs. Small and medium enterprises often provided sub-standard employment, and jobs were often insecure. The Asian financial crisis had highlighted these dangers. The Workers' group welcomed the opportunity to discuss the important topic of youth employment and was prepared to work constructively towards a resolution that: recognized the nature and causes of youth unemployment; identified the key factors of an effective policy and strategy to tackle it; built on the work already under way in the ILO by bringing forward innovative and creative proposals for training and employment opportunities for young people; proposed a framework to ensure that young people undergoing training or in employment were guaranteed minimum protection in relation to pay and conditions; and recognized the importance of the tripartite dimension to the development and implementation of youth employment policy.
13. The Employer Vice-Chairperson stressed the serious implications of high levels of youth unemployment, particularly in the medium and longer term. A consistent macroeconomic policy framework was necessary for dealing with youth unemployment and for promoting youth employment. Sustainable economic growth and a healthy private sector were important in the provision of sustainable employment for young people. Nonetheless, there needed to be sufficient flexibility to deal with particular issues and circumstances, including as regards the beneficiaries themselves. Society was increasingly recognizing that full responsibility for youth employment could no longer be put at the door of the government; shared responsibility was a reality. Not that governments should be absolved; they must acknowledge that without a clear policy framework and structure the desired outcome could not be achieved. The Employers' group accepted that the private sector had a role to play and there were many examples that showed they recognized these new responsibilities. It was important that the extensive resources and expertise of the ILO be used to collect and disseminate examples of best practice to constituents so that they were quickly informed of the successes and failures in addressing youth employment. For the Employers' group, education was the key. Youth employment and job creation could not be separated from the overall educational system and its relationship to the world of work and business. Educational systems had to recognize and take account of changes which had occurred in the world of work and develop curricula and relationships that gave young people the tools to make the transition from education to employment. There was still some distrust between the education sector and the business community which needed to be broken down and partnerships between the two established. Since it was important to modernize the business environment, it was equally important that the educational system change to match this modernization. Employers could play an important role by participating in curricular development, teacher training -- particularly regarding the world of work -- and other practical areas of education-business cooperation. The speaker gave some examples of practical, low-cost initiatives at the community level which had provided benefits to the young people involved.
14. The Government member of France, although sharing the Workers' group's regret that priority had not been given to the resolution concerning the 50th anniversary of Convention No. 87, said that youth employment was a matter of crucial importance. Indeed, his Government had taken major measures to combat youth unemployment and provide job prospects for young people. He noted, however, that the text did not provide a definition of young people, and believed it would be useful to agree at what age a person was considered a youth (for example at the end of compulsory schooling) in order to avoid conflicts with the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138). He also believed that the text underestimated the role of governments in job creation. There needed to be a means for providing for action by governments in the context of co-responsibility. The time when young people moved from school to the job market and received training was a critical period. Language that indicated that young people with initial training were fully adapted to entry-level employment should be avoided. Schools did not provide the education that enabled an immediate transition from education to employment.
15. A Worker member from the United States said that the children who took part in the Global March would soon become the youth that this resolution addressed. While it was important that young people participate actively in the global economy, they also deserved decent living standards and a good quality of working life. If we failed them, we failed ourselves. Nowhere did the resolution mention freedom of association. She recalled that the basic cause of youth unemployment, as stated in the ILO report, was aggregate demand, not high wages or the number of young people. The resolution should not lose sight of this. While there was no strict relationship between female and male youth unemployment rates, women were often more adversely affected. New statistics showed that 16-24 year olds in the United States accounted for 37 per cent of the unemployed, amounting to almost 22 million young people, excluding discouraged workers. As the Employer Vice-Chairman had said, if the problems of youth unemployment were not faced there would be severe social consequences. Dissatisfaction was manifest in a number of ways in different countries as young people without any direction to their lives often turned to crime with its attendant social and economic problems. Youth must be offered hope through the provision of education and appropriate training. Human beings should be put above technology. Failure to do this would result in a repetition of past mistakes. Strategic opportunities to restore the proper role of governments should not be missed. The speaker closed by paraphrasing Horace Mann, saying that we should be ashamed to leave this place without one small resolution that advanced youth and humankind.
16. An Employer member from the United Kingdom pointed out that even in a growing economy there could be a demand for labour that was not met because of skill shortages. Young people had to be provided with the necessary skills so that they could enter the job market. There was nothing worse than having young people who could not fulfil their hopes and ambitions -- the best way to counter this was to have a successful market economy. Small and medium enterprises should not be dismissed; demand for goods and services was often created as a result of their activities. There were many ways to impart the desired skills to potential workers, including state and private sector schemes. School-leavers often needed advice and guidance and the speaker described mentoring programmes that had proved valuable in the United Kingdom in giving confidence to young people who were shortly to enter the job market. He reiterated the need for the ILO to collect and disseminate information on successful youth employment training schemes.
17. A Worker member from the United Kingdom reiterated the need for clarity on what was meant by the term "youth" and pointed out that in his country there were three categories of youth between the ages of below 18; 18 to 21; and 21 to 25. He was concerned about the danger of encouraging ageism. The draft resolution proposed the removal of some protective legislation such as occupational safety and health protection and regulations that protected young people from being involved in jobs that could compromise their youth, such as selling alcohol and tobacco and certain restrictions in the health care sector. Youth should be encouraged to obtain the education and vocational training that met the needs of the job market. While youth should not be disposable, they should not be employed at the expense of older people. The draft resolution lacked text on employment rights for young people. The resolution should be approached from the perspective of being a parent, looking at how young people should be treated.
18. An Employer member from Argentina had also been struck by the phrase "education not exploitation" and recalled certain recent, tripartite efforts in this respect in the Latin American region. The region, he said, was consolidating a process of democratization and better established market economies. This had to go hand in hand with social development and in particular with education and training, on which the employability of people depended. Traditional education was not always capable of bridging the gap between school and the world of work. He also stressed the need for vocational guidance. High levels of unemployment reflected shortcomings in education as the better educated were less likely to be unemployed or in part-time jobs. In any event, employers wanted skilled workers. In Argentina, labour markets had been made more flexible in order to reduce high levels of unemployment. Youth unemployment was often twice as high as unemployment in general, and was a serious social problem. In the light of globalization, regional integration and technological change, education and training were even more important. He suggested that Latin American experience might be useful and pleaded for an ILO database on best practices.
19. A Worker member from Norway also stressed the fact that youth unemployment was often much higher than unemployment in general, and that it had serious long term consequences. She stressed the responsibility of governments in setting standards and supporting disadvantaged groups, including youth. She mentioned that even youth with high levels of education might have trouble finding jobs. She underlined the importance of active labour market policies and of tripartite involvement in developing and implementing such policies.
20. An Employer member from France said that while youth unemployment was part of a wider problem, its impact was much greater and it represented a constraint on shaping the future. One reason was that youth was not generally adapted to the market sector and often had no clear idea of working life. He spoke of an experience he had had in introducing 14-16 year olds to the world of work and stressed the importance of partnerships between schools and enterprises.
21. A Worker member from Jordan mentioned the complexity of the subject and expressed some concern that a focus on measures to promote youth employment might negatively affect those already employed. Notably in countries subject to recession or stagnation, labour markets were under serious pressure and workers had to accept low pay and few benefits. It would make matters worse if youth were to replace older workers. He was in favour of training and retraining but certain UNDP statistics showed that youth might be unemployed even if they had been trained. In conclusion he stressed that existing legislation had to be respected in order to protect workers currently employed.
22. A Worker member from France said that youth unemployment, however serious, should not make one ignore other problems. In his country youth unemployment had declined, be it in an erratic fashion, but long-term unemployment, equally serious, was on the increase. He said that government had an important role to play in setting the framework for creating jobs for young people and in providing examples. Education might have to be adapted, for example to the possibility that workers would change jobs several times in their working life. However, it would not be reasonable to ask for youth with better qualifications then offer them more precarious working conditions. While small and medium enterprises had an important role to play in job creation, larger enterprises should also recruit young people and develop employment policies. He recalled an interesting experience in his country whereby the possibility of early retirement was created to recruit young people into stable employment.
23. The Government member of the Netherlands said that he came from a country where the social partners were effectively collaborating in tackling complicated social problems. He hoped that the Committee could adopt the first three resolutions on the list with broad support and he looked forward to a constructive debate.
24. A Worker member from Tunisia stressed that youth employment was important but should not be dealt with in isolation. Unemployment, a worldwide problem, resulted from globalization, privatization and structural adjustment. In policies governing these processes, the human dimension often seemed to be remote. Youth unemployment had to be dealt with but not, in his view, in a framework of making labour markets more flexible. A resolution on the subject should not distract from wider social considerations and should recognize international labour standards.
25. The Government member of Egypt considered the draft of the resolution a solid basis for the discussion to come. He believed that, at the end of the day, a consensus could be reached between governments, employers and workers. He said that in addition to responsibilities for governments and employers, youth itself also had obligations which, he felt, the resolution failed to address. He considered that the problems of young men and women in developing countries should be dealt with more explicitly, and that, in doing so, consideration should be given, not only to the knowledge and skills gap between the north and the south, but also to the different capabilities of governments and employers effectively to respond to such a resolution. The positive role of multinational enterprises should also be addressed, as well as the situation of youth from migrant families.
26. The Government member of Morocco was pleased with the selection of the subject as it offered prospects for development sometimes lost from view. The future depended on young people, as did pension and social welfare schemes. Youth unemployment should be considered together with unemployment in general. It was caused by various factors including structural adjustment policies leading to a reduction in public sector jobs, insufficient demand and slow economic growth. It was important to recognize that youth, even if trained, usually lacked adequate experience for being employed, and that training programmes did not always match job requirements. He said that training systems evolved only slowly whereas the economy might move at a more rapid pace. He argued that the employment problem was one of development in general; measures that did not take this into account were, at best, stopgap solutions. He said that the resolution should say more about the role of small and medium-sized enterprises and training and apprenticeship in such enterprises. He recalled that his Government had actively supported the creation of micro-enterprises by making training and credit available through NGOs. He suggested that in the Preamble, the resolution might make mention of youth already trained, and of young women and youth in disadvantaged groups.
27. The Government member of the Sudan noted that the subject of youth employment was important but it could not be disassociated from wider problems. Developing countries lacked the financial resources to create employment and were burdened by debt and the impact of structural adjustment. Hence it would not be possible to strengthen considerably education and training systems. He agreed with the Employer Vice-Chairperson that it was a good idea to seek partnerships in this area. In his country positive results had been achieved in a scheme to invest in agriculture through youth associations. It was also necessary, as his Government had done, to foster the informal sector as it was capable of absorbing a lot of young people, including young women. International solidarity and cooperation with the Bretton Woods institutions was needed to do away with major development problems such as poverty and social exclusion. He proposed that resources for promoting youth employment be made available under the ILO budget for 2000-01.
28. An Employer member from Kuwait commented that the view expressed by some members, that the draft resolution might, in fact, contribute to worsening the employment situation, was mistaken and that it misinterpreted the original intentions of the Employers who had proposed this text. A closer look at the draft resolution would show that it aimed at putting an end to the suffering of youth and that this was not a pretext for laying off older workers. He had been informed about joint initiatives taken by governments and Chambers of Commerce in certain Arab States with a view to providing young people with the necessary qualifications. These were the sort of things the resolution meant to promote.
29. The Worker Vice-Chairperson, noting how fruitful the discussion had been, and how it had raised important points, particularly from the perspective of developing countries, proposed that the Office might share with the Committee the experience gained in the matter, such as the main outcomes of the recent Action Programme on Youth Unemployment, and its plans for follow-up activities.
30. The Employer Vice-Chairperson stated that the discussion had been useful but that it should be clear that a resolution was merely a tool of guidance, in particular for the ILO, and that the Committee should not be drawn into a Convention-type debate. The draft resolution recognized the need for a balanced education and training system so as to increase the overall skill base of national economies. It was certainly not intended to lower any standards or to replace anyone currently employed.
