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Our impact, their voices

Bangladesh: Improving safety
in the garment industry

An ILO programme is helping garment factories in Bangladesh improve safety and minimize the risk of another tragedy like the one that claimed more than 1,100 lives in 2013. 

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau

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    Safety

    improve safety and minimize the risk of another tragedy No risk now
 

DHAKA : Anwar Hossain, General Manager of the Towel Tex factory says he had never heard of the labour inspectorate before the April 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza, in the outskirts of Dhaka – one of the worst industrial disasters in recent history.

The tragedy claimed the lives of 1,136 people and injured many more. It also galvanized national and international action to improve safety at garment factories in Bangladesh, which supply many of the world's clothing brands. The eight-story Rana Plaza housed five such factories.

In the aftermath of the disaster, the immediate priority was to assess the structural, electrical and fire safety of more than 3,600 export-oriented garment factories. Of the total, more than 1,500, including Towel Tex, were inspected with support from the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Following the inspection recommendations, the factory made a number of changes including building a wall between the dyeing shed and the boiler room, widened walkways on the factory floor, installing exit lights and developing an evacuation plan.

Anwar Hossain also recognizes the more active role of the labour inspectorate, which ILO has worked closely with since Rana Plaza to build its capacity and effectiveness.

"I had never even heard of the Department of Inspections for Factories and Establishments. But now we have regular surprise inspections, almost one a quarter," says Hossain. And that, he says, helps him improve safety in the factory. "We want to be compliant, but without inspections we could never be sure."

The ILO responded rapidly to the Rana Plaza disaster by working with the Government, employers' and workers' organizations to develop a national plan of action to improve fire and building safety. In order to help implement the plan, the ILO, with support from Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, launched the Improving Working Conditions in the Ready-Made Garment Sector Programme in September 2013.

Never again

The main goal of the programme is to enhance safety in factories so that the country should never again experience a tragedy like the Rana Plaza collapse.

Training in occupational safety and health (OSH) is an important component of the programme. Shahidul Islam, Deputy Compliance Manager for the Masco Group – a major garment producer – says he learned a lot about chemical safety during the training, something critical considering hundreds of different chemicals are used in the production process and stored in the factory warehouses. "After the training I decided to bring in a number of changes. This was much more than simply rearranging a bunch of bottles on a shelf, and required a lot of work. But we managed to pull it off." As one of the master trainers trained by the ILO's programme in collaboration with the Bangladesh Employers Federation, Islam has in turn trained co-workers who have then gone on to train others. "You can talk to any of the workers here. They know about safety and the rules they are supposed to follow," he says.

The government has praised the programme. "By supporting the Government, employers as well as workers organizations, a strong foundation for workplace safety in the RMG (ready-made garments) sector has been established," said State Minister of Labour and Employment Muhammad Mujibul Haque.

Chowdhury Ashiqulalam, Member Secretary of the National Coordination Committee for Workers Education (NCCWE) also acknowledged the importance of the programme. "The Rana Plaza disaster brought home the dangers faced by many workers in the Bangladesh RMG sector. While there has been good progress over the past few years to improve factory safety and workers' awareness of safety issues, much still remains to be done. It is vital that the progress made under this initiative is not allowed to fade away. Good practices and lessons learnt in making RMG workplaces safer need to be replicated in other sectors across the country," he said.

In a review of the first phase of the programme , the ILO listed some of the key achievements:
Building and fire safety were improved. This included the inspection of 1,549 factories for structural, fire and electrical safety, the harmonization of safety standards, and support for follow-up of remedial measures.

The labour inspection system was strengthened. A labour inspection reform roadmap was created, a labour inspection strategy identifying priority areas and industries was developed and 239 inspectors completed a 40-day training programme.
Progress was made in building a culture of safety in the workplace. This included improving the legislative and policy environment and improving the capacity of government, employers' and workers' organizations to manage occupational safety and health (OSH) issues. More than 800,000 workers were trained on essential OSH.

Injured Rana Plaza victims were given support. Almost 300 survivors trained in livelihood skills, more than 3,000 given career counselling, and 66 provided psychosocial counselling.

In addition, the Better Work Bangladesh programme – a collaboration between the ILO and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – works with over 140 factories and more than 300,000 workers as it seeks to improve working conditions and promote competitiveness in the garment industry.

