ADDENDUM : How to deal with anxiety ? [-]
"Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength." - Corrie ten Boom

"Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems" - Epictetus

"Okay, so, flying," I started, taking a deep breath and focusing on the thing I loved most in the world. "Flying is … great. It feels great when you're doing it. It's fun. Pure freedom. There's nothing better." Dylan smiled, a slow, easy smile that seemed to light up his whole face. "So the first thing we're going to do," I told him, "is push you off the roof." - James Patterson, Fang

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Apollo 17 launch
A torn jacket is soon mended, but hard words bruise the heart of a child. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Global Conference on the Sustained
Eradication of Child Labour

The international community agrees to redouble efforts to fight against child labour and forced labour

 

 

The three-day IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour concluded with the adoption of the Buenos Aires Declaration which spells out principles and actions to be taken. During the meeting, delegates presented almost 100 pledges for concrete steps towards the eradication of child labour and forced labour, and the generation of quality employment for young people.

 

BUENOS AIRES : The IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour , held in Buenos Aires, concluded with a call to action to accelerate efforts to end child labour by 2025 and forced labour by 2030, and to generate more decent employment opportunities for young people around the world.


The Buenos Aires Declaration  was delivered on the last day of the three-day conference that convened delegations from around the world in the Argentine capital. More than 3,000 people signed up to attend plenary sessions, panel discussions on specific topics and special events in which some 250 speakers participated.

 

"We know what to do, and there are no excuses not to do so," said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, who participated in a high-level panel discussion in which he told delegates that "we have the duty to ensure a future of work in which there is no child labor or forced labour."

"We know what to do, and there are no excuses not to do so . We have the duty to ensure a future of work in whichthere is no child labor or forced labour."

-ILO Director-General Guy Ryder

 

The Conference was organized by the Argentine Government with the support of the ILO and brought together representatives of governments, employers and workers, as well as civil society, and regional and international organizations.

 

It included a call to the national delegations to make pledges for concrete measures to accelerate efforts against child labour and forced labour. About 100 such pledges were made.

 

The Buenos Aires Declaration recalls that there are an estimated 152 million boys and girls in child labour, including 73 million engaged in the worst forms of child labour. In addition, 25 million people continue to be subjected to forced labour, including 4 million children. And at least 71 million young people are unemployed around the world.

 

The Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security of Argentina and president of the 4th global conference, Jorge Triaca, as well as representatives from social partners, presented the Declaration to the ILO.

 

"Child labour, especially in its worst forms, and forced labour, are serious violations and abuses of human rights and human dignity," the Declaration states, adding that "they are both cause and consequence of poverty, inequality, discrimination, social exclusion and lack of access to education."

 

The final document of the Conference spells out a series of principles and actions, which it urges governments, social partners, civil society organizations and interested parties to adopt.

 

The principles highlight the need to "address the best interests of children and adolescents," contains a commitment to respect human rights as well as fundamental principles and rights at work, and underlines the importance of tripartite social dialogue and coherent and coordinated national policies that generate decent work.

 

The actions, which cover most of the Declaration, are divided into three areas: politics and governance; knowledge, data and supervision; and partnerships and innovation. A starting point is the ratification of international commitments to eradicate child labour by 2025 and forced labour by 2030, as set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development .

 

It also notes the support given to Alliance 8.7 , which has been established to fulfill that objective of the 2030 Agenda in relation to child labour and forced labour.

 

"We hope that Buenos Aires will be the place where the international community takes measures so as not to tolerate the intolerable," Ryder said during the Conference. He said significant progress has been achieved and that child labor has been reduced in the last 20 years, but warned that with 152 million children still in child labour, it is time "to do more and to do it better".

 

 

106th International Labour Conference

ILO head calls for the much needed
greening of the world of work

Guy Ryder, Director-General of the ILO, has told delegates at the 106th International Labour Conference to build governance that makes migration safe, orderly, and regular.

The Director-General's opening remarks at the 106th session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva


GENEVA : The Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, has told delegates that nothing will more clearly distinguish the first hundred years of the ILO's history from the second "than the necessary greening of the world of work".

"Today, the Paris Agreement  and the national commitments made under its terms, together with the 2030 Agenda , provide a unique opportunity to translate the tripartite consensus we have constructed into large scale practical ILO work with member States," Ryder said in opening remarks to the 106th Session of the International Labour Conferenc e (ILC).


Introducing his report to the ILC, this year entitled, Work in a changing climate: the Green Initiative , Ryder said it "highlights the potential for greening of production to be a powerful engine for decent work creation and strong and balanced growth and development."


"We need the right policies to make transition happen and to make it just," he noted. "And like any process of change at work that will require the combined efforts of governments and of employers and workers through social dialogue."

The Director-General also highlighted that the governance of labour migration is both a constitutional responsibility of the ILO and at the top of the international policy agenda, with the adoption of a Global Compact before the UN General Assembly next year. A special Conference committee will discuss labour migration and the challenge of governance this year, and its conclusions are expected to feed in to discussions at the UN.

"But everybody is needed to build governance that makes migration safe, orderly, and regular, and our opportunity for that starts here at this Conference," he said.

Ryder introduced Dr. Tabaré Vázquez, President of Uruguay, as the representative of a country that "has come out victorious in recent years in its fight for democracy, and has today strong and consolidated institutions and a political culture of dialogue."

Speaking at the opening of the Conference, the Uruguayan President called on delegates not to wait for the future but to build "a world of work that serves the interests of everyone." According to the guest of honour, social dialogue between governments, trade unions and employers' organizations are "key to the social contract and democracy" and indispensable for sustainable progress.

The President reminded delegates that Uruguay was among the first members of the ILO in 1919 and reaffirmed his country's adhesion to the ILO's founding principles and its centenary initiatives.

During the Conference, committees of workers, employers and government representatives will be considering how best to promote peace and stability through a possible revision of the Employment (Transition from War to Peace) Recommendation, 1944 (No.71) . The promotion of Decent Work opportunities is key in countries emerging from crisis, conflict and disaster.

Other committees will discuss fundamental principles and rights at work as a follow up to the ILO's Social Justice Declaration . The Conference Committee on the Application of Standards will address the situation of labour rights in countries around the globe and focus particularly on occupational safety and health (OSH) this year - based on a general survey concerning the promotional framework on OSH, construction, mines and agriculture.


On 15 June, a high-level World of Work Summit will discuss the situation of women in the labour market – with the participation of the Presidents of Malta, Mauritius and Nepal.


The first day of the Conference also saw Luis Ernesto Carles, Minister of Labour of Panama, elected President of the Conference over its duration from 5-16 June.
The Conference elected as Vice-Presidents, Saja S. Majali (Governments) from Jordan, José Maria Lacasa Aso (Employers) from Spain and Marie Clarke Walker (Workers) from Canada.


The International Labour Conference (ILC) sets the broad policies of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and meets once a year in Geneva, Switzerland. The annual "world parliament of labour" brings together more than 5,000 government, worker and employer delegates from the ILO's 187 member States.

Safety and health at work
A group of 250 freelance women builders from La Paz and El Alto have improved their working conditions and are able to spend more time with their families by working directly with employers.
LA PAZ, Bolivia : Lidia Romero, 43, is an indigenous Bolivian woman who has been working in the construction sector for three years. At the beginning, she was employed through informal contractors. This experience marked her in a negative way.


"They made me work for free, without pay. At that time, I decided to consider my job as a practice. But if I had known my rights at work then, I would have been able to complain, but this was not the case. That's why I decided to work on my own account," she said.