31. The Worker Vice-Chairperson summarized the key points that had been made in the general discussion. As youth employment was an important issue for her group, she said that the Workers' group wanted to ensure that the resolution reflected a real change and an opportunity to improve the situation of unemployed youth. She wanted the resolution to refer to the nature and causes of youth unemployment and to recognize that it was part of a larger problem that could not be tackled by mere supply-side measures. It was necessary to stimulate demand and economic growth and employment opportunities. Governments, as appropriate with the cooperation of employers' and workers' organizations, should adopt measures to increase the quality and quantity of education and training available to young people. The resolution should also move forward the work already undertaken by the Office, for example so as to include the experience of member States with measures that had been effective. The resolution should recognize that young workers were vulnerable and had no experience of the world of work, and no knowledge of their rights; or that they might be fearful of exercising these rights, such as freedom of association. Recalling statements made by representatives of governments of developing countries, she said that structural adjustment and debt might prevent developing countries from investing in education and training. The resolution should recognize their difficulties and encourage the IMF and the World Bank to take account of them in allocating resources.
32. The Employer Vice-Chairperson had found the general discussion valuable, as was borne out by the fact that, as a result, the Employers' group had submitted several amendments to their own draft to take account of some of the concerns expressed. He reiterated, however, that a resolution was a practical document meant to guide constituents, rather than a detailed ILO Convention. Nor should the resolution aim to merge the text of all seven resolutions that had been put before the Committee. He said that he looked forward to proceeding at a pace that would allow consensus to be achieved on the first three resolutions.
33. At the request of the Committee, Mr. W. Sengenberger, Director of the ILO's Employment and Training Department, informed the Committee about recent, present and future activities of the Office relating to youth employment and youth unemployment.
34. He said that the most important activities concerned the Action Programme on Youth Unemployment carried out by the Employment and Training Department, in collaboration with other technical departments and ILO multidisciplinary teams (MDTs), in the 1996-97 biennium, and a follow-up Action Programme on Strategies to Combat Youth Marginalization and Unemployment, under the responsibility of the Development Policies Department, in the present biennium. The Action Programme on Youth Unemployment had had the following principal objectives: to raise awareness among constituents of the problems associated with the entry of young persons into the labour market; to improve understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the principal policy options; and to enhance the capacity of member States to design and implement policies and programmes for promoting youth employment. As part of meeting these objectives, country case studies had been undertaken -- partly with the help of relevant MDTs -- in Canada, Chile, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Lebanon, Poland, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe, in order to: identify problems and factors that are most important in determining the level of youth unemployment; review major policies and programmes for promoting youth employment; evaluate the effectiveness of these policies and programmes; and identify the underlying factors that influence their success or failure; come up with recommendations for alternative and viable policy and programme options; and, review the role of government and the social partners in tackling youth unemployment. In addition, studies had been carried out on the following special policy issues: employment of disabled youth; training for disadvantaged (hard-to-employ) youth; the role of enterprises in job creation for youth; the impact of minimum wages on youth unemployment; and the role of public employment services in implementing and evaluating youth employment schemes. A list of the publications that had emerged from this research, as well as order forms, would be made available to Committee members.
35. The main output of the action programme, he said, would be a detailed comparative report on national policies and experience, to be available later this year. Staff of his department had attended and contributed to a number of national and international meetings on youth employment, including meetings organized by the Council of Europe and the European Association of Vocational Training Institutes and meetings organized by MDTs in a number of developing countries.
36. Staff of his department had co-chaired the working group on Youth and Employment at the United Nations World Youth Forum in Vienna, November 1996, and would do the same for the next such Forum in Braga, Portugal, in August 1998. For this meeting, as well as for the Ministerial Meeting for Youth, in Lisbon, Portugal, in August 1998, background papers would be prepared by the ILO. Other relevant ILO activities had included focusing on youth employment problems in the ILO's country employment policy reviews, undertaken by his department and MDTs; and covering youth employment on the agenda of two international conferences planned by the ILO to follow up on the World Summit for Social Development. He said that youth employment played a part in various training activities of the ILO, including those of the Turin Centre, and in technical cooperation projects on skills and entrepreneurship. The ILO was seeking cooperation with workers' and employers' organizations on youth employment, particularly in connection with the Programme of Action on Youth Employment of the International Organization of Employers (June 1998) and the Action Plan for Youth Employment of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, adopted at its 16th World Congress. He concluded his survey of activities by assuring the Committee that the Office would continue to work on youth as a target group in its labour market policy programme. Proposals for work items on the transition from school to work, and an action programme to follow up on the Social Summit, were being proposed in the ILO Programme and Budget for 2000-01.
37. At the invitation of the Chairperson, Mr. Sengenberger then summarized some major findings from recent ILO research on youth employment. He said that young people (i.e. those in the age group of 15 to 24 years) often encountered difficulties in entering productive employment. Youth unemployment was chronic in many ILO member States. With few exceptions, around the world, unemployment rates for youth were substantially higher than for adult workers. In OECD countries, the rate of joblessness for young people was roughly twice the rate of adults. In many developing countries, the gap was even larger. However, the lack of adequate information often made it difficult to estimate the exact extent of youth unemployment and underemployment. Transition countries also suffered from high youth unemployment. Young women and young disabled workers were especially affected by unemployment. The most important single cause of youth unemployment was insufficient aggregate demand for labour, followed by demographic factors, such as fast growth of the youth cohort in the labour force. The effect of wage levels on youth unemployment was less conclusive, but appeared to be minor compared to the previous two factors. Youth unemployment was a complex problem; hence it needed a differentiated policy response. It required a comprehensive package of policies, including a macroeconomic environment to promote economic growth; active labour market policies; sound training programmes; efficient employment services (information, counselling, placement, etc.); and social dialogue, especially the involvement of workers' and employers' organizations (positive experience had been had with the involvement of the social partners in training). Any strategy to combat youth unemployment had to take the economic situation of a country into account. The effectiveness of other important policy elements, for example, employment subsidies and training programmes, depended on economic growth and the availability of sufficient jobs. This was apparent from looking at training schemes. It was certainly true that countries with a well-developed system of initial basic vocational training, e.g. apprenticeship, such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Denmark, had low youth unemployment, compared with the level of adult unemployment; yet, as one could see from the German case, when there was a lack of aggregate employment, youth unemployment had increased. Good results had been achieved in countries, including Portugal and Ireland, that had managed to adopt an integrated approach to combating unemployment, i.e. combining education and training, education and occupational counselling, support during the transition process, and assistance with access to first work experience. In terms of enhancing employability of youth, it would be interesting to see the outcome of action taken in pursuit of the 1998 guidelines for employment policy adopted by the European Commission in November 1997. One of these guidelines required the member States "to ensure that every unemployed young person was offered a new start before reaching six months of unemployment, in the form of training, retraining, work practice, a job or another employability measure". He concluded by saying that in developing countries there was a great need for better and more accurate labour market information for targeting policies and programmes (at national and local level); for young people to make informed choices in the labour market; and to avoid mismatches in the labour market.
38. The Worker and Employer Vice-Chairpersons thanked Mr. Sengenberger for his presentation which they had much appreciated.
39. In response to a question from the Government member of France concerning the definition of the term youth, the Director of the Employment and Training Department said that the United Nations defined youth as persons aged between 15 and 24 years inclusive. Other definitions were being used by other organizations. It was perhaps useful to recognize two sub-groups, comprising persons aged 15-19 and those aged 20-24; in most countries there was greater unemployment amongst the former.
40. In reply to a further question, from the Employer Vice-Chairperson, concerning the link between rising youth unemployment and falling wages amongst youth, the Director of the Employment and Training Department said that the impact of wages on unemployment rates was a controversial matter, but that studies suggested that the effect was a very small one, at best. However, the subject was also one in which methodological problems compounded the difficulties of making sound judgements and that factors other than wages influenced levels of youth unemployment. He did not believe that it would considerably improve the employment situation of young persons if their relative wages were lowered.
Consideration of amendments
41. Eighty-five amendments to the draft text, numbered D.4 to D.88 were submitted for examination.
42. Amendment D.10, submitted by the Government member of France, was withdrawn, it being considered that the text of the resolution would incorporate the idea that youth employment should take place after the end of compulsory education.
43. Amendment D.45, submitted by the Workers' group, sought to make the title more specific by adding a reference to education and training. The Worker Vice-Chairperson said that an integrated approach was needed to deal with youth employment problems and that education and training were crucial in this respect.
44. The Employer Vice-Chairperson, while appreciating the intent of the proposed amendment, believed it important to keep the title as it was, as the Committee had voted on this title and the resolution would not propose a package on education and training but on youth employment. He felt that references to other matters would dilute the resolution's focus.
45. The Government members of the Netherlands, Egypt, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Germany, Turkey and Indonesia supported the view of the Employer Vice-Chairperson, while the Government member of Austria supported the Workers' proposal. The Worker Vice-Chairperson then withdrew the amendment.
46. Seven amendments (D.46-D.52) had been submitted by the Workers' group for new paragraphs to be inserted before paragraph 1 of the draft resolution. In introducing the first of these, D.46, the Worker Vice-Chairperson said that her group intended to place the subsequent provisions of the resolution in the context of ILO instruments already adopted, of which three had been mentioned, as these were most relevant to the employment of young people.
47. The Employer Vice-Chairperson and the Government member of Ecuador agreed and the amendment was adopted.
48. The Government member of Egypt recorded a reservation on behalf of his Government as reference was made to Conventions that had not been ratified by his country.
49. The Worker Vice-Chairperson explained that amendment D.47 sought to include a reference in the Preamble to the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995) which had reaffirmed the ILO's leadership role in promoting full, freely chosen and productive employment.
50. The Employer Vice-Chairperson and the Government members of Ecuador, Chile, Denmark and Uganda expressed support for the amendment. The Government member of Egypt, while supporting the idea, suggested that as the Summit had not merely reaffirmed ILO leadership, the text be subamended to include the words "inter alia" before the words "the ILO's leadership". The Vice- Chairpersons agreed and D.47 was adopted as subamended.
51. Amendment D.48, submitted by the Workers' group, sought to add a third new paragraph to the Preamble that ensured that the basic principles and fundamental rights that applied to all workers were enumerated for young workers who were often vulnerable to having these rights denied them through fear or lack of awareness. The list of grounds for discrimination was drawn from the Private Employment Agencies Convention, 1997 (No. 181).
52. The Employer Vice-Chairperson was concerned about using universal Conventions to make a specific reference to young people and sought Government members' opinions.
53. The Government member of Denmark supported the thrust of the amendment but felt that the definition of grounds for discrimination should be that contained in the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111). This view was supported by several other Government members (Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom).
54. The Government member of Germany, supported by the Government member of the United States, proposed a subamendment to end the paragraph after "... against discrimination" in order not to have open-ended grounds for discrimination.
55. The Government member of France noted that the reference to national law and practice gave governments adequate room for manoeuvre. He wondered why forced labour had been omitted.
56. The Worker Vice-Chairperson agreed that forced labour could be included and proposed a subamendment to this effect. She said that Convention No. 111 was adopted over 40 years ago and many new grounds for discrimination, such as disability and sexual orientation, had since been widely accepted. The resolution, which entailed no legal action, had to reflect the reality of discrimination at work and the vulnerability of young people.
57. The Employer Vice-Chairperson said that if the Committee wished to differentiate universal rights he preferred the proposal of the Government member of Germany. This view was echoed by the Government members of the Netherlands and the United States.
58. The Worker Vice-Chairperson said that amendment D.46 noted Conventions whereas this amendment drew attention to key issues and reaffirmed them. She proposed a subamendment to list the grounds for discrimination contained in Convention No. 111 since she was convinced of the value of naming grounds for discrimination. She was supported by the Government member of Uganda.