While the first phase of the initiative delivered many key achievements, the process of enhancing workplace safety in the Bangladesh garment sector must continue. For this reason a second phase has been developed to run until 2023 through the ongoing support of Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

"Our common goal is for all garment factories to be safe and to develop the capacity of the Government, employers and workers alike so that international partner support is no longer needed," said ILO Bangladesh Country Director Srinivas Reddy.

Our impact, their voices

Ecuador: In search of a new future after the earthquake

An ILO project has been helping rebuild and strengthen livelihoods in the wake of the massive earthquake that hit Ecuador in April 2016.. 

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau


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Ecquadorearthquake

"The earthquake affected us both materially and emotionally," says Jesus Onate

 

CALCETA, Ecuador : After a massive earthquake hit Ecuador in April 2016, Jesús Oñate and his wife Mónica Monserrate had no idea how they would pick up the pieces. The disaster, which claimed hundreds of lives and many more livelihoods, hit particularly hard in their home town of Calceta, destroying many of their machines and tools.
 

Oñate, 45, is an artist who works with wood – in 2015, just before Pope Francis visited Ecuador, he produced a portrait of the pontiff with four million delicately assembled pieces of wood.
"The earthquake affected us both materially and emotionally," says Jesus.

At first, he had no idea how to restart his art business, but he says the ILO's Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) gave him the encouragement and the knowledge he needed to get back on his feet. "The Programme gave me a series of tools to move forward," he says, adding, with a smile: "it was even good for my soul." He says he learned strategies to better market his work, to maximize his earnings and to manage his money.


At first, he had no idea how to restart his art business, but he says the ILO's Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) gave him the encouragement and the knowledge he needed to get back on his feet. "The Programme gave me a series of tools to move forward," he says, adding, with a smile: "it was even good for my soul." He says he learned strategies to better market his work, to maximize his earnings and to manage his money.

Monseratte, for her part, said that after the earthquake she felt she should do more to support her family, and also registered for a SIYB course. "One of the tools within the programme was to identify what kind of business was needed in the neighborhood, especially after the catastrophe," she says, adding that she eventually came up with the idea of setting up a small grocery store. "We realized that the people in the neighborhood had to go to the town center to shop for their daily needs, so this business could work well."

Thanks to Generate Your Business Idea (GYB) – a component of the SIYB – she was able to open her own store. "The business is going very well – when you provide good service, the clients return," says Monseratte. She plans to get a larger store, with a greater variety of products in 2018.

Since the earthquake, the ILO has been working with the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Industry and Productivity of Ecuador, to help achieve an inclusive and sustainable recovery in affected areas, says John Bliek, an ILO Specialist in Businesses, Cooperatives and Rural Development.

Using the SIYB methodology – which has been implemented in more than 100 countries – the project promotes entrepreneurship and seeks to increase the viability of micro, small and medium enterprises with management principles appropriate to the context of developing countries. It also includes a training package designed to help local stakeholders initiate and implement economic development strategies in a given territory.

"In this project of economic recovery, we also worked on strengthening the labour demand system, identifying specific needs for occupations, as well as the analysis of value chains to support tourism development in the areas affected by the earthquake," says Bliek.

The Ecuador project has directly helped more than 1,000 men and women in Ecuador create and develop business ideas, and is expected to have a much wider impact in the region by promoting economic recovery in the productive sector.


"Never say no to coffee"
― M. Cesar

Our impact, their voices

Colombian coffee producers demonstrate benefits of sustainability standards

A new ILO report highlights how voluntary sustainability standards can have a positive impact on working conditions, including occupational safety and health (OSH). 

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau


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Colombian coffee producers

Producers who participate in voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) tend to adopt good practices to a greater extent than conventional producers, according to the report

GENEVA : Consumer preferences for coffee produced in socially, economically and environmentally sustainable conditions has helped promote occupational safety and health (OSH) measures in Colombia's coffee sector, the ILO said in a report, adding that this could be replicated in other global value chain.

Producers who participate in voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) tend to adopt good practices to a greater extent than conventional producers, according to the report: Food and agriculture global value chains: Drivers and constraints for occupational safety and health improvement Volume One and Volume Two . This includes the adoption of OSH practices.

The programmes are a powerful market force which help transmit awareness from the consumer to the industry and the producers themselves regarding the need to invest in improving conditions of work.

Producers who participate in voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) tend to adopt good practices to a greater extent than conventional producers, according to the report: Food and agriculture global value chains: Drivers and constraints for occupational safety and health improvement Volume One and Volume Two . This includes the adoption of OSH practices.

