SafeYouth@Work Dialogue

 

The SafeYouth@Work Dialogue on young worker OSH vulnerability will be a key highlight of the XXI World Congress programme. In a plenary session before 800 attendees, with no concurrent symposia, the SafeYouth@Work Dialogue will provide a platform for cross-generational exchange and collaboration among OSH experts, policymakers, employer and worker representatives and young professionals on the subject of “OSH for Youth”. The Dialogue therefore represents both an opportunity and a challenge to all participants to develop a framework for youth to take on significant roles as change agents and enablers of sustainable development. Through the Dialogue and other youth-centred interventions at the Congress, the ILO aims to foster youth leadership on OSH issues, and promote their active engagement to improve OSH conditions for young workers.

The SafeYouth@Work Dialogue will take place at the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work on Tuesday, 5 September 2017 from 1.30pm to 3.30pm in the Orchid Room of the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore.

Biographies of Dialogue speakers

 

Ms. Nancy Leppink, Chief of Labour Administration, Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health (LABADMIN/OSH) Branch, International Labour Organization (ILO)

Ms. Leppink (United States) was appointed on 2 June 2014 as the Chief of the Labour Administration, Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health Branch (LABADMIN/OSH) within the ILO’s Governance and Tripartism Department.

Ms. Leppink holds a JD from the University of Minnesota Law School and a BSc in Psychology from the University of Washington. Prior to joining the ILO, Ms. Leppink was a presidential appointee and headed the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor. From 1999 to 2009 she was the Chief General Counsel for the State of Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, and from 1985 to 1999 she was a State Assistant Attorney General practising in the areas of human rights, occupational safety and health, and labour and employment law.

Ms. Leppink has over 25 years of experience as a strategist and leader in employment and labour policy, law, administration, enforcement and compliance. She has experience at national, international and state levels working with public, private and non-profit sectors. She has extensive knowledge of policy and law in the areas of employment and labour standards, occupational safety and health, and human rights. She brings to the ILO significant skills in the development and strategic implementation of laws and regulations. She has managed diverse groups and organizations ranging from small teams to the 1600-plus employees of the Wage and Hour Division.

Ms. Josephine Teo, Second Minister of Manpower, Singapore

Ms. Josephine Teo was appointed Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport on 1 September 2013. She was Minister of State for Finance and Transport from 21 May 2011 to 31 Aug 2013. On 1 Oct 2015, she relinquished her Finance portfolio, and was appointed Senior Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office to assist in overseeing the National Population and Talent Division in the Prime Minister’s Office. She is concurrently the Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport. A Member of Parliament since 2006, Mrs Teo was formerly Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education and Assistant Secretary General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). She represented the labour movement on the government-appointed Economic Strategies Committee and co-chaired the sub-committee on Fostering Inclusive Growth. Mrs Teo was concurrently Chief Executive Officer of the not-for-profit organisation Business China, a platform launched by then Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to strengthen Singapore’s bicultural foundations, and remains a member of its Board. To enhance Singapore’s position as a leading global air hub, Mrs Teo was appointed to chair a multi-agency ‘Changi 2036 Steering Committee’ in 2012. Ms. Josephine Teo was appointed Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport on 1 September 2013. She was Minister of State for Finance and Transport from 21 May 2011 to 31 Aug 2013. On 1 Oct 2015, she relinquished her Finance portfolio, and was appointed Senior Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office to assist in overseeing the National Population and Talent Division in the Prime Minister’s Office. She is concurrently the Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport. A Member of Parliament since 2006, Mrs Teo was formerly Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education and Assistant Secretary General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). She represented the labour movement on the government-appointed Economic Strategies Committee and co-chaired the sub-committee on Fostering Inclusive Growth. Mrs Teo was concurrently Chief Executive Officer of the not-for-profit organisation Business China, a platform launched by then Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to strengthen Singapore’s bicultural foundations, and remains a member of its Board. To enhance Singapore’s position as a leading global air hub, Mrs Teo was appointed to chair a multi-agency ‘Changi 2036 Steering Committee’ in 2012. This Committee provides strategic direction for the long-term growth plans of Changi Airport. She also chairs the Public Transport Tripartite Committee.