59. The Employer Vice-Chairman felt there was not much support for a list of grounds for discrimination and proposed a subamendment to modify the second part of the paragraph to read "... protection against forced labour, and discrimination as defined in the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111) and any other form ...". This proposal received general support and amendment D.48 as subamended was adopted by consensus.
60. A Workers' group amendment (D.49) to add a new paragraph recalling the ILO's Programme on Youth Unemployment was subamended by the Employers' group to reflect the fact that it was an ongoing programme and adopted unanimously.
61. Amendment D.50 from the Workers' group sought to add a paragraph that drew attention to the fact that youth unemployment was part of a larger problem of unemployment and underemployment. Furthermore, in some countries there was a tendency, perhaps for political reasons, to deal with the problem of youth unemployment in isolation.
62. An Employer member from the United States suggested it be merged with an amendment his group had submitted to paragraph 2 of the Preamble as one stated the nature of the problem and the other provided a solution. There was no support for this proposal from the Workers' group nor from Government members.
63. In response to a question from the Employers' group about the utility of amendment D.50, the Worker Vice-Chairperson said the resolution needed to recognize that youth unemployment could not be tackled in isolation, particularly where there was widespread unemployment and underemployment. She was prepared to subamend the amendment to delete "global" since she accepted that some countries had full employment. This proposal was supported by the Government member of France, who felt it important to stress the significance of youth unemployment, and the Government members of Indonesia and Uganda. In response to a question from the Government member of Egypt, who supported the amendment and the subamendment, she said that underemployment was where people were overqualified for the job they had, or had to work part time when they sought full-time employment.
64. Several Government members (Chile, Ecuador, Netherlands, Senegal, United Kingdom, United States) agreed with the Employers' group that the amendment did not add anything to the text, particularly since the resolution dealt with youth unemployment not global unemployment.
65. The Worker Vice-Chairperson referred to the conclusions of the The challenge of youth unemployment (Geneva, 1997) which highlighted the overwhelming importance of macroeconomic conditions in determining the extent of youth unemployment. It was therefore appropriate to include the proposed new paragraph in the Preamble.
66. Following a suggestion from the Government member of the Netherlands that discussion of the amendment be suspended until paragraph 2 of the Preamble was considered, there was considerable debate on the merits and procedural implications of this proposal. The Workers' group and several Government members (Egypt, France, Indonesia, Uganda) opposed the suggestion, whereas the Employers' group and other Government members (Chile, Germany, Senegal, Uruguay) expressed support.
67. In order to make progress and despite the considerable support expressed for the amendment, the Worker Vice-Chairperson suggested the Committee agree to defer consideration of it provided this did not set a precedent when other amendments were discussed, and on the understanding that the support that had been forthcoming was reflected in the subsequent discussion in the context of paragraph 2 of the Preamble and its outcome. The Committee agreed.
68. The Worker Vice-Chairperson introduced an amendment, D.51, to add a new paragraph addressing the negative effects of structural adjustment policies and debt on developing countries. She said that several interventions during the general discussion had highlighted the adverse impact of these on public spending, including on education and training. The Government member of Senegal supported the amendment.
69. The Employer Vice-Chairperson recognized the importance of such issues but said they were not necessarily confined to developing countries. Countries in transition and some industrialized countries also had transitional problems arising from structural change and debt ratios. He proposed a subamendment to refer to "possible negative transitional effects" and to delete "developing" in order to make the paragraph less specific.
70. The Government member of Egypt did not accept the inclusion of "possible". The effects were real in developing countries. It was incorrect to compare developed and developing countries in this context.
71. The Government member of France said that structural adjustment could not be avoided. If its negative effects were to be mentioned reference to social protection programmes should also be included so that structural adjustment was not a pretext for social deterioration.
72. The Worker Vice-Chairperson agreed that all economies were undergoing some form of structural adjustment, which was different in developing, transition and industrialized countries. The amendment recognized the difference and the fact that different solutions would be necessary. She could agree to the inclusion of countries in transition in the scope of the paragraph but was not prepared to delete the reference to developing countries. She also rejected the inclusion of "possible" since developing countries knew the real negative effects.
73. The Employer Vice-Chairperson proposed a further subamendment to remove "possible" and have the middle part of the paragraph read "... adjustment programmes, particularly in developing countries, and international debt ...".
74. The Government member of the Russian Federation said that he could not speak for other CIS countries, but a reference to his country in this context was not correct. He wanted to eliminate the reference to "transitional" effects.
75. The Employer Vice-Chairperson was conscious of the possible implications of the wording for the World Bank and IMF whose work went beyond the issues raised in the text. The Workers' group and the Government members of Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Namibia and Senegal supported the proposed wording but the Government member of the United States said that, since the resolution was on youth employment, structural adjustment and debt issues should not be included and the amendment should be withdrawn. The Government member of the Netherlands understood the special problems developing countries had in providing education and training and stated that the causes were manifold and not only due to structural adjustment and international debt. The World Bank and IMF should not be blamed for all problems in developing countries in one paragraph while another proposed closer cooperation with the ILO. He proposed a subamendment to the beginning of the paragraph so that it read: "Noting the special problems of many developing countries to provide ...". The Employers' group and the Government members of Austria and the United Kingdom supported this proposal but the Government member of Uganda did not. The Government member of the United States cautioned against any wording that could undermine the existing fragile cooperation between the ILO and the World Bank and IMF. The Government member of Egypt proposed that the text put forward by the Employers' group be changed to read: "Noting the negative effects on many countries, in particular developing countries, of structural adjustment programmes". This proposal was supported by the Government member of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Government member of Austria proposed to replace "negative effects" with "special problems", which was opposed by the Government member of Egypt who, while not wanting to condemn the IMF and World Bank, said that structural adjustment programmes were a bitter pill that developing countries had to swallow and their negative effects should be noted. The Government member of France would have preferred mention of a social safety net.
76. The Worker Vice-Chairperson accepted the subamendment of the Government member of Egypt and rejected that of the Government member of the Netherlands stressing there was a need to acknowledge the adverse effects of structural adjustment in developing countries on their capacity to focus on youth employment. The paragraph merely reflected the facts. The Government members of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal supported the inclusion of a mention of the negative effects in developing countries.
77. The Government member of Côte d'Ivoire proposed a subamendment to refer to the "difficulties caused by" for many countries by structural adjustment programmes. This proposal received general support and the amendment was adopted as subamended.
78. The Worker Vice-Chairperson introduced an amendment, D.52, to add a paragraph that recognized the special nature of employment problems faced by young people. The preponderance of part-time, temporary and casual work had been brought out in the general discussion. Employers were less likely to invest in training for those who were unlikely to provide them with the benefits of training because of the nature of their employment. Apart from schemes such as apprenticeship, the precarious nature of many employment opportunities created difficulties for young people in getting and keeping jobs, leading to a very negative experience of work at a crucial stage of their development.
79. The Employer Vice-Chairperson said that research showed that a minority of young people started work in part-time, temporary or casual employment; that the proportion was similar to adults and it had changed little in the last ten years. His group had serious problems with the amendment. He was also concerned about the concept of insecure work. The labour market had changed and much work could now be considered insecure, so the amendment did not reflect a situation that was specific to young people. It was better to obtain part-time employment as a precursor to full-time work than not to take the opportunity because it was "insecure".
80. The Worker Vice-Chairperson questioned this data and said there was much evidence to show the opposite was the case. In the European Union, for example, there was a coordinated strategy to tackle youth unemployment in response to this issue. She agreed that part-time work was common among young people but stressed it limited progress to full-time employment because of the lack of training opportunities. She also noted that the last OECD ministerial meeting had agreed that low pay and precarious jobs were not the answer to youth unemployment.
81. An Employer member from the United Kingdom said there were positive aspects to part-time, temporary and casual work and it was naive to expect all young people to start work in full-time employment. In his country over 30 per cent of temporary workers got full-time jobs and many were trained by the employment agencies to enhance their specific skills.
82. The Government member of France felt both views had merit and suggested the use of "noting" instead of "recognizing", a proposal supported by the Worker members and the Government members of Chile, Senegal and the United States.
83. The Employer Vice-Chairperson could see little point in merely "noting". He wondered if this would lead to greater regulations and a curb on part-time work. Moreover, he reiterated that part-time work was not necessarily negative, it could lead to full-time employment, and one could also be permanently employed on a part-time basis. He proposed that a link to full-time employment be added to the end of the sentence.
84. The Government member of France said there was no intention to introduce more strict regulation nor to abolish part-time work. The purpose was to increase the "employability" of young workers. The Employer Vice-Chairperson did not accept this premise. However, as a majority were in favour of the subamended text, his group would have to accept the wish of the majority. Amendment D.52, as subamended, was adopted. He requested that the Employers' group's disagreement with this decision be recorded.
85. An amendment submitted by the Government member of the Netherlands, D.36, to add "in many countries" to the first paragraph of the Preamble was seconded by the Government member of Austria and adopted unanimously.
86. The Government member of France withdrew an amendment to paragraph 1, D.11, in favour of an amendment, D.53, from the Workers' group to clarify that the resolution referred to young people at all levels of educational capacity between the ages of 15 and 24.
87. The Employer Vice-Chairperson saw no need to refer to the level of education. The Government member of France said that if young people were to be employed their level of qualifications had to be increased. He felt the wording was awkward. The Worker Vice-Chairperson proposed the deletion of "at all levels and" and the amendment as subamended was adopted.
88. Turning to paragraph 2 of the Preamble, the Government member of the United Kingdom proposed to refer to a global effort rather than to a global increase in employment in order to be less restrictive.
89. The Worker Vice-Chairperson presented an amendment, D.54, that she subamended to take in the essence of amendment D.50 discussed earlier to include references to the widespread problems of unemployment and underemployment and the need for an increase in economic growth and coordinated macroeconomic expansion as well as employment. The text was supported by the Government member of Egypt.
90. The Employer Vice-Chairperson expressed concern about the concept of underemployment and of the term "coordinated macroeconomic expansion" and its implications. This latter concern was shared by the Government member of France who wondered who did the coordinating, the World Bank, the IMF, the G8 countries?
91. The Worker Vice-Chairperson said that the intention of the amendment was to acknowledge that, in the context of globalization, coordination of macroeconomic strategy was a fact of life, for example within the European union and other economic groups of countries. One of the reasons for high levels of unemployment was often the absence of a coordinated economic approach. She felt that the amendment proposed by the Government member of the United Kingdom that had no focus on employment was too vague. The resolution needed to be clear that the focus of effort had to be on employment.
92. The Employer Vice-Chairperson felt that if the paragraph were to go into detail, other elements such as fiscal management should be mentioned. He could accept the amendment of the Government member of the United Kingdom or the withdrawal of the reference to coordinated macroeconomic expansion. The Government member of the United States said that there was already much coordination of macroeconomic management but it would be confusing to refer to "expansion". The Worker Vice-Chairperson accepted to withdraw the phrase; the Government member of the United Kingdom withdrew her amendment and amendment D.54 as subamended was adopted.
93. The Worker Vice-Chairperson presented an amendment, D.55, to paragraph 3 to ensure access to free education and training thereby leading to improved employment prospects. Many young people did not have this access beyond primary or secondary education. If youth unemployment was to be solved, employment and training had to be universally available to young people.
94. The Employer Vice-Chairperson noted that someone had to pay for education and training, even if it was "free". Providing free education and training to age 25 was beyond the means of most governments and he advocated a shared responsibility for education and training beyond the compulsory level.
95. The Government member of Ecuador suggested that the term "free" be qualified by "when at all possible". This subamendment was supported by several Government members (Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Senegal, United Kingdom, Uruguay).
96. The Worker Vice-Chairperson proposed to subamend the text to include access to "free primary education and basic training and at higher levels where that is possible".
97. The Government members of Namibia and the United Kingdom questioned the extent of basic training and its free provision.