"They made me work for free, without pay. But if I had known my rights at work then, I would have been able to complain."


Lidia Romero

Every morning Lidia gets up very early, leaves her daughter at school and meets with other women builders to offer their services and get contracts for the day or the whole week. They stick posters up around the city and use megaphones at public events to attract more customers.

The women builders offer various services, including painting, masonry, plumbing, electrical installations, facade cladding and sometimes even carpentry. Once they are offered a contract, they quote a price for the work and if the person agrees the work is done.

Lidia said that because of her bad experiences with informal contractors, she never starts a new job without first signing a contract that provides the most relevant details for the provision of her services. In addition, the contract allows the employer to feel more comfortable and confident that she and her colleagues will carry out the work in full as agreed.

"This way of working has enabled me and my colleagues to have flexibility in our working time in order to fulfil other personal obligations, such as household chores or to take care of our children, something that was not possible when we were working for informal contractors," she said.

Occupational safety and health

Safety and health at work is also a very important issue for women working in the construction sector. Lidia said that the training material and talks related to this issue have been essential for them.

"Many women in this area are single mothers. Their children depend only on them, so it is essential to ensure optimal working conditions to perform our duties without any risks," she added.

During the last few years, Lidia gained experience at work and is now an active member of the Association of Women Construction Workers (ASOMUC), a municipal alliance. She, along with this Association and representatives of trade unions in the industry, have received training in technical areas and occupational safety and health.

The training activities were organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the NGO Habitat Network and the municipal governments of the cities of La Paz and El Alto, through the projects "Building Equality", supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and "Women in Construction Towards Their Political and Economic Empowerment", funded by the Gender Equality Fund of UN Women .

Some 250 women working in the construction industry have benefited from these projects. Most of them are indigenous women who had very little access to formal education or vocational training.

"The training activities have helped us learn new things. On the technical side, for example, we have been trained in painting, including how to paint, what colours combine better, and so on. This helps us to prepare better and have more opportunities to find work in this sector," said Lidia.

For her, receiving ILO support in the field of occupational safety and health was very important for the performance of her daily activities.

"We have been taught what kind of tools we can ask for in a construction job, not only do you have to go with your own toolbox, but if I am going up high I have to ask for a harness, and when exposed to oil paint, I need something to cover my mouth and nose."

Lidia also participated in an ILO training on labour rights and international labour standards for women builders in 2016. "It's not just about learning how to do things, but about knowing your rights so they do not take advantage of you."

Future action

Currently, Lidia Romero is registered in the first labour market of women builders in the sector created by the ILO and by the employers' association of the construction sector in Bolivia . The goal is to increase the visibility of women builders and facilitate their access to job opportunities.

Rodrigo Mogrovejo, the ILO's National Coordinator in Bolivia, stressed the importance of connecting the training centre with the employer's organization for the sector, so that the women, who have been trained, can get decent jobs in companies that require their services.

"[Construction workers] represent a growing workforce that is bringing more and more women to the construction sector in Bolivia."

Rodrigo Mogrovejo, ILO's National Coordinator in Bolivia

Construction workers in Bolivia make up 8.8 per cent of the country's total workforce (471,000 workers). Despite the fact that women only account for 4.5 per cent of the total, more are joining the industry.

In La Paz, participation in the construction sector has increased from 5.2 per cent to 6.4 per cent of the total workforce in recent years. The number of women rose from 0.49 per cent to 1.5 per cent, and men from 9.3 per cent to 10.9 per cent.

In the neighbouring city of El Alto, the share rose from 8.2 per cent to 9.1 per cent of the total workforce. The number of women grew from 0.6 per cent to 1.7 per cent, and men from 13.4 per cent to 15.4 per cent.

Many of the women are single mothers with few resources. They struggle day by day to stand out in jobs mostly occupied by men, and for better working conditions when they are hired.

"This is one of the main reasons why this population was chosen. They represent a growing workforce that is bringing more and more women to the construction sector in Bolivia," Mogrovejo said.


Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the IMF

"Weak outlook for jobs at heart of
uncertain global economic prospects


Despite a mild pick-up compared to last year, global economic growth in 2017 and 2018 is insufficient to start reducing global unemployment, says ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in a statement to the International Monetary and Financial Committee.

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Despite a mild pick-up compared to 2016, global economic growth in 2017 and 2018 is insufficient to start reducing global unemployment, which the ILO expects to reach over 200 million this year.


Mild pickup in growth insufficient to revive employment growth

Despite a mild pick-up compared to 2016, global economic growth is expected to remain below long term trends in 2017 and 2018. Against this background the ILO is projecting that global unemployment will increase by 3.4 million in 2017 to reach a level in excess of 201 million. The increase in global unemployment is concentrated in emerging economies and reflects the continuing effects of deep recessions in 2015 and 2016 in several countries. Developments in Latin America and the Caribbean are of particular concern as the unemployment rate is expected to rise by 0.3 percentage points, to reach 8.4 per cent in 2017.

Unemployment is expected to decline in advanced economies. A slow downward trend in much of Europe masks, however, a rise in long term unemployment. In the EU-28 the number of unemployed who have been searching for a job for 12 months or longer has risen sharply over the last four years to reach 47.8 per cent of total unemployment in mid-2016.

The prolonged period of slow growth since the global financial crisis is damaging productivity. Demand-side as well as supply-side policies are needed to rekindle the positive relationship between productivity and real wage growth through increased investment, innovation, sustainable enterprise creation and decent work.


Slow growth in decent work brakes poverty reduction in developing countries

Most workers in developing countries are not covered by social protection systems. When labour markets slacken these workers need to join or remain in the informal economy to try to earn some income. Vulnerable employment, which measures the share of own-account workers plus contributing family workers in total employment, is a widely available measure of the scale of such informal work. Between 2000 and 2010 significant progress was made in reducing the proportion of workers in vulnerable employment, contributing to the parallel reduction in the incidence of extreme poverty. This was a period of robust growth and rising incomes in most developing countries. More recently this progress has slowed significantly or stalled altogether. The rate of vulnerable employment is expected to decline by less than 0.2 percentage points a year in 2017 and 2018, leaving some 1.4 billion people world-wide in chronically poor quality jobs.

Globally, 760 million women and men are working but not able to lift themselves and their families above the $3.10 a day poverty threshold. South Asia and Africa, where the age profile is still young, account for three quarters of working poverty. In absolute numbers working poverty is increasing in these two regions although as a share of the working population it is slowly falling to just under half in South Asia and around 60 per cent in Africa. The absence of enough decent work opportunities is dangerously destabilizing for economic, social, environmental and political development and jeopardizes realization of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals .

Lack of decent employment prospects for youth rings a global alarm

Youth unemployment is a major concern in all regions because of the immediate and longer term social and political costs. Both the absolute level and the rate of global youth unemployment increased marginally in 2016. The ILO projects a further increase in youth unemployment to more than 70 million in 2017, or one in eight of the global youth workforce. Much of the increase is concentrated in Latin America, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, ILO School to Work Transition Surveys show that in low income developing countries three quarters of young people are only finding work in the informal economy.

Looking at longer term trends, between 1996 and 2016 the global youth labour force participation rate declined by 10 percentage points. In many countries after the global economic crisis, young people became discouraged by the lack of decent job opportunities and gave up searching for a job. A longer running and more positive development is that young people are remaining longer in education. But this has implications for the ability of societies to support both the young and the old who are not working or making a significant contribution to output and the tax base. Urgent priorities are therefore to create decent jobs for both the youth who are officially unemployed plus those who have stopped searching for work as well as ensuring a high quality of education and training.