Mr. Kris De Meester, Senior First Adviser and Manager Health and Safety Affairs & International Social Relations, Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FBE)

Kris De Meester has been working at the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FBE) since 1998 and is the first adviser in the field of health and safety at work as well as international social affairs. He is the employer’s group spokesperson in the European Commission’s Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work. Mr. De Meester is the chairman of the Health and Safety working group of BusinessEurope, the Union of Industrial and Employers Confederations of Europe. He is also chairing the IOE (International Organization of Employers) Taskforce on the Future of Work. Before the FBE, Mr. De Meester has worked on environmental issues for Unizo, the self-employed and SME organization in Belgium. Mr. De Meester is also CEO of the organization Contractor Safety Management that operates B2B contractor safety management schemes in Belgium and runs a business of his own (Bizz-Con Inc.) delivering support to companies in the fields of health and safety. He also co-runs a company called KY2, working in providing support on trainings and monitoring tools for business purposes. 

He holds a degree in chemical and agricultural engineering (University of Leuven 1989), a master in business administration (University Louvain-La-Neuve 1990) and special degrees in environmental sciences and safety and health at work.

Dr. Walter Eichendorf, President of the German Road Safety Council (DVR) and the deputy director general of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV).
Vice President of the Research Section and prevention culture division of the International Social Security Association (ISSA).

Dr. Walter Eichendorf is the president of the German Road Safety Council (DVR) and the deputy director general of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV), formerly HVBG. After his university education (physics, mathematics, astrophysics) in Bochum and Bonn he served as a research staff member at the European Southern Observatory (1980-1983) in Geneva, Munich and Chile. He has been with DGUV/HVBG for over 30 years, first serving as the head of the statistical department and then as the director of public relations before becoming deputy director general in 1998. At DGUV he is responsible for all prevention activities. In addition to his role at the DGUV, he has been responsible for a number of large international projects. These include the European Year for Safety and Health at Work, Germany’s federation for Safety and Health (Basi) and the thematic area “Future of Work” at the world exhibition EXPO 2000 in Hanover. Eichendorf also currently serves as vice-president both of the research division and the prevention culture division of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and as board member of the European Traffic Safety Council (ETSC). In August 2014, he received the Federal Cross of Merit from the German Federal President for his work on road and work safety.

Samar Samir Mezghanni, writer and activist

Samar Samir Mezghanni is a 28-year-old Tunisian-Iraqi writer with two records in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest writer in the world. She has written over 100 short stories for children, published 14 books, and leverages her talent to advocate for youth empowerment in Tunisia and around the world. As a prolific writer and storyteller, Samar is passionate about using her talent to motivate and inspire young people as creators of content, especially as it relates to women’s rights, inequality, and peace and justice. Hailing from the birthplace of the Arab Spring, Samar gave the keynote address at the 2016 Economic and Social Council Youth Forum, where she spoke about the unique qualities of youth power. “We live in a world organized by fear. As young people, we have not yet learned to fear. Our audacity to write different stories, to challenge inequalities and to accept others and to connect to them, makes us unique actors in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.” Samar has long explored morality through her storytelling, bringing to life notions such as sustainable development through inter-personal narratives and empowering young people to use their voices. Samar has been named as one of the most Powerful Arab women and one of the 30 Top Arab Achievers under 30. Samar Samir Mezghanni is a SDG young leader is currently completing her PhD at the University of Cambridge.

Deborah Vallance, National Health and Safety Coordinator with the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union [AMWU]

Dr. Deborah Vallance is a National Health and Safety Coordinator with the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union [AMWU]. The AMWU represents productions workers in manufacturing and technical and trades workers in a broad spectrum of industries including printing, food processing, metal fabrication, energy and transport manufacturing. Our industries do have an older cohort than the general population. However, young workers in some manufacturing industries have high injury rates. The AMWU has been engaging in various strategies to represent and involve young workers.  In Australia, many young workers are exposed to insecure work and under unionised sectors. Deborah has worked in Health and Safety for unions, government, research and as a clinician.

Ockert Dupper, Programme Manager, ILO

Mr. Ockert Dupper is a Global Programme Manager for the Labour Administration, Labour Inspection, Occupational Safety and Health Branch of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland. Before joining the ILO, he was Director of Monitoring and Vice-President of Programs at the Fair Labor Association (FLA) in Washington, D.C. (2012-2014), and Professor of Law at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa (1996-2012), where he specialised in labour law and social security law. He holds degrees from the University of Stellenbosch, University of Cape Town, and Harvard Law School.