98. The Government member of the Netherlands felt that "access" covered all possibilities but the Workers' group said that access did not mean freely available, which was necessary if universal access was to be assured. Without access to free basic education and training there would be no employment opportunities.
99. In response to a question from the Government member of the United Kingdom on the definition of basic training, the Worker Vice-Chairperson said it was the imparting of the basic skills that enabled people to develop and move on to acquire higher skills and encompassed literary, mathematical and manual skills.
100. The Employer Vice-Chairperson shared the concerns about providing free basic training and, if he understood the Workers' group's proposal correctly, they were proposing that, where possible, people had access to free higher education. He felt that the term "accessible" was preferable to "access" and proposed its substitution in the paragraph.
101. The Government member of the United States supported the concept of some payment for higher education and training, citing the success of community colleges in his country. He proposed a text that recognized the importance in every country of ready accessibility to education and training for young people. The subamendment received broad agreement and amendment D.55 as subamended was adopted.
102. The Employers' group submitted an amendment, D.17, that better expressed the widespread recognition of the role of the private sector in achieving economic growth. However, the private sector could only flourish if government created the right framework.
103. The Worker Vice-Chairperson said the amendment addressed a practical issue but was too narrow. Governments had to create the right environment for the public sector too. Also, the amendment did not acknowledge the need for active labour market policies in creating sustainable employment, especially for youth. She proposed a subamendment to add "efficient and effective public sector and active labour market policies" which was the essence of a separate Workers' group amendment (D.56).
104. The Employer Vice-Chairperson suggested the addition of "small" before public sector but the Workers' group said it was not appropriate to qualify the public sector and the Employers' group accepted this.
105. The Government member of Denmark wished to see the social partners included in the creation of appropriate conditions. This was the case in her country.
106. The Employer Vice-Chairperson said that governments should create the right conditions so that the social partners could carry out their work. The Government member of Egypt saw a problem with the implication that governments were not providing the right conditions. Employers had a responsibility too. He proposed that no group be mentioned.
107. The Worker Vice-Chairperson welcomed the suggestion from the Government member of Denmark to include the social partners in creating the right environment. The social partners had played an important role in enabling strong and sustained economic growth in her country (Ireland). The Government member of the Netherlands also supported including the social partners.
108. The Government member of Ecuador said that some countries did not have well-developed tripartite machinery and proposed a subamendment to reflect this fact: "Considering ... opportunities depends on the existence of the right conditions ... sector". He withdrew his similar forthcoming amendment to this paragraph. The Employer Vice-Chairperson agreed but wanted the inclusion of "efficient labour markets" which was broader than "policies".
109. The Worker Vice-Chairperson regretted the resistance to reflecting the important contribution of the social partners to efficient and effective economic development. She wanted to see them included. Even in countries with less developed tripartite structures their involvement would be a good thing. The Workers' group's reference to active labour market policies was specific because, where used, they had created employment opportunities for young people. Mention could also be made of efficient labour markets.
110. The Employer Vice-Chairperson was not saying that the social partners did not have a role in creating the right conditions. He accepted the inclusion of active labour market policies.
111. The Government member of Ecuador proposed another subamendment to the effect that the creation of sustainable employment opportunities depended on the existence of the right conditions. The Employers' group supported this subamendment.
112. The Government member of France believed that the social partners should be included in the paragraph, possibly by noting that the association of the social partners in active labour market policies could have a favourable effect. The Government member of Egypt said that the text should remain open in the light of different national circumstances.
113. The Worker Vice-Chairperson reiterated that she was not seeking to prescribe roles for the social partners, rather their inclusion was important in principle since they made important contributions to economic growth and job creation for young people in a variety of ways. This should be acknowledged.
114. The Employer Vice-Chairperson was concerned that the subamendments proposed to his group's amendment had changed its emphasis. He recalled that it had been submitted to show the importance of the private sector in generating youth employment. There was consensus on referring to the existence of the right conditions and the role of governments, and his group would accept a reference to governments consulting, as appropriate, with the social partners on the development of the conditions.
115. The Worker Vice-Chairperson said that her group's proposals recognized governments' role regarding the private sector and the public sector, which also provided employment opportunities, including for young people. She proposed that her subamended paragraph now read "... governments, involving the social partners, as far as possible, creating ...". Instead of "as far as possible", "as appropriate" could also be considered. The Employer Vice-Chairperson preferred "as appropriate" which the Workers' group accepted. The Government member of Egypt did not want to break the consensus but placed on the record his concerns about singling out governments when others also had a major responsibility. The Government member of Ecuador accepted the new text and withdrew his subamendment as did the Workers' group and the Government member of the Netherlands in respect of their amendments. Paragraph 4 was adopted as amended.
116. Amendments D.24 and D.56 were withdrawn by their sponsors.
117. The Government member of the Netherlands withdrew his amendment D.37, explaining that the point he had wanted to make was that on a worldwide scale job creation was not necessarily helped by competition, as competition could take away jobs in one place to create them in another.
118. The Employer Vice-Chairperson then introduced amendment D.18, which sought to insert a new paragraph. He expressed concern that globalization was seen by some as a negative phenomenon, something people wanted to go away. Decades of growing international trade and foreign direct investment had been positive forces, however, resulting in benefits such as high quality training and job opportunities for young people being created by multinational enterprises. He considered D.18 a very important part of the overall resolution.
119. The Worker Vice-Chairperson agreed it was very important to include a reference to globalization and its role in creating employment and training opportunities for young people. She also agreed that there could be many positive aspects in globalization, as she knew from experience in her own country. That being said, the impact of globalization was experienced differently at different levels and in different countries. It had benefited some countries enormously but one had to acknowledge the down sides of globalization, as she also knew from her country, for example in terms of low quality jobs and companies moving out as they would not accept certain core labour standards and minimum working conditions. The Workers' group wanted a balanced statement about the impact of globalization.
120. The Government member of Austria agreed with the Worker Vice-Chairperson and invited her to propose an amended text.
121. The Government member of India also shared the Workers' view as the experience of his country with globalization had not been very good. Recent studies had shown job losses, a decline in real wages, contractualization and casualization of labour. In fact, only certain highly skilled workers had benefited from globalization. This reality should be appropriately reflected in the resolution.
122. The Employer Vice-Chairperson, while appreciating the argument, found it difficult to delineate precisely the positive and negative outcomes of globalization. In earlier amendments the Committee had started, however, to mention certain negatives and to reaffirm the importance of ILO core standards, so that balance was being achieved. Perhaps the Committee would prefer to delete the explicit reference to globalization.
123. The Government member of Indonesia did not think the amendment was balanced and proposed that negative effects of international trade and foreign direct investment be recognized in the text.
124. The Worker Vice-Chairperson said she had no difficulty with the word globalization which reflected a fact of life. She then proposed a subamendment to include the notion that social progress and economic growth should go hand in hand.
125. The Government member of Uganda said that globalization was indeed a fact of life, and here to stay, but many developing countries had not reached a stage where they could participate in international trade and attract foreign direct investment. The resolution should take this into account.
126. The Government member of France said that there was also considerable foreign indirect investment and investment by small and medium-sized enterprises. He therefore wanted to delete the word "direct" and the reference to multinational enterprises.
127. The Employer Vice-Chairperson said that the Workers' proposal was sensible and that he was comfortable with their wording.
128. The Worker Vice-Chairperson then read out the text as subamended: "recognizing that social progress and economic growth should go hand in hand, and that globalization, such as international trade and foreign direct investment by multinational enterprises, have the potential to create high quality jobs and training opportunities for young people".
129. In response to the suggestion by the Government of France, supported by two other Government members, the Employer Vice-Chairperson said that the wording "such as" meant to illustrate, and did not leave out a role for indirect investment and small and medium-sized enterprises.
130. The Worker Vice-Chairperson suggested that the reference to multinational enterprises could be deleted to accommodate the French proposal.
131. It was thus decided and D.18 was adopted as subamended.
132. Six amendments to paragraph 5 of the draft text were submitted: two to delete the paragraph submitted by the Government member of the United Kingdom and the Workers' group; one to replace the paragraph with new text, submitted by the Workers' group; and three to amend the existing paragraph submitted by the Employer's group, the Government member of Ecuador and the Government members of Denmark, France, Switzerland and the United States. Before deciding the order in which the amendments should be considered, the Chairperson sought the Committee's views on various options of deletion, substitution and combination.
133. The Worker Vice-Chairperson said that the new text proposed by her group (D.57) recognized the need to ensure that the quality of young people's employment was protected since they had special needs because of their age and lack of experience. The Government member of India agreed that such legislation was necessary.
134. The Employer Vice-Chairperson said that the existing text which said employment could not be created by legislation or regulations could not be replaced with one that called for greater regulation.
135. The Government member of the Netherlands, supported by several Government members, felt that the text could be added to the existing paragraph rather than replace it. The Employer Vice-Chairperson said this was a possibility, in conjunction with their amendment (D.19).
136. The Government member of France agreed with the Workers' group's amendment notwithstanding the fact it was diametrically opposite to the existing text. It could, however, be accommodated in it, together with amendment D.12 that sought to point out that employment could not be principally created by legislation.
137. The Government member of Austria preferred to delete the existing text and pointed out that jobs could be created by legislation, at least in the public sector.
138. The Worker Vice-Chairperson felt the Committee in its discussions had acknowledged the need for legislation or regulations to protect the quality of employment of young people and that their role in doing so should be recognized in the text.
139. The Employer Vice-Chairperson proposed a subamendment that took into account the four amendments that did not call for deletion of the paragraph (D.12, D.19, D.25, D.57). This text recognized that employment could not be directly created by legislation or regulations alone but these were necessary to provide employment protection, particularly for young people. Employment protection was important for the cause of youth employment whereas protection of the quality of jobs was not germane to the resolution.
140. Several Government members (Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Namibia, United Kingdom, United States) broadly supported the Employers' group's proposal. There was discussion on the use of "considering" or recognizing", "principally" or "alone".
141. The Worker Vice-Chairperson accepted the proposed text as far as it went but said it omitted the point about protecting the quality or the conditions of youth employment, something her group felt was vital.
142. The Employer Vice-Chairperson considered that these types of issue were usually included in collective agreements to which the Worker Vice-Chairperson replied that collective bargaining was not universally well established and young workers were often excluded even when it was. They therefore needed the safety net of basic legislation to protect minimum conditions of employment.
143. The Employer Vice-Chairperson felt that "employment protection" included the concept sought by the Workers' group and recommended an end to a discussion of semantics. This view was shared by several Government members.
144. The Worker Vice-Chairperson, on the understanding that the Employers' group's subamendment did not exclude protection of the conditions of employment of young people, accepted it.
145. All other amendments were withdrawn and the paragraph, as amended, was adopted.
146. The Government member of the Netherlands read out D.38, which sought a more general formulation. As both Vice-Chairpersons accepted the proposal, the amendment was adopted.
147. The proposed amendments D.59 and D.15 were withdrawn by their sponsors.
148. Amendment D.60, submitted by the Workers' group to introduce standard ILO language, was also withdrawn, it being understood by both Vice-Chairpersons, upon a clarification by the Office, that the normal procedure for the Office was to deal with employers and workers through their respective organizations.
149. The amendment D.28, submitted by the Government members of Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, was intended, according to the Government member of the United States, who introduced it, to take account of the difficulties federal States would have in implementing subsequent provisions of the resolution. Particularly in respect of education and training, such provisions would be in the purview of the constituent States rather than the federal Governments, to whom the resolution would be addressed. He wanted to clarify this through appropriate wording.
150. The Worker Vice-Chairperson was not convinced that the wording had to be changed, as it was generally understood, she said, that in the case of federal member States, federal Governments were to be addressed, which would not preclude any subsequent devolution. She proposed that the amendment be withdrawn.
151. Responding to a request by the Vice-Chairpersons for guidance, the representative of the Secretary-General explained the legal meaning of the term "member State" in respect of the relationship of federal States to the ILO.