The programmes are a powerful market force which help transmit awareness from the consumer to the industry and the producers themselves regarding the need to invest in improving conditions of work.

The report also notes a significant increase in the number of Colombian coffee growers participating in VSS programmes – such as UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance and Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality – which enable them to sell coffee at a premium.
Columbia is one of the leaders in production of coffee under sustainable standards, with an 18 per cent share of the segment of verified or certified volumes.

The report says the experience of the coffee sector in Colombia has reached a point where it could serve the development of other supply chains in the country at a time when the peace agreement between the Government and the FARC guerrilla provides a unique opportunity to improve conditions of work in the rural environment and combine it with a strategy for commercial competitiveness.

At the same time, Colombia's experience could also benefit coffee supply chains in other producer countries, the report says, adding that international buyers consulted had a positive perception of the implementation of OSH in Colombia in comparison with other countries.

In addition to coffee in Colombia, the report also includes a case study of the palm oil value chain from Indonesia, and the lychee value chain from Madagascar.

The report is part of an ILO-EU project to improve the knowledge base on OSH in global supply chains, which account for an estimated 60 to 80 per cent of world trade.

ILO announces winners of the 2017 Global Media Competition on Labour Migration

The GMCLM has proven to be an effective way to encourage exemplary media coverage on labour migration and the fair recruitment of migrant workers
Thesynegyonline Economics Bureau 


GENEVA :   To mark this year’s International Migrants Day on 18th December, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has announced the four winners of its 2017 Global Media Competition on Labour Migration (GMCLM).


The GMCLM has proven to be an effective way to encourage exemplary media coverage on labour migration and the fair recruitment of migrant  workers. The idea is to share and promote the winners’ work as a model of fair global media coverage as widely as possible. 

For the first time, the 2017 GMCLM edition attributed separate awards on fair recruitment of migrant workers – in line with the ILO’s recently launched Fair Recruitment Initiative and the General Principles and Operational Guidelines on Fair Recruitment adopted in 2016 .

The ILO received more than 350 entries from 73 countries around the world. The competition’s reviewing committee had the difficult task of shortlisting them among outstanding pieces. An independent panel composed of four prominent media judges  finally selected the following four final winners for the two thematic areas:
Labour Migration

Mario Kaiser – (written article) Mr. Ince and the Hope of Being Needed
Christopher Livesay – (media production) How migrants and refugees are being welcomed in a tiny Italian village


Fair Recruitment


Ana Santos and Sofia Tomarcruz – (written article) Migrant Life in Qatar - The OFW debt Trap: Less Money, More Problems Part 1  and The hanging fate of FWS buried in debt (Part 2)
 

Camille Elemia – (media production) Undocumented migrant workers: hidden and helpless in ASEAN (Part I)  and The bleak future of undocumented migrant workers in ASEAN (Part II) .

The awards were attributed in collaboration with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Equal Times, Solidarity Center, Human Rights Watch, Migrant Forum in Asia, the International Federation of Journalists (IF) and the International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC/ILO).

 

“The migration and refugee crises continue to feature largely in the media, albeit very often in a negative light. The GMCLM is one avenue for the ILO  to encourage balanced reporting that also highlights the positive impact of migration when  labour rights of migrant workers are protected”, Michelle Leighton, head of the ILO’s Migration Branch said.

 

The ILO’s international labour standards protect migrant workers and can help prevent discrimination and xenophobia while promoting a fair and effective governance of labour migration. The ILO encourages all Member states to ratify and implement these instruments as a means to support their commitments under the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

The 2017 edition of the GMCLM will also contribute to the UN TOGETHER  campaign, which encourages global action by promoting non-discrimination and addressing the problem of rising xenophobia against refugees and migrants. All 193 Member States of the United Nations have committed to implement the campaign, which will run until the end of 2018, when the United Nations’ General Assembly is expected to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Global Compact for Refugees.

Text Example

Uzbekistan stops systematic use of child
labour, takes measures to end forced labour


An ILO team monitoring the cotton harvest in Uzbekistan has found that child labour is no longer systematically used and that measures are being taken to end the use of forced labour. These conclusions were discussed at a roundtable in Tashkent.


GENEVA : Monitors from the International Labour Organization (ILO) have found that the systematic use of child labour in Uzbekistan's cotton harvest has come to an end over the past few years and that concrete measures to completely end the use of forced labour are being implemented.