Wage growth remains subdued for all but the very highly paid

In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008–09, global real wage growth started to recover in 2010, but has decelerated since 2012, falling from 2.5 per cent to 1.7 per cent in 2015, its lowest level in four years. If China, where wage growth was faster than elsewhere, is not included, real wage growth has fallen to 0.9 per cent in 2015.3 In 2016, real wages declined in a number of large emerging economies and commodity exporters such as Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Australia. In some countries, significant cuts in real wages led to marked deteriorations in living standards.

Among developed G20 countries, real wage growth rose from 0.2 per cent in 2012 to 1.7 per cent in 2015, the highest rate of the last ten years, mainly driven by increases in the USA and Germany. In 2016 a number of other advanced G20 economies, including the United Kingdom, France and Italy joined this trend and recorded modest increases in average real wages.

Average wages do not tell the story of how wages are distributed among different groups of wage earners. During recent decades wage inequality has increased in many countries around the world and is frequently correlated with greater household income inequality and declining labour shares. In many countries, average wages are pulled up by significant increases at the very top of the wage distribution often in the form of bonuses and benefits.

The ILO has tracked the trend in average wages and productivity in a sample of 36 advanced economies since the late 1990s. Over this period labour productivity growth exceeded average real wage growth by roughly 10 percentage points. This gap between real wage growth and productivity growth has resulted in declining labour income shares. Similar long term trends are evident in the majority of emerging and developing countries where data is available. Recent ILO research suggests a correlation between declining labour income shares, rising income inequality and slow growth.

At the macroeconomic level, sustainable wage growth is central to maximizing aggregate demand. Weak wage growth for the bulk of workforce represents a drag on household consumption and domestic demand – a prospect that is particularly relevant in the current global economic context characterized by subpar and fragile growth. In most countries the post-tax and benefit income distribution is less unequal that the "market" distribution, however it too has widened in many countries as redistributive policies have failed to counteract increased wage inequality and higher incomes to capital. Excessive inequality tends to contribute to lower economic growth and less social cohesion.4 As the April 2016 IMF World Economic Outlook pointed out, in some countries the nature of political discussions has shifted as a result of "growing income inequality as well as structural shifts, some connected with globalization, that are seen as having favoured economic elites while leaving others behind."

The ILO welcomes the analysis in the April 2017 World Economic Outlook of how the intertwined forces of technology and trade have tended to lower labour's share of national income in many countries. Its policy conclusions focus on active labour market policies, greater tax progressivity, more effective investment in education, and changes to housing and credit markets that facilitate worker mobility. These are important, but policies that act directly on wages are also needed. These include minimum wages and the promotion of collective bargaining, which IMF as well as ILO research has shown to reduce wage inequality and enable a closer alignment of wage and productivity development.

Gender inequality at work

Inequality between women and men persists in global labour markets, in respect of opportunities, treatment and outcomes. Over the last two decades, women's significant progress in educational achievements has not translated into a comparable improvement in their position at work. In many regions in the world women are more likely to become and remain unemployed, have fewer chances to participate in the labour force and – when they do – often have to accept lower quality jobs. Progress in surmounting these obstacles has been slow and is limited to a few regions across the world. The unequal distribution of unpaid care and household work between women and men and weaknesses in social care are important determinants of gender inequalities at work.

Gender inequality at work reduces the productive potential of economies and is a macro-critical issue. "Economic growth and stability are necessary to broaden women's employment opportunities, but at the same time, their participation in the labour market is an important driver of growth and stability. In rapidly aging economies in particular, higher female labour force participation can mitigate the negative impact of a shrinking workforce on potential growth.

In 2015, the global gender gap in the employment rate amounted to 25.5 percentage points in women's disfavour, only 0.6 percentage points less than in 1995. Furthermore, women are over-represented in low paid sectors and the informal economy. Among wage and salaried workers, substantial gender wage gaps are narrowing slowly. Among 37 countries and territories with data for two periods between 1999 and 2013, the gender wage gap has declined from 21.7 to 19.8 per cent. Without targeted action, at the current rate of decline, pay equity between women and men will not be achieved before 2086.

A job that prevents workers from balancing their work commitments with the need to care for their family members is not a decent job. A 2016 global survey as part of the ILO's Women at Work Centenary Initiative of perceptions about women and work found that 70 per cent of women and 66 per cent of men would prefer that women work at paid jobs. This view notably includes a majority of women who are not currently in the workforce and holds true in almost all regions worldwide, including several regions where women's labour force participation is traditionally low, such as the Arab States. People in the vast majority of countries mention "balance between work and family" as one of the top challenges facing women who work at paid jobs.9

Affordable and accessible child and elder care is essential for working women and men with family responsibilities and makes an important contribution to the performance of the economy.

Discontent with globalization rooted in shortfall in decent work and increased inequality

People's perceptions of the fairness of globalization are closely connected to the realities of job prospects. The weakness of global labour markets and their failure to recover fully from the financial crisis has led to a widespread frustration with the seeming inability of "globalization" to offer a realistic chance of decent work for all.

Recent research on the impact of imports from China and Mexico on jobs in the USA shows that in localities where a major industrial employer has become exposed to increased imports, employment and wages fell both in the affected industry and the local economy.10 When the economy is growing most job leavers find a new job quickly but in periods of slow growth it takes longer. Strong investments in employment and social policies that help workers through periods of unemployment and facilitate their adjustment are necessary to counteract the significant losses that some workers may otherwise sustain in a globalized economy.

Regardless of whether widening income inequality results from globalisation or technological change the most economically efficient and rapid way to counteract the recent widespread rejection of open economies and societies is by strengthening labour market institutions. This includes stronger efforts to promote freedom of association, collective bargaining, minimum wages and social protection floors. Upgrading education and skills also has an important role to play, but these policies will only have an impact on income distribution in the long term.

Employment and social policies: key macroeconomic measures for inclusive growth

Enhanced employment and social policy packages can make growth and development more inclusive and stronger. They are key macroeconomic tools alongside fiscal and monetary policies especially at a time when cyclical and structural constraints are inhibiting a full recovery from the lingering effects of the global financial crisis. Countries will need different policy mixes but a common agenda for national policy dialogues among governments, workers and employers includes:

Infrastructure investment, in water and sanitation, transport, energy, ICT connectivity and housing

Quality education and training

Improved job search and matching services

Support for the development of sustainable Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Integrated policies to facilitate transition by informal workers and enterprises to formality

Strengthened social protection systems
Improved access to health care

Promotion of green jobs as part of efforts to reduce climate change
Well-balanced labour laws which encourage stable employment relationships
Counteracting gender and other forms of discrimination at work


Affordable and accessible child and elder care

Minimum wage setting systems and collective bargaining between strong and representative unions and employers

Respect for fundamental principles and rights at work.

Opportunity to shape faster and more inclusive growth and development must not be missed

Managing Director Lagarde has described a cyclical recovery that holds the increased promise of more jobs, higher incomes, and greater prosperity but she has also warned of the risks of a weak productivity trend that continues to be a severe drag on strong and inclusive growth.

Grasping the opportunity to shape a global path to faster and more inclusive growth and development must not be missed.

The ILO's Future of Work Centenary Initiative is giving in-depth examination to the several drivers of change in the world of work and how to meet the global challenge of ensuring decent work for all women and men. A much stronger focus, nationally and internationally, on employment and social policies that address directly widespread concern about prospects for decent jobs and living standards is essential.