152. After a further exchange of views on the proposed amendment, it was withdrawn.
153. The Worker Vice-Chairperson, in submitting an amendment, D.61, to add a new subparagraph, proposed a new form of words that reflected informal discussions outside the Committee. The new text read "implement a balanced economic growth strategy which supports sustained domestic demand" since governments' economic strategies should have the domestic economy in mind.
154. The Employer Vice-Chairperson supported the concept of balanced economic growth but did not know what governments were being asked to do to obtain sustained domestic demand. Moreover, since some governments focused on export-led growth the text tended to lead them in a different direction. The Worker Vice-Chairperson replied that the text was not prescriptive, it merely said that the domestic economy should be supported so that sustained growth was enabled to the benefit of all.
155. The Government member of the United States recalled that the resolution was on youth employment and felt the amendment distracted from this focus. He called for its withdrawal, a suggestion supported by the Government member of Chile.
156. The Worker Vice-Chairperson said the intention had been to build on the points on macroeconomic policies in the Preamble, which could not be separated from youth employment. She agreed to keep the reference to balanced economic growth and drop that to sustained domestic demand.
157. The amendment, as subamended was adopted.
158. The Workers' group submitted an amendment, D.62, to add a second new subparagraph that suggested systems of government intervention to create employment opportunities for young people in the social economy. The Worker Vice-Chairperson suggested to subamend the text to make it more discretionary. In answer to a question about the term "social economy", the speaker said it was that part of the economy that included social and community services and which offered significant employment opportunities.
159. The Employer Vice-Chairperson was concerned that reference to the social economy could restrict the scope of the resolution and suggested its removal. He was supported by the Government members of Chile, Ecuador, Denmark and the United Kingdom.
160. The Workers' group accepted the proposal and the amendment as subamended was adopted.
161. An amendment, D.63, to add a third new subparagraph was submitted by the Workers' group. Its purpose was to flesh out agreement on the importance of accessibility to basic education that was agreed in the Preamble. The Worker Vice-Chairperson reiterated the importance of focusing on disadvantaged youth, who were the most difficult to place in employment. The text asked member States to increase their commitment to basic education. She recalled the presentation on the ILO's programme on youth unemployment when it had been pointed out that unemployment was not experienced to the same extent by all young people.
162. The Employer Vice-Chairperson said that governments had differing abilities to invest in education and that the message of the paragraph should be to set a target. He was also concerned at having another list, which he felt added little to the message that governments should spend more on education. There was no mention of urban youth, who also often had problems.
163. The Worker Vice-Chairperson said the amendment redressed deficiencies in the original text since it recognized that different categories of youth needed a targeted approach, which had proved successful; the ILO's work testified to this. She proposed to refer to urban youth too and pointed to an error in the text of D.63 concerning youth from ethnic minorities.
164. The Government member of Egypt said it was difficult to commit governments to increased public investment, he preferred "increased investment". This proposal received general support. The Government member of Denmark added that a list of disadvantaged youth was appropriate.
165. The Employer Vice-Chairperson reiterated his concern about a list of categories of disadvantaged young people saying that youth in all sectors of society should be targeted. Even "over-privileged" youth in some countries had problems. Were all young women disadvantaged? He suggested limiting the text to "disadvantaged categories of young people".
166. The Worker Vice-Chairperson insisted that the separate disadvantaged groups listed in the amendment (early school-leavers, young people with disabilities and learning difficulties, young women, rural and urban youth, youth from ethnic minorities and youth from migrant families) should be the focus; this approach worked. The problems of over-privileged youth did not stem from a lack of access to basic education, and young women were clearly more disadvantaged than young men. The use of "including" showed that the list was not definitive.
167. The Government member of Ecuador proposed "such as" instead of "including" which he felt better expressed the idea of examples. Several Government members supported this proposal. While the Government member of the United States had no problem with the list of disadvantaged categories he felt it was too stereotyped. He also suggested that the increased investment called for be in public education.
168. The Worker Vice-Chairperson regretted that the discussion had illustrated the lack of understanding of the complexity of the issues. She accepted the use of "such as" and agreed to end the text with "disadvantaged categories of young people" on the understanding that the categories were included in the report of the Committee.
169. The Committee had before it five amendments to paragraph 1(a) -- D.20, D.66, D.29, D.13, D.26.
170. The Employer Vice-Chairperson proposed the replacement of the text by one, D.20, which he felt was more balanced. The Worker Vice-Chairperson disagreed and proposed a text that took into account all the amendments. There was some discussion on whether "leave school" should be replaced by "complete their education" or by "complete school" and whether there should be a reference to "enterprises". The consensus was, however, that since the text sought measures "with the aim that ..." it was appropriate as proposed by the Workers' group.
171. Other amendments were withdrawn and the subparagraph as amended was adopted.
172. Amendment D.21, submitted by the Employers' group was withdrawn.
173. Amendment D.67, submitted by the Workers' group was withdrawn.
174. Amendment D.30, submitted by the Government member of the United States, proposed to replace existing paragraph 1(b) with a new text. It was seconded by the Government member of Denmark who then subamended it to refer to the transition from school into work and to emphasize the importance of lifelong learning. She thus proposed that paragraph 1(b) should read: "take measures with the goal that vocational training and counselling are adapted to the requirements of the labour market in order to facilitate the transition of young people from school into work and the acquisition of the generic and transferable skills required as a basis for employment and lifelong learning".
175. The Worker Vice-Chairperson welcomed the reference to lifelong learning.
176. D.30, as subamended by the Government member of Denmark, was adopted.
177. Amendment D.39, submitted by the Government member of the Netherlands, was withdrawn.
178. Amendment D.27, submitted by the Government member of Ecuador, was withdrawn.
179. Amendment D.68, submitted by the Workers' group, proposed to replace paragraph 1(c) with a new text to emphasize the importance of the tripartite dimension to the design and implementation of youth employment policy and to promote the involvement of the social partners in the design, monitoring and assessment of systems to recognize qualifications and skills.
180. The Employer Vice-Chairperson appreciated the proposal in view of the importance of design and monitoring, but considered that the original wording of the text could instead be built upon to provide a simpler basis for including the same content. He proposed that it read: "encourage greater participation by employers, workers and their organizations in: (i) determining the programme and content of education and vocational training; (ii) the implementation of such programmes; (iii) the design, monitoring and assessment of systems to recognize qualifications and skills".
181. The Worker Vice-Chairperson agreed to the proposal of the Employer Vice-Chairperson as did the Government members of Ecuador and the Netherlands.
182. D.68 was adopted as subamended by the Employer Vice-Chairperson.
183. The Government member of the Netherlands withdrew amendment D.40 as the concern was taken into account in the new text.
184. Amendment D.64, submitted by the Workers' group, sought to add a new paragraph after paragraph 1(c) to take into account the role of education in inculcating youth with a sense of social responsibility, initiative and cooperation. The Vice-Chairperson of the Workers' group proposed that it be subamended to acknowledge that it was not just education, but a broader system that helped young people to develop, which included youth organizations.
185. The Employer Vice-Chairperson and the Government members of Ecuador and France expressed their support for the amendment as subamended.
186. Amendment D.64, as subamended by the Worker Vice-Chairperson, was adopted.
187. Amendment D.27, submitted by the Government member of Ecuador, was withdrawn.
188. Amendment D.65, submitted by the Workers' group, was withdrawn.
189. Amendment D.69, submitted by the Workers' group with a view to replacing paragraph 1(d), was presented by the Worker Vice-Chairperson. She noted that the thrust of the new paragraph was to ensure that close cooperation be fostered between education providers and workers' organizations, as well as management of enterprises. She proposed a subamendment that read: "foster closer cooperation between education providers, enterprises and workers' organizations at the appropriate level with a view to preparing young people for the labour market, for example through the development of structured, work-based systems".
190. The Employer Vice-Chairperson did not support the amendment, as subamended. Existing paragraph (d) referred to fostering cooperation between education providers and enterprises. The concern about the participation of workers and employers had been covered in the previous paragraph. However, he could support amendment D.31, submitted by the Government members of the United Kingdom and the United States, which proposed to delete the word "better" in the existing paragraph.
191. The Worker Vice-Chairperson emphasized the importance of cooperation between workers' organizations and education providers. The vast majority of enterprises did not provide for relevant participation, consultations and information-sharing. It was vital to strengthen the involvement of both sides of industry. The difference between the existing text and the proposed one was to include reference to the involvement of workers.
192. The Government member of the United States proposed that the text could read "foster closer cooperation between enterprises, workers' organizations and education providers, at the appropriate level, including structured, work-based learning, as a means of preparing young people for the labour market".
193. The Worker Vice-Chairperson, while thanking the Government member of the United States for trying to find a compromise, stressed that education providers should have a dialogue with both sides of industry, not necessarily through tripartite arrangements but on a bilateral basis. The Employer Vice-Chairperson could not agree to the proposal made by the Government member of the United States. What was important was the cooperation between education providers and enterprises, not formal structures. The Government member of Denmark, while understanding the remarks made by the Employer Vice-Chairperson, stressed the importance and, in fact, reality in some countries of workers' organizations being involved in the organization of educational activities. This view was also expressed by the Government member of Uganda.
194. The Government member of France proposed a subamendment to refer to "close cooperation with enterprises on the one hand and workers' organizations on the other hand". The Worker Vice-Chairperson noted that this would be acceptable. The Government member of Egypt considered that, within the ILO, it was important to emphasize the importance of the participation of workers. He thus agreed to the proposal of the Workers' group and the proposed subamendment of the Government member of France.
195. The Government member of Ecuador underlined that enterprises comprised management and workers and within these there often were bipartite bodies concerned with training. He recommended that the report note that when referring to enterprises, it should be clear that this meant management and workers' representatives, namely, all persons active in an enterprise.
196. The Government member of the United States questioned the need for subparagraph 1(d) as 1(c) referred to cooperation. This view was shared by the Government members of the Republic of the Congo, Austria and Namibia.
197. The Worker Vice-Chairperson considered that, while there was no amendment to delete 1(d), if the concern of her group was included in subparagraph (c) that education providers should cooperate with both sides, they would be satisfied.
198. The Employer Vice-Chairperson proposed a subamendment to paragraph 1(c) to include a new point (iv) to read "fostering closer cooperation with education providers". The Worker Vice-Chairperson proposed that the word "respective" be added in the beginning of that paragraph to read "encourage greater participation by employers, workers and their respective organizations".
199. Amendment D.31 was withdrawn.
200. The text, as subamended by the Employer Vice-Chairperson, was merged into subparagraph (c) and adopted. Paragraph (d) was deleted.
201. Amendment D.31 was withdrawn by its sponsor.
202. In introducing D.70, the Worker Vice-Chairperson proposed a subamendment so that it would read: "promote flexible working arrangements so that young people can avail themselves of on- and off-the-job education and training opportunities in the context of agreed workplace arrangements".
203. The Employer Vice-Chairperson accepted the proposed text and the amendment, as subamended, was thus adopted.
204. It being agreed that amendments D.41 and D.71 would be discussed together, the Government member of the Netherlands introduced D.41 stating that it might not be desirable or possible to eliminate all obstacles. The Worker Vice-Chairperson introduced D.71 by saying that the original text of paragraph 1(f) was not helpful as she wanted to be precise and refer to obstacles in the way of providing meaningful training and employment opportunities for young people. She was prepared if so desired to delete the word "meaningful" from her amendment.
205. The Employer Vice-Chairperson, speaking on both amendments, said he appreciated the fact that it was not desirable to remove certain obstacles, that some were in fact necessary, and that youth employment should not be created at any cost. He supported the adoption of D.41.
206. The Government members of Ecuador, France, Chile, Austria and Uganda also supported D.41.
207. Noting the support for D.41, the Worker Vice-Chairperson said she could not support it as she found its language too open-ended. She would, however, support D.41 if, at the end, the words "while maintaining their employment protection" were to be added.
