Decent Work in Agriculture

The Action Programme on Decent Work in Agriculture focused on improving occupational safety and health (OSH) in agriculture through social dialogue. Particularly the aim of the paper is to locate the question of agriculture and agricultural workers centrally within the ILO framework for decent work. The paper is structured around the framework provided by the four pillars of the Decent Work Agenda, namely, fundamental principles and rights, employment and incomes, social protection and social dialogue. The paper provides a framework for the wide-ranging discussions and strategy development that are needed in order to move the question of decent work deficits for waged agricultural workers higher up on the international agenda, where it should be. This paper is a contribution to these discussions.

Activities were carried out at the national, enterprise and/or local community level, depending on the interest of constituents. National level activities emphasized improvements in the legal, regulatory or policy framework governing safety and health in agricultural workplaces. Enterprise-level activities comprised the delivery of large-scale training programmes for safety managers and workers’ safety representatives from a large number of agricultural enterprises. Community-level activities involved the adaptation of the WIND methodology (Work Improvements in Neighbourhood Development) to local conditions and spreading knowledge of basic safe work practices to rural communities.

Nine countries participated in the Action Programme. The participating countries at national level are Barbados, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Uganda; enterprise training activities were conducted in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Local community (WIND) activities were conducted in Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Senegal.