 

These conclusions were discussed at a roundtable in Tashkent on 30 November 2017. The roundtable was attended by members of the Uzbek Coordination Council on Child Labour and Forced Labour, including government representatives, employers and trade unions of Uzbekistan, the development partners, diplomatic representatives, the ILO and the World Bank. The findings will be formally presented to the World Bank in a report, which will be released in early 2018.

 

The most compelling signals of change were given by the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, in his speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations in September, and by the subsequent measures taken nationally to implement a policy of voluntary recruitment for the cotton harvest. Uzbekistan also pledged to engage with independent civil society groups at the IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour , held in Argentina on November 14–16, 2017, and meetings with the civil society activists already took place prior to the Roundtable.

 

During the harvest, the ILO experts carried out 3,000 unaccompanied interviews with cotton pickers and others involved in the harvest in all provinces of the country. This covered local authorities, and education and medical personnel. In addition, a telephone poll of 1,000 randomly selected persons was conducted. Before the harvest, the ILO experts organized training for some 6,300 people directly involved with the recruitment of cotton pickers.

 

The results confirm that there is a high level of awareness of the unacceptability of both child and forced labour. There is no systematic use of child labour, and instructions have been given and measures undertaken to ensure that all recruitment of cotton pickers is on a voluntary basis. Certain risk groups (students, education and medical personnel) were withdrawn from the harvest at its early stage.

 

The picture emerging to the monitors was one of intensifying efforts to ensure voluntary recruitment. The monitoring and assessment confirms that the large majority of cotton pickers engage voluntarily in the annual harvest. They have received wages which have been increased this year in line with recommendations by the ILO and the World Bank. Furthermore, productivity was comparable to previous harvests."

 

Some of the issues observed at the local level show that there is a need for further awareness raising and capacity building, which varies somewhat between provinces and districts. All those involved in recruitment should have the information and tools needed to ensure that cotton pickers are engaged in conformity with international labour standards.

 

The prohibition of any forced recruitment of students or education and medical personnel appears to be well known. Among the issues observed at the local level, the pattern of requesting various fees for replacement pickers has not yet been eliminated. In the immediate future, it is important to make sure that no recruiter should ask for such payments, and that no one should feel obliged to make them.

 

The Feedback Mechanism is getting to be better known and used, and a certain number of cases reported to it have been solved. It is important to develop this mechanism so that it is accessible and can react in a timely fashion to different issues raised, ranging from immediate problems to specific violations which call for institutional and judicial follow-up.

The 2017 cotton harvest took place in the context of increased transparency and dialogue. This has encompassed all groups of civil society, including critical voices of individual activists. This is an encouraging sign for the future. An all-inclusive exchange of information creates a solid basis for employment and labour market policies not only in agriculture but throughout the economy.

 

Social protection in Timor Leste: The difference dialogue can make in protecting the poor

Despite being the youngest nation in Asia, Timor-Leste is taking a proactive and coordinated approach to ensure a better life for its citizens with a national Social Protection Strategy for 2017-2030.


DILI, Timor-Leste : Aida Mota is one of the dedicated government officials behind the development of Timor-Leste’s first Social Protection Strategy. As National Director for Contributory Social Security at the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MSS), she has been tirelessly engaged with the social protection policies of the country since the early years of independence.

Remembrance
The impact of the 2006 crisis

She remembers the impact of the 2006 crisis that led to the displacement of more than 150,000 people and left broad areas of Timor-Leste’s capital, Dili, in ashes. The crisis was sparked by a political dispute, but it was the population’s frustration with the slow pace of change after independence that fuelled the conflict.

Realizing the urgent need to provide better protection for its people, the Government of Timor-Leste attempted to fulfil the basic needs of its people through the development of a social protection system after the crisis.

She recalls: “We started off with a non-contributory universal social pension for the elderly, followed by the ‘Bolsa da Mãe’, (a conditional cash transfer programme targeting families with children) and then we started to work on a contributory social security scheme.”

She admits it was not an easy task. The loss of data due to the 1999 conflict and the 2006 crisis in her country made it impossible for the government and the social partners to consider the contribution from the private sector workers at the time. Then, after independence was restored in 2002, various ministries and public institutions started to establish their own programmes and policies without any coordination.


“Each of these programmes were useful but we started to notice some overlaps and gaps hindering progress towards effective poverty reduction in our country.” she says.