208. The Government members of Denmark, Syria, the United Kingdom and Austria said they supported the proposal of the Worker Vice-Chairperson.
209. The Government member of Chile recalled that most governments had seemed to support D.41 before it was subamended. The Government member of France said that he could accept either version of D.41 and the Government member of the United States agreed with the two previous speakers.
210. The Employer Vice-Chairperson said he would be happy to accept the subamended version of D.41 if it were to state "while maintaining the individual's basic employment protection".
211. The Worker Vice-Chairperson preferred not to insert the word "basic" as it represented different things in different countries. She received support for her proposal from the Government member of Uganda.
212. The Employer Vice-Chairperson, having noted that a majority in the Committee appeared to support the Workers' position, wanted it recorded that he was not comfortable with constant repetition in the text. While his group did not accept the subamended text, the Committee, he said, could decide to adopt D.41 as subamended and move on. It was so decided.
213. D.72 was withdrawn.
214. In introducing D.73, the Worker Vice-Chairperson proposed to subamend the text so that it would read as follows: "develop a legislative and administrative framework which provides young people with employment protection".
215. The Employer Vice-Chairperson said he had no difficulty with the proposal but asked whether the clause was really needed, since the same issue had been dealt with earlier. He was supported in his view by the Government member of Indonesia.
216. The Worker Vice-Chairperson thought that different things were being talked about in this text, namely a legislative and administrative framework to protect young people at work. She received support for her text from the Government member of Denmark.
217. As the Employer Vice-Chairperson had already agreed to the wording of D.73 as subamended, the same was adopted.
218. D.16 was withdrawn.
219. The Worker Vice-Chairperson then introduced D.74 which sought to recognize that many enterprises were unable to train their workers, and to propose that these enterprises should contribute to public training resources.
220. The Employer Vice-Chairperson said that he strongly opposed this amendment. Besides the fact that the wording was debatable, as it only referred to enterprises that were incapable of training, he wondered how youth employment could be promoted by proposing a new tax on employers.
221. The Worker Vice-Chairperson said that she would withdraw the amendment in view of the Employers' opposition, and that she would support D.34.
222. D.34 was introduced by the Government member of the United States who sought to introduce the word "should" in the text of paragraph 1(g).
223. The Employer Vice-Chairperson, stating that the word "recognize" was typical of preambles while the present text concerned an operative paragraph, proposed to replace it by the word "encourage" which, he added, would no longer require the insertion of the word "should". He felt that, in any case, the word "should" in a text like this reflected that one did not believe people were doing something; the next step would be to make people do it; which, in his view, was the wrong sort of signal for the business community.
224. The subamendment proposed by the Employer Vice-Chairperson was supported by the Government member of the United States, who agreed to withdraw his amendment if the subamendment was carried; it was further supported by the Government members of Indonesia and Ecuador and the Worker Vice-Chairperson. It was thus adopted.
225. The Committee then considered D.6 and D.75 which sought to replace wording in paragraph 1(h). Speaking on D.6, the Government member of the United Kingdom, who had moved the amendment, said that in view of rapid changes in technology both young people and enterprises should be responsible for the acquisition of new skills.
226. Both Vice-Chairpersons supported D.6 and the Worker Vice-Chairperson said she was ready to withdraw D.75. The Government member of the United States also supported D.6 which was thus adopted.
227. D.75 was withdrawn, as was D.76.
228. The Worker Vice-Chairperson proposed that the ideas contained in amendments D.77, D.42, D.7, D.79, to paragraphs 1(i) and 1(k), be combined into a single paragraph which read: "pursue policies to facilitate entrepreneurship and self-employment among young people, the creation and viability of small and medium-sized enterprises as a source of employment opportunities for young people and improve the image of enterprise, including through the promotion of good industrial relations and respect for trade union rights".
229. The Employer Vice-Chairperson explained that the original text might have confused some governments by the use of "enterprise". What his group was trying to promote was the concept of "free enterprise" not government support for individual companies. Growth and the social progress arising from it were driven by private enterprise. Encouragement of youth employment required healthy private enterprise. He felt the Workers' group's proposal was too complex and the ideas would be better expressed by amending its amendment D.79 by including mention of the promotion of free enterprise and to say that small and medium-sized enterprises were a major source of employment opportunities.
230. The Worker Vice-Chairperson agreed that the subamendment was shorter and to the point but did not want a reference to "free" enterprise. She also preferred to say that small and medium-sized enterprises were "one of the major sources ...".
231. The Government members of the Netherlands and Syria supported the Workers' group's subamendment and the Employer Vice-Chairperson agreed on the removal of "free" on the understanding that free enterprise was what was being referred to. The remaining amendments were withdrawn and the subamendment to combine paragraphs 1(i) and 1(k) was adopted as amended.
232. The Government members of France, Germany, Switzerland and Turkey submitted an amendment, D.14, to add "more efficiently" after "people" in paragraph 1(j). It received widespread support and was adopted. The Workers' group's amendment, D.78, to replace the paragraph, was withdrawn in its favour and paragraph 1(j) was adopted as amended.
233. The Worker Vice-Chairperson introduced an amendment to replace paragraph 1(l) with a text that she subamended to broaden the basis of investment beyond the areas listed. The text was supported by the Committee and the paragraph adopted as amended. An amendment, D.33, from the Government members of Germany, Turkey and the United states to delete the paragraph was withdrawn, as was one from the Government member of the Netherlands to delete "competitiveness and".
234. The Worker Vice-Chairperson submitted an amendment, D.81, to insert a new sub-paragraph that called for the meeting of Official Development Assistance targets and eliminating international debt for the poorest countries in order to provide education and training for young people and reduce poverty. She recognized, however, that the language in the amendment was inappropriate and subamended it to "increase development assistance to the poorest countries ...". The Government members of Egypt and India supported the text as subamended.
235. The Employer Vice-Chairperson and the Government member of the United Kingdom felt that this was an issue for bodies other than the ILO and the Government member of the United States said that these issues had a tenuous link with youth employment and their inclusion risked diluting the message of the resolution.
236. The Government member of the Netherlands proposed to refer to increasing technical cooperation and to delete the reference to reducing poverty by ending the text after "... young people". The Government member of Japan supported this proposal but wondered whether there was a precedent for referring to Official Development assistance in ILO documents. He expressed his Government's reservation about operative paragraph 1(p), namely that the important thing was to improve the quality of development assistance, rather than to easily increase it.
237. The Government member of the Democratic Republic of the Congo said that the reference to international debt should be retained. It was debt that made it difficult for developing countries to create employment.
238. Following a discussion on whether one or both of "development assistance" and "technical cooperation" should be mentioned, the Committee agreed to include both.
239. The Worker Vice-Chairperson recognized that countries could not accept a reference to international debt in this paragraph and proposed its deletion. This proposal was generally supported and, following the acceptance of a proposal by the Government member of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to use "poorer" rather than "poorest", the amendment was adopted.
240. Paragraph 1 was adopted as amended.
241. The Government member of Ecuador proposed an amendment, D.23, to paragraph 2 that put the requests to the Governing Body and the Director-General into a hierarchical framework. The Employers' and Workers' groups appreciated this effort and regarded the amendment as a good basis for considering the other 12 amendments to this paragraph.
242. The Government member of France, in amendment D.35, proposed the deletion of paragraphs 2(a)(iii) and (v) on setting up a data and information centre and organizing regional meetings as they had serious budgetary implications. He was not convinced that meetings would provide a solution to youth unemployment. The Government member of the United States was also concerned about the cost and utility of meetings.
243. The Employer Vice-Chairperson, who was also the Employers' spokesperson on the Programme Finance and Administrative Committee said that his group would seek reallocations not additional resources to meet requests arising from the resolution. He pointed out that if the two sub-paragraphs were deleted it would be difficult to get the information to meet the request for dissemination. He recognized the Government members' concerns but recalled that the ILO had a regular programme of meetings and that the resolution would help ensure that the issue of youth employment was placed on their agendas. He considered that the amendments contained in D.35, D.82 and D.84 were taken care of in subparagraphs (c)(i) to (c)(iv) of D.23.
244. The Worker Vice-Chairperson agreed provided that "gender disaggregated data" was used in (c)(ii). She recalled the outcome of the Beijing Conference on Women that highlighted the need for such data.
245. The Employer Vice-Chairperson said that no one expected the ILO to produce aggregated data. The Government member of Germany said if the text were not kept as it was, considerable detail would have to be included. The Government member of Spain said some countries had databases; what was needed was comparable data. The Government member of Denmark said the Workers' group had used the right term, but felt there would be other opportunities to discuss it.
246. The Worker Vice-Chairperson regretted that the question of gender disaggregated data was considered unimportant and withdrew the amendment.
247. The Government member of the United Kingdom agreed that subparagraph (c)(iv) in D.23 gave the impression of new meetings. She proposed a subamendment to ensure that the issue of youth employment was included in the agendas of the regular programme of regional or sub-regional meetings.
248. The Worker-Vice-Chairperson cautioned about trying to do the job of the Governing Body and felt there was no need to qualify the text. Following expressions of support from several Government members (Ecuador, France, United States) and the Employers' group, the subamendment of the Government member of the United Kingdom was adopted.
249. An amendment, D.8, proposed by the Government member of the United Kingdom to seek cooperation between the ILO and other international organizations to promote action on youth employment was adopted unanimously. The Workers' group withdrew a similar amendment, D.88, in its favour.
250. The Government member of Switzerland introduced two amendments to what was now contained in sub-paragraph (b) of D.23; one to have a general discussion on youth employment rather than a debate; the other to delete "with a view to adopting policies or an instrument on youth employment". The Employers' and Workers' groups agreed and the latter withdrew amendment D.85 and the amendments were adopted.
251. The Worker Vice-Chairperson introduced an amendment, D.86, for a new subparagraph of paragraph 2 to ensure that the ILO's regional structures assisted governments and the social partners. She proposed to delete "education and training" from the amendment, which was adopted as subamended.
252. The Workers' group submitted an amendment, D.87, for a second new subparagraph calling for intensified supervision of relevant instruments. The Worker Vice-Chairperson subamended the text to include promotion of the ratification of Conventions Nos. 122, 138 , and 142 that had been included in the Preamble.
253. While there was understanding of the intention of the amendment and an acknowledgement that it met legitimate concerns, the Employer Vice-Chairperson and some Government members felt that such a proposal could distract attention from the campaign to ratify the core Conventions.
254. The Worker Vice-Chairperson felt it would have been valid to conclude this important resolution with a call to ratify and implement existing instruments dealing with youth employment. After spending a week stressing youth employment it was rather disturbing to hear that it should not form the basis of a ratification campaign because there was a chance it would cloud other issues. In the light of the lack of support she withdrew the amendment.