Our impact, their voices

Women entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe
strive for a brighter future


Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

 

A new generation of female African entrepreneurs is beginning to spring up across the continent. In Zimbabwe, an ILO project is improving living conditions of women and their families in rural areas by promoting entrepreneurship.

HARARE : The future is indeed looking brighter for Mary Tarudana from the Nyanga district in the Eastern province of Manicaland.

From being seen as an object of pity in her community, she has become a successful entrepreneur, admired by everyone. She has bought small livestock, can now pay her children's school fees without borrowing, and electricity has been installed in her home.

Mary Tarudana is one of the beneficiaries of the Joint UN Programme for Gender Equality (JPGE) . She was helped by the ILO sponsored part of the JPGE, which is funded by the Government of Sweden .

When the project began in 2014, Tarudana, who comes from a very poor family, was selected as a beneficiary. While her family managed to eke out a living from subsistence farming, she was unable to offer her children and husband the life she believed they deserved. Her family had fallen behind in paying school fees and also owed money to members of their community.

Part of Mary Tarudana's onion harvest

Together with 60 other women, Tarudana took part in a two-week training course in horticulture production (potatoes, beans and onions). She learned about the soil types, the main crop diseases, harvesting and post-harvest storage and how to use the appropriate fertiliser. There was also a gender equality component to help women feel more respected within their communities.

Tarudana started to grow onions and when she harvested her first produce, she was able to pay off these debts. A new life in which she would have enough money to support her family had become possible.

After the first harvest, Tarudana invested back into the project and bought a larger quantity of onion seeds to increase her yield. From that second crop, she harvested over 4 000 kgs of onions, with a market price of $5 for a 22kg pack. She made a profit of $1,100, which she mostly used to meet her family's needs.

This new income allowed her to benefit from a rural electrification project and have electricity at home.

"Now I know that when I leave the project site, which is my workplace, I do not need to worry about having to search for firewood. I will be able to just come into my house and turn on a switch," she said proudly.

"290 people already directly benefited from the JPGE project, while 2,400 people were also positively impacted"

Another positive outcome was for her daughter. "She no longer needs to go and collect firewood in isolated wooded areas alone, which is better for her safety. Also, the time that she saves can now be used for her school work," she added.

In addition, all her children can now read their school books without straining their eyes by using candles.

Tarudana also highlighted how having electricity at home helped reduce negative influences on her children.

From subsistence farming to entrepreneurship

'Previously, I knew that my children would sometimes pass by the shops and peek into bars, which have televisions. One of my biggest fears was that they would be comfortable in those surroundings and then become vulnerable to abuse. Now, I am planning to buy a television for my family to reduce exposure for them."

Participation in the JPGE project has provided

Tarudana with opportunities she would never had dreamt of. The family no longer relies on subsistence crops and money earned through casual labour in the neighbourhood.

"A total of 290 people already directly benefited from the JPGE project, while 2,400 people were also positively impacted in the five districts of Gutu, Chivi, Murewa, Mutoko and Nyanga," said Hopolang Phororo, the ILO Director for Zimbabwe and Namibia."

The ILO is implementing the third pillar of the project which focuses on women's economic empowerment and providing better working and living conditions for communities. This is a key component to promote the wider goal of improving women's empowerment and gender equality in Zimbabwe," she concluded.

Young entrepreneurs in Tanzania:
Where are they now?

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

The ILO Kazi Nje Nje BDS apprenticeship programme for young people created 51,489 new businesses and 28,834 jobs in sectors including retail, services, manufacturing and agriculture.

image  

PEMBA, Tanzania : Twenty-four-year-old tailor, Nuru Nassor, struggled to make both ends meet. She was one of many underemployed young Tanzanians who wanted to work more hours.

"I used to do some occasional knitting and tailoring before festivals and celebrations. I earned between TZS 30,000 – 50,000 per month, but the income was irregular," said the mother of three from Chakechake district in Pemba.

Working poverty and underemployment are key challenges facing the Tanzanian economy. Three out of four workers are classified as working poor. The country also has a rapidly growing population, with more than two-thirds under the age of 25. And a quarter of all 15 to 34 year-olds are underemployed.

After hearing about an ILO-led Kazi Nje Nje Business Development Services (BDS) apprenticeship programme aimed at enabling young people to start and expand viable businesses, Nassor decided to take part. The programme also encouraged recent graduates from universities and colleges to reach out to young people with positive messages about entrepreneurship as well as business development support.

Nassor started a business following her nine-month training and mentorship, which included elements of the ILO's global Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) programme. Then she invited other young women to learn tailoring.
"That was four years ago, and now six women between 20 and 22 have joined me. I'm happy with the way things have gone because my income has increased to TZS 80,000-100,000 per month," she said.

"Starting a business has made me feel successful because I help to train others who will soon create their own businesses and best of all, now I am able to contribute more to feeding and clothing my children," Nassor added.

Kazi Nje Nje, which literally means "Jobs out there ready to grab", was part of a five-year ILO Youth

Entrepreneurship Facility (YEF) that ended in 2015. YEF was launched as a regional Africa Commission project in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Its main purpose was to foster entrepreneurship, create decent jobs and provide greater opportunities for young men and women through education, skills development and access to financing. Mass media based social marketing campaigns and business plan competitions were used to identify budding entrepreneurs with innovative ideas.

The Kazi Nje Nje programme led to the creation of 51,489 businesses translating into 28,834 jobs in industries such as retail, services, manufacturing, agriculture and agro-processing. Partnerships with community banks and other micro finance institutions were developed, which resulted in enhanced access to finance for young entrepreneurs.

"Young people in Tanzania work hard as they cannot afford to be idle. Yet their work often remains at a subsistence level," said Mary Kawar, Director of the ILO Country Office for Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. "Our role as the ILO alongside the Government and social partners through this programme was to support them in becoming productive workers who earn a decent wage and can consequently become actors in their communities."

Mary Kawar, Director of the ILO Country Office for Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi :
"Our role as the ILO ... through this programme was to support them [young people] in becoming productive workers who earn a decent wage."
 
 

Like Nassor, former drug addict Saleh Awadhi is a graduate of the training. Now in his late thirties, Awadhi's ambition is to become an international fashion designer. He has taken part in several fashion shows, including Zanzibar Fashion Week.

"I sell my products at reasonable prices and hence make a good profit. I am happy that I can now take care of my son," he said.

Further investment in youth employment initiatives

"The Kazi Nje Nje programme raised awareness among young people that jobs are available, and can be created by themselves," said the ILO's Employment Specialist based in Dar es Salaam, Jealous Chirove. "A trainers' study of the programme showed that about 50 per cent of the young people trained started a new business within 12 months of training, and each of those businesses created on average 2.4 jobs per enterprise."

Jealous Chirove, ILO's Employment Specialist :
"About 50 per cent of the young people trained started a new business within 12 months of training."
 

Yet obstacles remain for young Tanzanians in accessing decent work, including the "relatively weak coordination" between different youth employment programmes.

"The country also needs more robust and multi-faceted public investment in public youth employment programmes, government youth funds and schemes to help young people compete in the labour market, complimented by strong private sector support schemes on access to finance and business support," Chirove added.

Building on the success of Kazi Nje Nje, the ILO is partnering with the SIYB Association of East Africa to provide training materials and promote BDS skills to young Tanzanian entrepreneurs. It also has a leadership role in coordinating youth employment related projects with the UN, including the UN joint programme on Youth Employment. Other projects include an apprenticeship programme in the tourism industry and an initiative aimed at recognizing skills obtained by youth in the informal sector.

