ILO activities supported by Japanese business and associations
African Cooperative Leaders’ Study Tour
Since 2010, the Japanese Consumers’ Co-operative Union (JCCU) and the ILO have jointly implemented study tour project to the present day in which they annually invite around five leaders from African cooperative unions to Japan to provide opportunities of learning about the cooperative union movement in the country. During their ten-day-or-so stay, they visit various sites of cooperative unions mainly in the greater Tokyo area, including JCCU, agricultural cooperatives, workers’ cooperatives, Labour Bank, the National Federation of Workers and Consumers Insurance Cooperatives, university cooperatives, and health and welfare co-operatives. Up to now, cooperative leaders from Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda have participated in the training program. After they return home, these leaders hold meetings in their respective countries to report what they learned in Japan and are engaged in projects such as launching new cooperatives and enhancing the capabilities of union executives and employees by making the most of their experience in Japan.
Support through human resources
The Japanese Consumers’ Co-operative Union (JCCU) is engaged in personnel dispatch to the ILO. This initiative began in FY2014 and will continue for two to three years. One officer from the JCCU headquarters mainly conducts research in and cooperative studies at the Cooperatives Unit of the ILO Headquarters. A Japanese private organization’s initiative to support the ILO through human resources like this is unique.
Financial support for child labour projects
Following the publication of the 2013 ILO report “Making Progress against Child Labour” and the results of the Third Global Conference on Child Labour, the ILO launched the Red Card to Child Labour campaign to eliminate the worst forms of child labour by 2016. In Japan, an event was held in Tokyo and Osaka to support the campaign, and the Japan Association for Advancement of ILO Activities is raising money to support the ILO’s Red Card to Child Labour campaign.
In 2007, the ILO received a donation from AEON Co., Ltd., based in Chiba Prefecture, for the activities it was carrying out in northern part of Thailand as part of its International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). This donation was effectively used for activities to educate students and residents in Chiang Rai where child labour and human trafficking are rampant. The contribution was also used for education, training, and career development to encourage children and youths to enter the local labour market.
Donation to the project to recover from the earthquake in Central Java
The medical section of the Japanese Consumers’ Co-operative Union (current Japanese Health and Welfare Co-operative Federation) collected contributions from medical cooperatives, its member organizations, to support recovery from the earthquake that occurred in the central part of Indonesia’s Java Island in May 2006. By utilizing the contributions, the ILO provided earthquake affected villagers in Sidomulyo with skill training to construct buildings that conformed to the building standards, and reconstructed medical clinics that had destroyed by the quake.