255. The text of the resolution was thus adopted as amended.
Resolution concerning international labour standards
256. In presenting the resolution concerning international labour standards, the Employer Vice-Chairperson referred to the importance of perceptions and said that the credibility of an organization could be fatally damaged, however well it might be doing in reality, if it were perceived not to be performing. The Employers' group was not suggesting that the ILO was in danger of collapse or that in general terms the ILO was irrelevant or out of touch with reality. To suggest such would be extreme and in many areas untrue. However, one had to accept that the ILO, as a large bureaucratic body, was by no means perfect -- that it had a tendency to be somewhat slow in its measures to change, a little like a big ship attempting to change its course. One had to accept that there was a perception "out there" that the ILO was more bureaucratic, more ponderous, and more inflexibly bound to outdated procedures and philosophies than it was in reality. He briefly quoted a recent article in the Financial Times which stated, amongst other things: "... the centrepiece of this year's Conference, a "Solemn Declaration" committing the ILO's 174 Members to upholding seven core labour standards is an acknowledgement that the Organization's traditional standard-setting system is not working effectively." It went on: "Its central standard-setting role needs rethinking. The core Conventions apart, many of the ILO's 180-odd standards have been ratified by only a few governments", and further: "It has allowed other international agencies, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to push their own agendas for social and labour reform by failing to respond quickly and effectively to crises, such as the current economic turmoil in East Asia and, before that, the collapse of communism in eastern Europe." He went on to say that while some of this was unfair, some of it was not. The important thing was that these comments reflected a perception of the Organization in a newspaper read by a huge and influential readership throughout the world. This resolution had to provide guidance to the Governing Body, the Office and the constituents as to actions towards changing these perceptions and creating a reality which would confirm the ILO as the point of reference in social and labour affairs. The resolution on international labour standards was short and to the point. It addressed practical issues in terms of relevance, responsiveness and commitment. It was a moderate resolution. It did not include ideas such as had been suggested elsewhere for an amnesty period or "time window" during which member States, after tripartite consultation, could abrogate any Convention to which they were a party (other than the core Conventions), or of a moratorium on all new agenda items to be declared after the adoption of the child labour Convention next year, until such time as the review of existing Conventions was complete.
257. This resolution simply attempted to ensure that the Conference guided the Office, the Governing Body and constituents towards improved procedures, encouraging them to review processes such as the agenda-setting process, to increase contact with tripartite constituents to achieve increased awareness and to intensify its activity and speed up its progress on standards revision. It also called on greater use of flexible instruments, such as Recommendations, to supplement its valuable technical cooperation work, and it suggested that the ILO must look more closely at the Convention setting and ratification procedure. He asked whether governments which had supported the adoption of a Convention should be asked to explain within a reasonable period of time why they had not ratified it. In conclusion, he stressed that the objective was to ensure that the ILO continued to be in reality, and would be perceived to be, the relevant, responsive and committed body in the area of social and labour affairs.
258. The Worker Vice-Chairperson questioned the Employers' view of the external perception of the ILO, which was often based on a superficial understanding of the Organization. The ILO was a unique forum for tripartite debate, and its work involved a delicate balance between the key interests of the parties, which was not easy to achieve and which by its nature required great efforts as well as complex and, at times, messy procedures. If there was a problem with the way in which the Organization was perceived, perhaps greater resources should be devoted to correcting such misinterpretations. Turning to the text of the proposed resolution, she said that the Workers' group considered it unhelpful, undesirable, and most objectionable for a number of reasons.
259. First of all, she said, after the far-reaching discussion concerning international labour standards in 1994, at the 81st Session of the International Labour Conference, the Governing Body had started a process of reviewing ILO standards and of setting priorities and defining guidelines for further work. The Working Party on the Revision of Standards had almost completed its review of the Conventions and, at its next meeting in November, it would examine the Recommendations. Useful work had been done to date and the Workers' group in the Governing Body had lent its support to this exercise in so far as it was carried out in an atmosphere of trust and confidence. They had of course serious doubts that some people were using revision as a smokescreen for the weakening or elimination of protections provided by ILO standards. This resolution on labour standards which proposed that Conventions should be limited to laying down "essential general principles" and proposed "amending the Constitution to revise the conditions governing the coming into force and denunciation of Conventions" reinforced these doubts. This resolution had therefore the potential to damage the fragile basis of trust and confidence on which the review exercise was being conducted in the Governing Body. Its timing and its content could be perceived as, at best, naive and, at worst, mischievous.
260. The Workers' group had insisted, and continued to insist, that standards were the ILO's principal means of action, its core achievement, and, its principles expressed in action. This position had been constantly reflected in recent Governing Body and Conference debates, particularly in respect of the link between technical cooperation and labour standards. It was completely unreasonable to expect that the Workers' group would participate in a process of change in which the primary objective appeared to be to reduce the overall role of standards in the work of the ILO. She reminded the Committee that the debate at the 1994 Conference had recognized the key role of standards and had made it clear that a large majority of delegates wished to improve and strengthen the existing supervisory mechanisms and procedures. At a Conference where major efforts were being devoted to adopting a Declaration on workers' fundamental rights and a follow-up mechanism, it was most undesirable to have a discussion in this Committee which promoted non-binding, advisory "soft-law" as a way of providing quick and practical guidance to constituents on pressing issues. This resolution had the effect of diminishing the relative significance of ILO standards. It was therefore very surprising to the Workers' group that Governments had supported this resolution. Did Governments really want so-called "soft-law" to displace Conventions? In this respect, it should be kept in mind that the ILO already had a wide range of mechanisms which lead to non-binding advisory texts such as codes of practice, Recommendations, conclusions and resolutions of sectoral meetings, etc. Therefore, this Employers' resolution was not proposing anything which was qualitatively new but rather a quantitative increase in the use of such mechanisms, which had inevitably to be to the detriment of standards. This amounted in the view of the Workers' group to no more than a political stunt, she said.
261. Secondly, she said, a low level of ratification was an insufficient reason to slow down the standard-setting activities of the ILO. During the last two years, 222 new ratifications of Conventions had been registered. How low was low considered to be, she asked. As at 31 December last year, the total number of ratifications had been 6,477, an average of 37 per member State. Although this figure was not very high, to conclude that there was a low level of ratification which was weakening the Organization's credibility was a little far-fetched. The campaign for the ratification of core Conventions had been a success and, if real efforts were made, there was no reason to suppose that a higher rate of ratification could not be achieved.
262. The danger was that a discussion on future standards would reflect entrenched ideological positions which were really unhelpful such as "there are too many standards already", "we do not need any more", and "all the issues are already covered". She believed that it would be of value to all to avoid this type of divisive and polemical debate. It would have been best for the Committee if the resolution had not been put forward.
263. Thirdly, with reference to the question of revision of the manner in which the Conference agenda was prepared, it was worth noting that the Governing Body had just dealt with this matter. A new method of constituting a portfolio of new topics had been introduced. More experience had to be gathered before considering any changes, so it was premature and unnecessary to discuss this matter here. Finally, the proposal to revise the procedures for denunciation in order to help ratifications was analogous to that which suggested that more jobs could be created by making it easier to sack people. On the contrary, the Workers' group believed that denunciation procedures should be subject to similar obligations as were questions of ratification. That meant making tripartite consultation on denunciations mandatory and requiring that member States report to the ILO on reasons for denunciation and how they proposed to address the social and labour issues arising. For these reasons, and for a number of others, the Workers' group could not support the thrust, intent or content of this resolution.
264. The Government member of New Zealand fully supported the resolution. At the turn of the century, the challenge facing the ILO was to ensure that labour standards embodied in Conventions were relevant to today's world. New Zealand, like other member States, subscribed to the principles underlying the core labour standards. Domestic delivery of these principles, however, had been criticized for not complying with the "letter of the law". Her Government had therefore long advocated that the labour standards should be more flexible and less prescriptive and that the ILO should focus on the outcome rather than on the means used to achieve the principles underlying international labour standards. She noted that the Governing Body had responded by establishing a Working Party on policy which had begun to revise international labour standards. So far, however, the process had been slow with the most obviously obsolete and least ratified Conventions being targeted for examination. This task needed to be given higher priority as much work remained to be done. Her Government had a keen interest in seeing the ILO succeed in being a relevant organization for the future. This resolution was an important one as it supported the realization of this objective.
265. An Employer member from Kuwait reiterated the need to improve the impact of Conventions by ensuring they were better adapted to reality. He noted that there were major differences between the situations in different countries, including between industrialized countries. He felt there was a need to simplify the questionnaires that were used in the development of new instruments and said that Recommendations could often serve more effectively the needs of member States. Obsolete Conventions needed to be reviewed.
266. A Worker member from Denmark said the draft resolution appeared to introduce a negative approach to standard setting -- a process of central importance to the world's workers. She acknowledged the problem of low levels of ratification but noted that the Director-General's campaign for global ratification of the core labour standards was having positive results, showing that the promotion of ratification was the way to proceed. The Governing Body's examination of new procedures for standard setting and for establishing the agenda of the International Labour Conference was being undertaken with the involvement of all constituents. Moreover, a review of the International Labour Conference had been achieved through tripartite cooperation in the Governing Body. The speaker cautioned against pushing so hard that the fragile balance between the three parties broke.
267. The Government member of the United Kingdom said nobody doubted the value of the ILO and its unique tripartite method of working. However, this placed a particular obligation on the Organization to provide effective leadership in the twenty-first century. To this end, as well as retaining past successes, the ability to lead in the future must be demonstrated by producing instruments that were relevant to the world of work in the next century, and which promoted employability and flexible labour markets. She also acknowledged the value of the ILO's work in standard setting and in supervising member States' compliance with international labour standards. She reaffirmed her Government's commitment to the ILO, saying it stood ready to review, in a constructive and pragmatic way, existing standards so they continued to offer effective protection in the fast-changing world of work. Her Government remained convinced of the need for minimum labour standards. She supported the concept of an approach based on essential general principles but believed the precise form in which these principles should be expressed must be determined on a case-by-case basis.
268. An Employer member from the United States drew attention to decisions of historic significance taken by the International Labour Conference since the ILO was established, including the Declaration of Philadelphia, the adoption of Convention No. 87 and the Declaration on Apartheid. This tradition of addressing a real need was continuing with a current discussion of the Declaration of Principles and of an instrument on child labour. He noted that the former of these two topics had been put on the agenda of the Conference relatively quickly after the Employers' group had proposed that member States adopt a declaration to promote adherence to the ILO's fundamental principles. A new Convention on child labour, however, had been identified about four years ago and would not be finalized until 1999. He noted that the international community was looking to the ILO for leadership on this issue. Leadership in one sense was being provided by the IPEC programme, but leadership in terms of an international labour standard would have to wait. This contrast pointed to the need to change the manner for selecting topics for standard setting. He urged the Governing Body to consider ways to accelerate the process by which worthwhile topics were selected. One means of achieving this might be through a preliminary general discussion at the Conference which would determine whether there was a consensus to create a new instrument and which would determine its content and scope. He gave several examples of recent contentious debates on topics that the Employers' group had argued were not appropriate for standard setting. The low level of ratification of Conventions on part-time work, home work, and hotel and restaurant work showed that something had gone wrong. The slow pace of work in the Working Party of the Governing Body led him to believe that it was more concerned with maintaining labour standards rather than revising them. He said it was crucial for the ILO's credibility that the Working Party moved expeditiously through its list of outdated Conventions.
269. A Worker member from Belgium said that workers felt universally recognized standards were losing the importance they had enjoyed for 50 years. Moreover, the Committee was discussing a resolution, which was quite different from a Convention or a Recommendation. The Committee of Experts in 1996 had addressed the question of structural change and globalization, both of which had become more pronounced since the creation of the World Trade Organization. Workers had to act against poverty and social exclusion, not just on legal or moral grounds but because of economic necessity. Labour standards on fundamental human rights were paramount in times of rapid economic change. The ILO had to continue to discuss the fundamental social issues and discourage inequitable working conditions. All governments should ratify the basic human rights Conventions and multinational enterprises, employers and workers should apply the principles of these and other important instruments. Respect for tripartite collective bargaining and for labour principles were fundamental obligations of ILO member States. It was also necessary to ratify and respect Conventions covering important principles of social policy, such as safety and health, minimum wages, and social security. Although these instruments allowed some national flexibility, many were not yet ratified. The Workers' group did not object to a review of obsolete international labour standards but preferred to let the Working Party of the Governing Body undertake it. Moreover, such a review should never weaken or undermine workers' protection. Revisions of labour standards should be conducted in an atmosphere of trust among the three groups. The speaker pointed out that the ILO should continue to develop standards on which socio-economic development depended. For example, there was no Convention on the access to or functioning of labour courts or on the protection of workers following transfers or takeovers, as had been mentioned in draft resolutions submitted by worker delegates. Monitoring of the application of standards yielded tangible results because of the basic tripartite structure of the ILO. Tripartite dialogue was one of the ILO's strengths and should be used to foster greater cooperation. While governments respected ILO authority, some were rather slow in implementing labour standards. The ILO needed to be able to take rapid, effective, authoritative action. Monitoring needed to be enforced by: the provision of support mechanisms which permitted workers to make claims without going through governments -- even where a government had not ratified a Convention -- on issues such as freedom of association and child labour; the creation of rapid mediation and arbitration facilities; strengthened provision for compensation and reparations in accordance with constitutional principles; and the tripartite support of monitoring procedures. It was imperative that workers' organizations were involved in protecting individual rights. The draft resolution did not provide consistent guidelines, it lacked substance, and was aimed at undermining the standards that had been developed over many years.