In addition, the ILO is supporting revisions of the National Employment Policy (2008) and the National SME Policy (2003) aimed at further increasing job opportunities for young people.

ILO says social dialogue key to
shaping the future of work we want


ILO Director-General calls on global leaders to shape a future of
work inspired by considerations of humanity, of social justice and peace.


Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Global Dialogue - The Future of Work We want panel discussion
: ILO Geneva

The Global Dialogue: The Future of Work We Want brought together leading economists, academics and representatives of governments and the social partners (employers' and workers' organizations) to discuss the profound changes sweeping the world of work. More than 700 participants attended the event in Geneva with many thousands joining and participating via the internet and social media. Among the participants was Lord Robert Skidelsky, from the University of Warwick in the UK, who acted as the keynote speaker at the event, and who said that international solutions are needed to harmonize the process of adaptation to the future of work: "We can't leave it all to the market. We can't stop innovation but we can manage it," he added.

 
GENEVA : The International Labour Organization (ILO) has concluded a landmark event on the future of work with a strong call on the global community to make social dialogue between governments and the social partners a key instrument for building a world of work that leaves no one behind.

Summing up the two day meeting, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said that “the future of work must be inspired by considerations of humanity, of social justice and peace. If it is not, we are going to a dark place, we are going to a dangerous place.”

“We now need to transform our thinking into results, into concrete outcomes,” he added. “We need to address the concerns of that young person, wondering if there is a future of work for them.”

The Global Dialogue: The Future of Work We Want  brought together leading economists, academics and representatives of governments and the social partners (employers’ and workers’ organizations) to discuss the profound changes sweeping the world of work. More than 700 participants attended the event in Geneva with many thousands joining and participating via the internet and social media.

Among the participants was Lord Robert Skidelsky, from the University of Warwick in the UK, who acted as the keynote speaker at the event, and who said that international solutions are needed to harmonize the process of adaptation to the future of work: “We can’t leave it all to the market. We can’t stop innovation but we can manage it,” he added.

The event also featured a special session on how to shape the future of work for youth, with a particular focus on the transition from school to work, the organization of the world of work and its regulation.

He reminded the audience that the future of work was a global issue that merited a global response, but also one that requires “taking into consideration the diverse circumstances of our 187 member States” and the importance of sharing experiences among them.

The head of the ILO emphasized the need to promote innovation and development, at the same time as maintaining the Organization’s social objectives.

  • "Quality storytelling inspires quality dialogue."

    "A dialogue is very important. It is a form of communication in which question and answer continue till a question is left without an answer. Thus the question is suspended between the two persons involved in this answer and question. It is like a bud with untouched blossoms . . . If the question is left totally untouched by thought, it then has its own answer because the questioner and answerer, as persons, have disappeared. This is a form of dialogue in which investigation reaches a certain point of intensity and depth, which then has a quality that thought can never reach." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • "Dialogue concentrates meaning; conversation dilutes it."

    "We cannot control the way people interpret our ideas or thoughts, but we can control the words and tones we choose to convey them. Peace is built on understanding, and wars are built on misunderstandings. Never underestimate the power of a single word, and never recklessly throw around words. One wrong word, or misinterpreted word, can change the meaning of an entire sentence and start a war. And one right word, or one kind word, can grant you the heavens and open doors." - Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

  • "[A]lways get to the dialogue as soon as possible. I always feel the thing to go for is speed. Nothing puts the reader off more than a big slab of prose at the start." (Interview, The Paris Review, Issue 64, Winter 1975)" ? P.G. Wodehouse

    "Argumentation is a human enterprise that is embedded in a larger social and psychological context. This context includes (1) the total psyches of the two persons engaged in dialogue, (2) the relationship between the two persons, (3) the immediate situation in which they find themselves and (4) the larger social, cultural and historical situation surrounding them." ? Peter Kreeft, Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics

  • "One says the things which one feels the need to say, and which the other will not understand: one speaks for oneself alone." ? Marcel Proust

    "It's extraordinary, the amount of misunderstandings there are even between two people who discuss a thing quite often - both of them assuming different things and neither of them discovering the discrepancy." ? Agatha Christie, Towards Zero

The Global Dialogue was part of a broader ILO Centenary Initiative to investigate the future of work and better understand the drivers of unprecedented change, including technological innovation, the organization of work and production, globalization, climate change, migration and demography, among others.

The initiative is seeking to broadly canvas the views of key actors in the world of work on all of these issues.

More than 167 countries have taken part in the ILO initiative so far, with 107 of them participating in national and regional dialogues that have been or are being held all around the world. Their conclusions will help inform a High Level Global Commission on the Future of Work, to be established by the ILO later this year. The report of the Commission will feed into discussions on a Centenary Declaration at the 2019 International Labour Conference.

 

When soft skills land hard returns

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau  

An International Labour Organization programme benefits both businesses and workers through training that improves productivity and working conditions in Viet Nam.

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Ms Pham Thi Phuong : "It was always a bit discouraging when I arrived at work in the morning," Phuong said. "Searching for personal tools in a big messy container, looking at piles of materials everywhere in the workshop, tripping over stuff left scattered on the floor, and breathing dusty air, made us feel so tired from the start."
VIETNAM : Pham Thi Phuong works overtime one day per week. The rest of the week she leaves her work – in a furniture manufacturing company in Vietnam’s southern industrial hub of Dong Nai – at around 4 pm, giving her and her husband time to take care of their three children. “This was an impossible dream back then,” said Phuong, 35, recalling the days when she joined Lam Viet JSC in 2011. Phuong and her husband, also an employee at the factory, used to work long hours, usually until 9 or 10 pm every single day, to make ends meet. As a result, they had no choice but to leave their three children – a son and twin daughters – with their grandparents faraway in the countryside in northern Viet Nam.

But those days are gone since the factory enrolled in the ILO’s Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE)  programme. Funded by the governments of Norway and Switzerland, the programme enables small and medium-sized enterprises to improve their productivity and working conditions through practical training and in-factory counselling.

Lam Viet started the SCORE Training in 2012, a decade after it was founded, when the factory was still a medium-sized company.

An “enterprise improvement team” was established, including line workers and managerial staff, women and men. They attended SCORE trainings on workplace cooperation, quality control and human resource management, then retrained all employees on a weekly basis.

With the support of SCORE trainers during site counselling visits, the improvement team identified a series of action points to address some of the problems in the factory. Working conditions were among the issues raised. 

With the support of SCORE trainers during site counselling visits, the improvement team identified a series of action points to address some of the problems in the factory. Working conditions were among the issues raised.

“It was always a bit discouraging when I arrived at work in the morning,” Phuong said. “Searching for personal tools in a big messy container, looking at piles of materials everywhere in the workshop, tripping over stuff left scattered on the floor, and breathing dusty air, made us feel so tired from the start.”

By encouraging initiatives from the workers, assessing solutions and taking action, Lam Viet created a business innovation culture that is still being maintained, even though it is now a large enterprise employing 1,100 workers.

These initiatives helped drawn positive results for the business: Productivity has gone up by 40 per cent, production costs have been cut by 10 per cent, and staff overtime has decreased by 40 per cent, notwithstanding significant improvements in worker-manager relationships.

“Thanks to SCORE, our management board has realized that the close connection between employer and workers is crucial, as it guarantees the success of the business."