SafeYouth@Work Action Plan

Young workers are vulnerable workers

Every day, approximately 7,600 people die from occupational accidents or diseases, and 860,000 are injured on the job.Safety and health at work should be strengthened for all workers, but with a particular attention to young workers, who are particularly at risk, suffering up to a 40 per cent higher rate of non-fatal work-related injuries according to available studies.

With approximately 40 million young people entering the global labour market every year, a major challenge for the international community lies in creating safe and healthy work opportunities for all and especially for the younger generation, large numbers of whom work in the informal economy and in hazardous activities in sectors such as agriculture and construction.

This SafeYouth@Work Action Plan was developed through the ILO’s SafeYouth@Work Project, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The project aims to improve the occupational safety and health (OSH) of young workers above the minimum age of work up to 24 years, and to build a culture of prevention on OSH. The project strategy includes four main components: (1) Help countries collect and effectively use timely and relevant OSH data; (2) Work to strengthen legal and policy frameworks to better protect young workers; (3) Strengthen the capacity of tripartite partners to address workplace hazards and risks; and, (4) Increase global knowledge and awareness of the hazards and risks faced by young workers.

How to use the SafeYouth@Work Action Plan and Matrix

In this context, the SafeYouth@Work Action Plan aims at improving safety and health for young workers, by proposing key actions that should be considered by Governments, employers and employers’ organizations, workers’ and workers’ organizations, and young people and youth organizations. Aligned to the strategy of the SafeYouth@Work Project these actions are organized in five priority areas:

  • Data and Research – This section looks at the collection and analysis of gender-sensitive OSH data and research carried out by Government and non-government agencies, OSH institutions, OSH experts, academic institutions, and others in the research community, including the analysis of root causes of occupational accidents, injuries, diseases, and incidents affecting young workers; in respect to these, it includes the identification of knowledge gaps to strengthen the knowledge base for preventive policy and practice;
  • Education and Training – The section looks at gender-sensitive education and training around the OSH of young workers and addresses: legal rights and obligations, the identification and control of workplace hazards, and prevention-oriented policies and practices and workplace compliance, with a particular focus on young worker vulnerability to OSH risks;
  • Compliance – This section looks at compliance, sound industrial relations, and joint procedures, including OSH policies and programmes that prioritize prevention measures to eliminate workplace hazards and risks with particular attention to young worker OSH vulnerability;
  • Advocacy – This section looks at advocacy, including the development and sharing of resources and materials to raise awareness on young worker OSH vulnerability and the need for special OSH protections for young workers. This is achieved via social media and targeted campaigns (among other means) to spur public demand for safer and healthier workplaces for young people; and
  • Networks – This section looks at the establishment and use of youth-centred networks to raise awareness, support research and knowledge development, and facilitate improvement and promotion of OSH for young workers. This includes Governments, social partners, research institutes, education institutions, professional associations, and youth organizations at sectoral, national, sub-national, regional, and international levels.

The accompanying Matrix, based on the SafeYouth@Work Action Plan, is intended as a guide and catalyst for ILO constituents, concerned stakeholders, and especially young people to take concrete steps to promote safe and healthy workplaces; it provides specific examples of actions to be taken for each stakeholder under each priority area.

How the SafeYouth@Work Action Plan was developed

At the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in September 2017, the ILO SafeYouth@Work Project organized a cross-generational exchange among OSH experts, policymakers, employer and worker representatives and youth representative organisations on the subject of OSH and youth. For the first time, 125 Youth Champions, representing various regions and backgrounds, were invited to participate in the event, providing them with basic OSH knowledge and giving them a voice in the proceedings. This included the inception of a process to develop the SafeYouth@Work Action Plan.

Consultations to develop this Action Plan were undertaken with Governments, workers organizations, employers organizations, OSH experts and youth during the A+A Congress in Düsseldorf, Germany in October 2017; the IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour in Buenos Aires, Argentina in November 2017; during the Labour Inspection Academy and OSH in SMEs programme at ITC-ILO in Turin, Italy in December 2017; and, at a Sub-Regional Consultation in Jakarta, Indonesia in January 2018. These consultations were supplemented by inputs received from youth and other stakeholders from September 2017 to January 2018 via an online platform. Overall more than 673 inputs were collected and processed by the ILO SafeYouth@Work Project team.

To bring together the inputs received and finalize the SafeYouth@Work Action Plan and Matrix, a Drafting Committee was convened in February 2018 comprised of OSH experts, hazardous child labour experts, representatives of employers and workers, and five Youth Champions. The result of these efforts is today launched as the SafeYouth@Work Action Plan.