270. An Employer member from the United Kingdom said the text was not an attempt to abolish tripartism. The Employers' group wanted to ensure that the ILO was assisted in undertaking its work more effectively. He felt that most people would agree there was a need to examine the procedures concerning standard setting. It was vital that when the texts of new instruments were prepared they were as complete and as accurate as possible and reflected the reality of the activity concerned. He wondered why so many governments did not participate fully in the discussions on new instruments, adding that perhaps fault lay with the Organization. Ill-informed discussion was quite the wrong basis on which to prepare a new instrument that formed the core of national legislation. He cited the current discussion on a new Convention on contract labour as a good example of how not to undertake standard setting. There was a need to see whether there was a better way and he was confident that the tripartite structure of the ILO was robust enough to withstand such an examination of its procedures.
271. A Worker member from France recalled that the Workers had supported the amendment to abrogate obsolete Conventions and they were open to reviewing practices when necessary. They were not against the process but they did not want to rush it either. They wanted time to see whether current reforms were effective. He concluded his statement by saying that the ILO was the only tripartite organization of the United Nations system. Although it had its weak points, it had many positive qualities due to its tripartite structure. He warned the Committee of the risk involved in adopting this resolution as it would be catastrophic for the ILO if the role of one of its three groups were minimized.
272. The Government member of France could accept about half of the text and could propose amendments to the rest. Nonetheless, he still had doubts about adopting such a resolution in the light of the lack of consensus in the Committee concerning its important subject matter. Although consensus might take a long time to achieve, it lent significant weight to the results. He wondered whether, in submitting the resolution, the Employers' group was not being naive and was using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. He hoped that employers and workers would try to develop a consensus or, at the very least, not undermine the consensus already achieved in the Governing Body, which was essential for all of the ILO's work on labour standards.
273. Several Government members (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Indonesia, Mexico, Netherlands, United States) agreed and noted that the resolution complemented the ongoing work of the Governing Body's Working Party on the Revision of Standards. They urged the Committee to avoid an acrimonious debate, work constructively on this text and move quickly to the following resolution concerning Convention No. 87.
274. The Government member of Egypt, while supporting the adoption of a resolution on this topic, said the text did not address some of the reasons behind the lack of ratification of the core Conventions. For example, some developing and least-developed countries required technical co-operation assistance from the ILO before they were in a position to ratify them; whereas some developed countries did not ratify them for domestic reasons. This was a serious problem. Concerning the revision of conditions governing the coming into force and denunciation of Conventions, he pointed out that such conditions were already contained in the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, and should be adhered to. Adoption of this resolution would reflect the balance between the interests of the social partners that was currently lacking in the negotiations on the possible Declaration of Principles and a possible follow-up mechanism.
275. The Government member of Sweden reminded the Committee that the Working Party on the Revision of Standards had already examined more than 100 Conventions in its six meetings. Careful preparation was essential for it to carry out its task properly. It paid great attention not only to the quantity and speed of its work, but also to quality and consensus. The constituents would not think that progress was too slow when they were faced with the results. She noted that national-level follow-up, including tripartite consultations, was expected and necessary for the results to be tangible. An up-to-date review of the work of the Working Party was to be found in document D.4 of the Committee on the Application of Standards.
276. The Government member of Chile agreed and added that there was no room in the present discussion for extended or acrimonious debate on matters which had already been dealt with elsewhere. Perhaps more should be done to support the Governing Body and give more time to the Working Party to complete its work.
277. The Worker Vice-Chairperson said that the process of change that was already under way in the Governing Body had been set up after much consultation and had arrived at a delicate consensus. It was unrealistic to expect this Committee to address the subject in a better or more efficient way. Although the Employers' group sought to achieve a modern relevant Organization that adopted instruments that were relevant and responsive, they continued to oppose the adoption of instruments on topics such as contract labour, part-time work and home work. These typified modern forms of work but threatened to undermine workers' rights. While it was understandable that some governments might see the involvement of the social partners in the law-making process as a nuisance and might prefer less complex procedures, the ILO was unique, its procedures were unique, and the establishment of consensus was often difficult and a delicate business. She saw little prospect of achieving consensus on this resolution but was heartened by the support expressed by several Government members for the resolution on Convention No. 87.
278. The Employer Vice-Chairperson noted there had been considerable support in the Committee for maintaining the relevance and practicality of international labour standards. The agenda-setting process, the development of flexible instruments, and the need for new procedures had all been addressed. He was, of course, aware of action in the Governing Body in this regard and actively supported it, but additional value to the ILO's work on standards could be achieved by this resolution. The Employers' group was committed to international labour standards and the standard-setting process was an important function of this Conference. The very nature of tripartism meant that differences were likely to occur, so it was important that all members of Conference committees were present when major issues were being discussed. Unfortunately this was often not the case. The results spoke for themselves -- since 1987 no new Convention had received more than 12 ratifications. He recalled that this resolution had been selected democratically in a secret ballot and it was irresponsible to question its status. The resolution addressed in a very moderate and constructive way important issues for the ILO and its constituents. There were no proposals to review the supervision machinery nor the core standards. The Employers' group remained committed to developing a practical resolution on international labour standards and looked forward to examining constructive amendments.
279. The draft resolution was discussed but, for lack of time, it was not possible to discuss the amendments which had been submitted to this draft resolution.
Consideration and adoption of the report
Consideration of the report
280. The Committee considered its draft report at its eleventh sitting.
281. Corrections to specific paragraphs were submitted by various members for incorporation in the report.
Adoption of the report
282. At its eleventh sitting the Committee unanimously adopted its report subject to a number of changes.
Geneva, 13 June 1998.
(Signed) C. Castillo Cardona,
Chairman and Reporter.
Resolution submitted to the Conference
Resolution concerning youth employment
The General Conference of the International Labour Organization,
Noting the terms of the Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No. 122), the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), and the Human Resources Development Convention, 1975, (No. 142),
Noting that the Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen in March 1995 reaffirmed, inter alia, the ILO's leadership role in the promotion of full, freely-chosen and productive employment,
Reaffirming the importance and relevance of ILO standards for the successful promotion of youth employment and the need to ensure that young workers fully enjoy the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining and protection against forced labour and discrimination, as defined in the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111) and any other form of discrimination covered by national law and practice,
Recalling the ILO's Action Programmes on Youth Unemployment,
Noting the difficulties caused for many countries by structural adjustment programmes for economic growth and their potential to provide education, training and employment opportunities for young people,
Noting that employment opportunities for young people are often part time, casual, temporary and insecure,
Aware that in many countries young people, particularly between the ages of 15 and 24, are finding it increasingly difficult to enter the labour market and that this constitutes not only a threat to social peace but also an obstacle to the development of the individual and to that of society as a whole,
Recognizing that youth unemployment is one dimension of the general and widespread problem of unemployment and underemployment and a reflection of an unfavourable economic situation which cannot be resolved without a global increase in economic growth and employment,
Recognizing for every country the importance of ready access to education and training for young people,
Considering that the creation of sustainable employment opportunities depends upon governments, involving the social partners as appropriate, creating the right conditions for a competitive and viable private sector, an efficient and effective public sector and active labour market policies,
Recognizing that social progress and economic growth should go hand in hand and that globalization, such as international trade and foreign direct investment has the potential to create high quality jobs and training opportunities for young people,
Considering that employment cannot be directly created by legislation or regulations alone and considering that they are necessary to provide employment protection, particularly for young people,
Considering further that education, be it public or private, as well as vocational training and apprenticeships, play an important role in enabling young people to enter the labour market and embark upon their adult life.
1. Calls upon member States and, where appropriate, employers, workers and their respective organizations to:
(a) implement a balanced economic growth strategy;
(b) consider new and innovative policies and programmes to create employment opportunities for young people;
(c) increase investment in basic education targeted at improving the quality of education and access to further and higher education for disadvantaged categories of young people;
(d) take measures with the aim that, when young people leave school, they possess a general education and a balanced range of qualifications and skills which would enable them to realize their full potential and contribute to the well-being of society and the needs of the economy and enterprises;
(e) take measures with the goal that vocational training and counselling are adapted to the requirements of the labour market in order to facilitate the transition of young people from school into work and the acquisition of the generic and transferable skills required as a basis for employment and lifelong learning;
(f) encourage greater participation by employers, workers and their respective organizations in:
(i) determining the programme and content of education and vocational training;
(ii) the implementation of such programmes;
(iii) the design, monitoring and assessment of systems to recognize qualifications and skills;
(iv) fostering closer cooperation with education providers.
(g) promote and support a policy on youth that recognizes the role of education and youth organizations in developing a sense of social responsibility, initiative and cooperation;
(h) promote flexible working arrangements so that young people can avail themselves of on-and-off-the-job education and training opportunities in the context of agreed workplace arrangements;
(i) identify the obstacles to hiring young people and take measures, as far as possible and desirable, to remove them while maintaining the individual's employment protection;
(j) develop a legislative and administrative framework which provides young people with employment protection;
(k) encourage enterprises to play an active role in the provision of continuous training to young employees;
(l) encourage young people and enterprises to develop more flexible attitudes towards the acquisition of new skills to meet changing needs;
(m) urge employment agencies, public and private, to assist young people more efficiently in finding employment;
(n) promote enterprise, entrepreneurship and self-employment among young people and the creation and viability of small and medium-sized enterprises as one of the major sources of employment opportunities for young people;
(o) adopt and implement policies which improve competitiveness through investment, including investment in technology, human resources development, education and skills, in order to promote economic growth, social development and employment;
(p) increase development assistance and technical cooperation for the poorer countries in order to provide education and training for young people.
2. Calls on the Governing Body of the International Labour Office to:
(a) accord high priority to youth employment when considering the Programme and Budget for 2000-01 and subsequent biennia commensurate with the importance of the issue;
(b) consider including, as soon as possible, an item for general discussion on the issue of youth employment in the agenda of the International Labour Conference;
(c) ensure that the issue of youth employment be included in discussions at regional or sub-regional level meetings, including tripartite meetings, where appropriate;
(d) ensure that ILO regional structures and multidisciplinary teams assist governments and the social partners to implement ILO policy on youth employment;
(e) instruct the Director-General, when preparing programme and budget proposals, to make provision for follow-up of the present action programme on strategies to combat youth marginalization and unemployment with a view to:
(i) drawing up an international strategy for youth employment;
(ii) creating a database on youth employment;
(iii) disseminating best practice information and research on employment initiatives for youth;
(f) instruct the Director-General to cooperate with other international bodies to promote international action on youth employment.
1. Subsequently, further changes were made in the composition:
Fourth sitting on 6.6.98, 111 voting members (74 G, 13 E, 24 W);
Fifth sitting on 8.6.98, 104 voting members (74 G, 13 E, 17 W);
Sixth sitting on 9.6.98, 102 voting members (73 G, 13 E, 16 W);
Seventh sitting on 10.6.98, 99 voting members (74 G, 10 E, 15 W);
Eighth sitting on 11.6.98, 97 voting members (74 G, 9 E, 14 W);
Ninth and tenth sittings on 12.6.98, 97 voting members (74 G, 9 E, 14 W);
Eleventh sitting on 13.6.98, 97 voting members (74 G, 9 E, 14 W).