“Thanks to SCORE, our management board has realized that the close connection between employer and workers, in terms of benefits and responsibilities, is crucial, as it guarantees the success of the business,” said Nguyen Thanh Lam, Lam Viet’s Vice Director.

The workers have benefited equally from improved conditions at the factory, with both dust and noise indices having been reduced by 80 per cent.

“Our working space is now much clearer with more lighting and air ventilation. Occupational accidents have been considerably reduced simply because everything is now well organized,” said Phuong. She only needs a few seconds now to find her personal equipment in the morning compared to 5 minutes in the past.

“Imagine how much time we could save when every stage is cut short like this,” she said.

As a result, Phuong spends less than two thirds of the amount of time she used to in the workplace but earns an even better salary.

“This is the core value of the programme,” said Chang-Hee Lee, ILO Vietnam Director. SCORE Training equips the most important asset of any business – human resources, including both managers and workers – with soft skills that enable them to identify and solve problems together.

“It is a small investment, but brings huge returns for employers and employees alike,” said Lee.


Phuong now no longer feels discouraged when leaving home for the factory every morning. Instead, she looks forward to the new working day.

As she celebrated her 6th year anniversary working at Lam Viet factory in March 2017, she could not help smiling, as both her work and family life have improved dramatically, thanks to workplace innovations.

“I couldn’t be happier with my work-life balance and getting a fair income,” she said. “My dream has come true. I now have my job and my children by my side.”

 

Indigenous and tribal peoples

Revised ILO MNE Declaration will
help promote indigenous peoples' rights

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

Positive engagement by businesses with indigenous and tribal peoples in line with the MNE Declaration could lead to stronger relationships, less conflict and new opportunities in ensuring inclusive and sustainable development for all.

By Martin Oelz, ILO Senior Specialist on Equality and Non-Discrimination

For the first time, the ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169) was included in the revised Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration) adopted by the ILO Governing Body in March 2017 . Its inclusion highlights the relevance of the MNE Declaration for governments, social partners, multinational and national enterprises in addressing indigenous peoples' issues in their policies, strategies and practices. Indigenous and tribal peoples constitute about 5 per cent of the world's population, or nearly 370 million people spread across over 70 countries.

Indigenous and tribal peoples – accounting for almost 15 per cent of the world's poor – are uniquely vulnerable to discrimination and exclusion. They face specific difficulties in accessing quality education, decent work opportunities, support for income generating activities, and social protection. They are also among the most affected by the impacts of climate change and land dispossession.

Convention No. 169 is the only international treaty open for ratification specifically dedicated to indigenous peoples' rights, currently ratified by 22 countries , including 14 in Latin America. It is based on the recognition of the aspirations of indigenous and tribal peoples around the world to exercise control over their own institutions, ways of life and development and to maintain and develop their identities, languages and religions, within the framework of the States in which they live. Emphasizing the principles of equality, consultation, participation and cooperation, the Convention is a framework for participatory democracy, social peace and sustainable development.

The MNE Declaration is the only global instrument adopted in a tripartite manner by governments, employers and workers from around the world that aims to encourage the positive contribution of business to socio-economic development and the global goal of decent work, and to mitigate and resolve possible negative impacts of business activities. The revised MNE Declaration responds to new economic realities and developments since its last update in 2006. It was strengthened through new principles addressing specific decent work priorities such as equality of opportunity and treatment, forced labour, transition from the informal to the formal economy, social security, occupational safety and health and industrial relations. The MNE Declaration's principles build on specific ILO Declarations, standards, guidelines and codes of practice relevant to the Tripartite Declaration, including Convention No. 169.

The MNE Declaration is the only global instrument adopted in a tripartite manner by governments, employers and workers from around the world that aims to encourage the positive contribution of business to socio-economic development and the global goal of decent work, and to mitigate and resolve possible negative impacts of business activities.

The revised MNE Declaration responds to new economic realities and developments since its last update in 2006. It was strengthened through new principles addressing specific decent work priorities such as equality of opportunity and treatment, forced labour, transition from the informal to the formal economy, social security, occupational safety and health and industrial relations. The MNE Declaration's principles build on specific ILO Declarations, standards, guidelines and codes of practice relevant to the Tripartite Declaration, including Convention No. 169.

The revised MNE Declaration provides clear guidance and a framework for companies on how they can contribute through their operations to decent work. It also calls upon multinational enterprises, as part of their corporate responsibility, to respect human rights, to act with due diligence to avoid infringing on the rights of others, and to gauge human rights risks by assessing adverse human rights impacts through their activities or business relationships. It stipulates that this process should involve meaningful consultations with potentially affected groups.

The inclusion of Convention No. 169 in the revised MNE Declaration highlights that companies have a direct interest in acting in accordance with the principles of the Convention, including in the context of their human rights due diligence efforts. Such efforts will help to ensure legitimacy, partnerships and sustainability.

Positive engagement with indigenous peoples in line with the MNE Declaration's employment promotion and equality principles can bring a range of benefits, including stronger relationships with communities resulting in fewer conflicts, stronger government relationships, reputational benefits, employee engagement and the ability to partner with and learn from indigenous people's unique contributions and knowledge.

However, a key challenge continues to be the lack of strong mechanisms for consultations and participation of indigenous and tribal peoples, and the absence of regulatory and public policy environments which are conducive to both economic activities and the rights and interests of indigenous peoples. The inclusion of Convention No. 169 in the MNE Declaration's list of relevant international labour standards provides additional leverage for governments, enterprises, employers' and workers' organizations, and indigenous and tribal peoples to come together to address these issues and to examine the establishment of mechanisms and procedures for consultations as envisaged in the Convention.

It thus provides in countries with indigenous and tribal peoples enhanced opportunities for inclusive growth and local economic development through appropriate laws and policies, responsible company practices and effective dialogue mechanisms.

 

 

DIALOGUE : "The first one. I really resent being called the second."

"A dialogue is very important. It is a form of communication in which question and answer continue till a question is left without an answer. Thus the question is suspended between the two persons involved in this answer and question. It is like a bud with untouched blossoms . . . If the question is left totally untouched by thought, it then has its own answer because the questioner and answerer, as persons, have disappeared. This is a form of dialogue in which investigation reaches a certain point of intensity and depth, which then has a quality that thought can never reach." - Jiddu KrishnamurtiThey speak very well of you".
"They speak very well of everybody." "That so bad?" "Yes. It means you can´t trust them." Iain M. Banks
"Discussion is impossible with someone who claims not to seek the truth, but already to possess it." - Romain Rolland, Above the Battle
"[A]lways get to the dialogue as soon as possible. I always feel the thing to go for is speed. Nothing puts the reader off more than a big slab of prose at the start." (Interview, The Paris Review, Issue 64, Winter 1975)" - P.G. Wodehouse
"We define our identity always in dialogue with, sometimes in struggle against, the things our significant others want to see in us. Even after we outgrow some of these others-our parents, for instance - and they disappear from our lives, the conversation with them continues within us as long as we live." - Charles Taylor, Multiculturalism:
I still believe in man in spite of man. I believe in language even though it has been wounded, deformed, and perverted by the enemies of mankind. And I continue to cling to words because it is up to us to transform them into instruments of comprehension rather than contempt. It is up to us to choose whether we wish to use them to curse or to heal, to wound or to console." - Elie Wiesel, Open Heart
"We cannot control the way people interpret our ideas or thoughts, but we can control the words and tones we choose to convey them. Peace is built on understanding, and wars are built on misunderstandings. Never underestimate the power of a single word, and never recklessly throw around words. One wrong word, or misinterpreted word, can change the meaning of an entire sentence and start a war. And one right word, or one kind word, can grant you the heavens and open doors." - Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
"Argumentation is a human enterprise that is embedded in a larger social and psychological context. This context includes (1) the total psyches of the two persons engaged in dialogue, (2) the relationship between the two persons, (3) the immediate situation in which they find themselves and (4) the larger social, cultural and historical situation surrounding them." - Peter Kreeft, Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics
"Perception can be one-sided or variant: "Glass half empty or half full." There usually is more than one way of perceiving. Thoroughly check your inner dialogue." - T.F. Hodge, From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with "The Divine Presence"
"Overuse at best is needless clutter; at worst, it creates the impression that the characters are overacting, emoting like silent film stars. Still, an adverb can be exactly what a sentence needs. They can add important intonation to dialogue, or subtly convey information." - Howard Mittelmark, How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them—A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide
"Open scatter is more fundamental than coupled sharing; it is the stuff from which, on splendid occasions, dialogue may arise." - John Durham Peters, Speaking into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication

