110th session of the International Labour Conference

Speech by Andrea Orlando, Minister of Labour and Social Policies, Italy

Speech to the Plenary of the 110th session of the Internazional Labour Conference

Statement | 08 June 2022
Dear Director General, Colleagues and Delegates,

It is a great honour to take part, albeit from afar, in the annual ILO Conference, which is a key moment during which to renew a sharing of ideas and social dialogue on the topics of employment and social protection.

I would like to first express my appreciation over the important result of having successfully included the protection of healthy and safe working conditions in the framework of the fundamental rights and principles of the ILO. The Resolution set to amend the 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work can rely on Italy’s solid support.

The labour market today battles with increasingly complex challenges made even more urgent by the effects of the pandemic, the numerous conflicts in progress, including the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the many transitions, starting with ecological and digital.

Social dialogue and international cooperation are essential tools.

We are now called to launch a new season of employment policies able to stay one step ahead of the changes and interpret the needs of workers and enterprises and effectively respond to the many transformations facing us, expressly referred to by the Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work.

The construction of a modern, inclusive, sustainable labour market must first and foremost enhance the skills and active participation of women. Our efforts aim at definitively eliminating all forms of obstacles and discrimination. The success of this strategy also depends on the development of adequate social infrastructures, an aspect to which the Italian government is very much actively committed.

The aim of guaranteeing decent working conditions also involves protecting suitable salary levels and constantly striving to prevent and fight undeclared work.

These challenges demand constant action by governments but also permanent forms of social dialogue. The promotion of virtuous behaviour in fact requires the active involvement of the social parties and the acknowledgement and appreciation of the role played by collective bargaining.

I should at this point mention the Italian experience in the implementation of the National Plan to fight illegal recruitment and exploitation of labour in agriculture, with the technical support of the Rome ILO Office, whom I would like to thank.

Making the world of labour more modern and inclusive means fostering the full involvement of the most vulnerable, guaranteeing autonomy and the participation of the disabled and enhancing the contribution made by migrant workers.

In order to achieve these goals, we have reformed the active employment policies and at the same time strengthened employment services at local level.

Training is a central topic and should accompany people throughout their lives. Inclusive training is the aim, which can support workers during transitions and help procure employment opportunities. Special attention should also go to the young women and men who should be supported for their inclusion in the labour market and for their professional development, including through apprenticeships.

On these topics, ILO has always stood alongside our Countries, elaborating international tools that can interpret the changes and address them with suitable solutions. And it is in this context that I believe that the International Training Centre of the ILO in Turin can be enhanced yet further, as a “capacity building” platform for governments and social parties.

As acknowledged by the Centenary Declaration, a contribution that should be appreciated is that made by social economy to generate decent work, productive employment and better standards of living.

Dear Colleagues, it is precisely during these times of crisis and transformation that the ILO’s mission can truly be pursued: to guarantee workers a system of universal protection and decent living conditions for all.

Thank you.