Esther Busser, 1971 - 2019

Presentation | 05 November 2019
Social justice and workers’ rights were at the heart of Esther’s work. She specialized in economic policies and the concerns of developing countries. Following graduation from the University of Nijmegen, Netherlands, with Master Degrees in International Economic Policy and in Financial Economic Policy, she carried out considerable research on social and micro-financing for the ILO and for UNCTAD on competition and consumer policies before joining the ITUC in 2003 as Trade Policy Officer. Esther was appointed Deputy Director of the ITUC Geneva Office in 2009 and she stayed loyal in this position until 2019. 

From 2009 to 2017, she served as Secretary of the Workers’ Group in all sessions of the International Labour Conference, and supported them in the complex discussions on the Global Jobs Pact (2009), employment (2010 and 2014), labour administration and inspection (2011), the youth employment crisis (2012), social dialogue (2013), decent work in global supply chains (2016) and she accompanied the general discussion on migration (2017). Esther was also involved in the update of the MNE Declaration (2017) and the plan of action plan on Global Supply Chains.

She pursued her work even while struggling with cancer with great energy and commitment, characterized by her optimistic and positive mindset. Her legacy continues to inspire colleagues and friends.