 

 

ILO to convene landmark event on
"The Future of Work We Want" on April 6-7

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

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GENEVA , MARCH 29 : "Discourse and critical thinking are essential tools when it comes to securing progress in a democratic society. But in the end, unity and engaged participation are what make it happen." ? Aberjhani, Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays

As previously announced, the headquarters of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva will host a major event on the future of work on April 6-7.

The Future of Work We Want: A Global Dialogue will bring together leading economists, academics and actors of the world of work to discuss the profound transformations that will shape the future workplace

This event is open to journalists accredited with the UN in Geneva and there is no need for them to register on the Symposium's website. However, because of additional security at the ILO headquarters and to facilitate your access, we strongly recommend that you let the ILO press office know that you are planning to come. Access to the event will be exceptionally given on R2 South, Door 4 (not North as usual). You will receive your badge at this place.

Journalists who are not accredited with the United Nations in Geneva should register here .

All six sessions of the event will be webcast on the ILO's website as well as on its Facebook page . Journalists who watch the event online will have the opportunity to ask the panelists questions via Facebook or Twitter by using the hashtag #ILOFOW .

A press breakfast with ILO Director-General Guy Ryder (specifically on issues related to the future of work) for journalists from all over the world attending the Symposium will be held on Friday, 7 April at 8:00am at the ILO Headquarters. UNOG accredited correspondents are also welcome. However, for reasons already explained above, those who are interested in attending are kindly asked to let us know they plan to come.

ILO revises its landmark Declaration on multinational enterprises of jobs, growth and development

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

The revised Tripartite Declaration of principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration) adds principles to the Declaration addressing decent work issues related to social security, forced labour, transition from the informal to the formal economy, access to remedy and compensation of victims, inter alia. It provides enhanced guidelines for fostering the contribution of multinational enterprises to achieve decent work for all.
 

Scrolling Text with Colour Change
Labour standards  Labour standards 
Labour standards Labour standards  

The revision of the landmark Declaration by the ILO Governing Body responds to new economic realities, including increased international investment and trade, and the growth of global supply chains. 

 

GENEVA : The International Labour Organization has revised its landmark MNE Declaration. Its principles are aimed at multinational and national enterprises, governments, and employers' and workers' organizations in the areas of employment, training, conditions of work and life, and industrial relations as well as general policies. These include the fundamental principles and rights at work but also guidance on many other facets of decent work.


Forty years after the adoption of the original MNE Declaration, multinational enterprises remain key drivers of globalization. Their operations can affect the working and living conditions of people worldwide and they continue to play a vital role in promoting economic and social progress.

The revision of the Declaration by the ILO Governing Body responds to new economic realities, including increased international investment and trade, and the growth of global supply chains. It also takes into account developments since the last update in 2006 within and outside the ILO, including new labour standards adopted by the International Labour Conference, the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights endorsed by the Human Rights Council in 2011, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development .

The revision has enriched the MNE Declaration by adding principles addressing specific decent work issues related to social security, forced labour, transition from the informal to the formal economy, wages, access to remedy and compensation of victims.

It also provides guidance on "due diligence" processes ‒ consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights ‒ in achieving decent work, , sustainable businesses, more inclusive growth and better sharing of the benefits of FDI, particularly relevant for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 8 .


The MNE Declaration recognizes the different roles and responsibilities of government, enterprises and social partners in achieving its aim of inclusive economic growth and decent work. Its principles are therefore addressed not only to enterprises but also to governments.

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General :

"The MNE Declaration provides clear guidance on how enterprises can contribute through their operations worldwide to the realization of decent work."

 

To encourage commitment to the principles of the MNE Declaration by all parties, the Governing Body of the ILO adopted a range of operational tools, including a regional follow-up mechanism, tripartite appointed national focal-points, company-union dialogue, and interpretation procedure of the principles of the MNE Declaration. ILO country-level assistance will also be provided to governments, employers and workers.

"The revised MNE Declaration reflects a robust consensus among governments, employers and workers firmly anchored in today's realities. The MNE Declaration provides clear guidance on how enterprises can contribute through their operations worldwide to the realization of decent work," ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, said. "Its recommendations rooted in international labour standards reflect good practices for all enterprises but also highlight the role of government in stimulating good corporate behaviour as well as the crucial role of social dialogue."

The MNE Declaration is the only global instrument addressing corporate social responsibility and sustainable business practices that was elaborated and adopted in a tripartite manner by governments, employers and workers from around the world.

 

The rural economy: An untapped source
of jobs, growth and development


Decent work in the rural economy will be key to fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’ pledge to leave no one behind.

By Alette van Leur, Director of ILO's Sectoral Policies Department and Mariangels Fortuny, Rural Economy Coordinator, ILO's Sectoral Policies Department


In post-earthquake rural Nepal, the ILO is promoting investment and better infrastructure to increase opportunities for decent jobs so that young people will not be pushed to migrate to the cities and abroad.

Decent work is increasingly recognized as an indispensable driver of sustainable development with the potential to lift households and communities out of poverty. Poverty is predominantly a rural phenomenon as rural areas are home to the majority of the world's poor.

ILO estimates that in developing and emerging countries, over 80 per cent of the poor live in rural areas.

1 In 2012, extreme poverty rates (defined as people living on less than $1.90 in purchasing power parity terms per day) were four times higher in rural areas than in urban areas. A large share of the rural poor still depend on low-productivity subsistence farming for their livelihoods. The poorest rural households lack access to productive assets and often rely on income from wage employment.

2 Of the 300-500 million wage workers in agriculture, many depend on jobs in the plantation sector. Some 59 per cent, or over 98 million child labourers (aged 5 to 17), are in rural areas, mostly in agriculture.

3 Forced labour, too, is prevalent in agriculture.

4 Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and ending extreme poverty everywhere, will thus require increased policy focus on rural development. Placing decent work in the rural economy high on national and international policy agendas is crucial to find sustainable, long-term solutions to the massive challenges affecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

Numerous factors contribute to rural poverty. These comprise informality; weak institutions, including ineffective law enforcement and compliance; the absence of an enabling environment for businesses; underdeveloped production systems; poor infrastructure and limited access to services, including education, finance and health-care.

Challenges facing rural economies are multifaceted and interwoven, and addressing them requires integrated, cross-sectoral, multi-stakeholder and context-specific interventions. Close cooperation and coordination between all government departments is essential to ensuring interventions result in the hoped for impact.  

Challenges facing rural economies are multifaceted and interwoven, and addressing them requires integrated, cross-sectoral, multi-stakeholder and context-specific interventions. Close cooperation and coordination between all government departments is essential to ensuring interventions result in the hoped for impact.

Rural economies remain largely associated with primary agricultural production. Rural development is therefore often considered outside the mandate of ministries of labour. And yet, the productive transformation of both agriculture and the rural non-farm economy cannot be fully effectively without their active involvement. Improving the quality of agricultural jobs – generally among the least protected, poorly remunerated, most hazardous and of low status – is essential to attract rural youth.

Effective solutions are also required to emerging challenges as changing employment relationships arising from outsourcing, including on plantations. Decent jobs facilitate agricultural growth, which can in turn raise rural incomes, promote higher consumption and lead to significant economy-wide multiplier effects.
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Given the rise in global demand for food, the agricultural sector offers untapped employment opportunities. To attract a new generation of farmers like Gurung, however, the sector needs greater modernization, to increase its lucrativeness and dynamism and to raise its status as a source of decent jobs. Investing in education and skills of rural youth is key for triggering productive transformation and promoting economic diversification in rural areas.

There is more to rural economies than just farming. Rural areas are characterized by a great diversity of economic activities, including processing and marketing of agricultural products, tourism, mining and services.

Its Decent Work Agenda offers many instruments, approaches and tools to support governments, employers and workers in their efforts to promote sustainable rural livelihoods. Effort should focus particularly on filling knowledge gaps on rural wage employment, which is poorly understood and inadequately measured as a basis for providing countries adequate policy advice in this area.


Preparing The Future of Work We Want

Deborah Greenfield, ILO's Deputy Director-General for Policy

The ILO's centenary in 2019 will arrive at a time when the world of work is at a crossroads. On the heels of the Great Recession that brought global unemployment levels to 200 million and led to widespread insecurity, labour markets across the world are undergoing deep transformations. These changes oblige us to rethink what work means and what it entails. They are also challenging societies to find ways to ensure that work delivers the jobs and incomes that people need.

For generations, work entailed for many of us – especially in the developed world – much more than a job. It was not only where we went to sustain our livelihoods and those of our families, but also where we created professional and personal communities. We were also rewarded for our efforts with a regular and fair wage, benefits such as retirement income, and some measure of security in case of illness or injury. In exchange for our efforts we were also granted a certain level of security: we knew when the next pay cheque was coming and were afforded some guarantees in case we fell or had an accident. The nature of this contract often led us to work for the same employer over an entire career.

For some workers in the developing and emerging world, especially those with a public sector or manufacturing job, this was also the case. For many others such a decent job was beyond reach but it was an aspiration. Managers, in turn, were rewarded with a stable workforce that they could train.

Today, the world of work is witnessing an erosion of the classical employee-employer relationship. An increasing share of the world's workforce is employed in what the ILO calls "non-standard" forms of employment (NSE). This includes temporary work, part-time and on-call work, multi-party employment relationships such as "dispatch work" or disguised employment and dependent self-employment relationships. The rise of the "gig" or "on-demand" economy in recent years, whereby work is mediated through online web platforms or apps, has brought renewed attention to these forms of work. In addition, the place of work has also changed, with many more workers taking advantage of developments in information technology to work from home or for themselves.

For some, working in NSE is an explicit choice that has positive outcomes. Part-time work, for example, can allow workers to combine paid work with child-rearing, elder care, studies or further training. Yet for many others it is associated with insecurity, not only in terms of employment, earnings and hours, but also in fundamental workplace issues such as the right to a safe and healthy workplace and representation and voice.

Indeed, in some instances NSE has helped improved work-life balance via increased autonomy to organize one's working time – facilitated by new technologies where one is not always obliged to be "at the office". However, this has led to longer hours and increased ambiguity between paid work and personal time that requires people to be constantly available – all of which is associated with higher levels of stress and questions about compensation.

Similarly, non-standard employment allows enterprises to adjust their workforces in response to changes in demand and scheduling needs or to replace temporarily absent workers. Yet an over-reliance on the use of temporary workers can lead to productivity challenges, as enterprises lose the incentive to invest in training of their staff or in organizational and technological innovations.

Looking forward to ILO's centenary, these new forms of work are likely to intensify in the age of digitisation and new technologies. At this important crossroads, government, employers and workers policy approaches must evolve in parallel. This is one reason why on April 6-7, the ILO will bring together leading global experts to discuss "the Future of Work We Want." This landmark event presents an important step to gain greater understanding of the changes we are witnessing and to develop effective policy responses that can shape the future of work.

We recognize policies are needed to ensure that all types of work arrangements constitute decent work, as no contractual form is immune to the ongoing transformations in the world of work. While the years ahead will undoubtedly bring new changes, the dependence on work for one's livelihood and the effect of work on a person's overall well-being will not change. It is thus incumbent on governments, as well as employers, workers and their organizations, through national, regional and international efforts, to focus on these challenges in the context of the future of work, with the goal of promoting decent work for all.

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled."- Plutarch

Eminent business women , empowering females take part in ‘Global Mentoring Walk’in New Delhi

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau
 

NEW DELHI, MARCH  11 : "Help these boys build a nation their own. Ransack the histories for clues to their past. Plunder the literatures for words they can speak. And should you encounter an ancient tribe whose customs, however dimly, cast light on their hearts, tell them that tale; and you shall name the unspeakable names of your kind, and in that naming, in each such telling, they will falter a step to the light.
"—For only with pride may a man prosper. With pride, all things follow. Without he have pride he is a shadowy skulk whose season is night. "
― Jamie O'Neill, At Swim, Two Boys

 

Eminent business women , empowering females, artists, professionals from various walks of life took part in the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) Vital Voices' Global Mentoring Walk in New Delhi on Saturday as part of the International Women's day.  

The annual event, called the Vital Voices Global Mentoring walk, began in 2008 in United States (US)   is  an  opportunity  to  highlight  the  importance  of  women’s leadership, and to accelerate the impact of women leaders through mentoring. Commemorating the occasion of International Women’s Day. This year Empowering females are walking in more than 60 countries & 134 walks across the Globe in different cities , on the same day .

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Some of the empowering women and businesswomen which took part in the Global Mentoring Walk included Rashmi Tiwari, Aahan Foundation; Usha Punia, Former Tourism Minister of Rajasthan State , Prabha Karhana, H.R Partner,Harley Davidson, Arati Mukerji, Director Communication & Brand Image, Michelin India, Mandeep Kaur ,Public, Affairs US Embassy, Shilpa Ajwani, MD of Tupperware, Neha Kirpal, Founding Director of Indian Art Fair , Sreerupa Sil, Editor Business world, Padma Mr Meenakshi Gopinath, educationist; Deepika Chaudhary, Legal Head and on Board of Xerox; Anjali Singh, CEO Genpact, Ms Abha Dalmia, Past President,  Ms Vasvi Bharat ram, President elect, FLOand Preeti Sinha, Sr President, Yes Bank,  Archana Surana, Governing Body Member, FLO & Founder & Director, ARCH  Academy of Design who is the Flag Bearer for the Global Mentoring Walk in India said, “FLO and Vital Voices Global Leadership Network believe that mentoring is a critical activity in empowering women to succeed as leaders and creating opportunities for women on a local scale. It is essential to invest in leaders because they take the responsibility to improve societies and further strengthen laws, create jobs and defend political freedoms. These leaders can play a catalytic to nurture the potential women leaders and handhold them to achieve success. ”
              

 

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