As the National Director for Contributory Social Security at the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MSS), Aida Mota has witnessed several social protection programmes implemented her country.


“In Timor-Leste the process is being led by the Ministry of Social Solidarity, but it is no longer a stand-alone process. An additional 16 government institutions, representatives from employers’ and workers’ organizations actively participated in the process, with support from the United Nations,” explains Mota.


“Compared to other countries at a similar development stage, Timor-Leste has a rather comprehensive social protection system. The country also has levels of investment among the highest in Asia based on government expenditures,” says André Bongestabs, ILO’s Social Protection Consultant for the NSPS development process.


“Without having to drastically increase investments, but with better coordination and knowledge sharing, we can achieve greater impact, such as improved coverage and higher levels of protection to the most vulnerable, helping to lift and keep them out of extreme poverty. The National Social Protection Strategy will provide the guidelines and framework for this purpose,” concludes Bongestabs.


Timor-Leste’s Social Protection Strategy for 2017-2030


The strategy sets the goals and actions related to social protection, ensuring that all policy developments are in line with the broader National Development Plan and with the Sustainable Development Goals .


Participants conducted an analysis of the development status in the country, recognising the main challenges, such as widespread poverty and malnutrition, assessing existing social programmes, and identifying limitations and common issues.


The detailed analysis served as a basis to develop a series of recommendations to extend and improve the social protection system in Timor-Leste, including through better governance.


“When we started to gather all actors involved, we quickly realized the importance of looking at the whole picture to assess the actual effectiveness of our investment.” says Aida Mota.


“With the NSPS, our investment will be better monitored and assessed. It will help us ensure a better coverage. I am proud of this and look forward to seeing the impact on people’s lives in Timor-Leste,” says Mota.

 

 

ILO Programme increasing productivity in SMEs by up to 50%, enters third phase

ILO


ILO Programme increasing productivity in SMEs by up to 50%, enters third phase

On 4 December 2017 ILO along with SECO and Norad, officially launched Phase III of SCORE Programme

Programme


“We are excited to step into the next Phase-Monica Rubiolo, Head of Trade Promotion, SECO

In the initial two phases SCORE Training was provided to over 1,400 enterprises in 15 countries benefiting more than 300,000 employees

 

Thesynergyonline Economics Bureau


NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 05 : On 4 December 2017, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN), along with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), officially launched Phase III of the Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) Programme in front of the guests of FTA Switzerland and the Swiss Global Compact’s event, “Sustainable Production and Supply Chains.”
ILO Programme increasing productivity in SMEs by up to 50%,  enters third phase

 

On 4 December 2017, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN), along with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), officially launched Phase III of the Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) Programme in front of the guests of FTA Switzerland and the Swiss Global Compact’s event, “Sustainable Production and Supply Chains.”

 

“We are excited to step into the next Phase, because the SCORE Programme has practically demonstrated the business case of good working conditions. It means that sustainable supply chains are beneficial for all – the workers, the suppliers, the buyers and the society,” Monica Rubiolo, Head of Trade Promotion, SECO.

 

During Phases I & II, the ILO assisted government agencies, training providers, industry associations and trade unions in emerging economies in Africa, Asia and Latin America to deliver SCORE Training to enterprises, with a view to embed the methodology in national strategies for enterprise development.

 

Now, in Phase III the focus will shift toward developing innovative partnerships with multinationals, lead buyers and brand consortiums, to encourage the integration of SCORE Training in supplier development strategies. To date, pilot programmes with Inditex, Adidas and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) have been successfully implemented, with positive results. Ultimately, the ILO looks to build the capacity of training providers to ensure SCORE Training can be provided independently.

 

In the initial two phases, SCORE Training was provided to over 1,400 enterprises in 15 countries, benefiting more than 300,000 employees.

 

“At the conclusion of Phase II, we are able to report enterprise improvements in the range of up to 50% increased productivity, 64% reduction in defective products, 48% less waste , 29% reduction in work related accidents and 22% reduction in absenteeism in enterprises that have participated in one or more modules of SCORE Training,” Michael Elkin, Chief Technical Advisor, ILO SCORE.

 

With a focus on developing cooperative working relations resulting in shared benefits, the five SCORE Training modules cover: Workplace Cooperation, Quality Management, Clean Production, Human Resource Management, and Occupational Safety and Health. Each module includes a two-day classroom training for managers and workers, followed by on-site consultations with industry experts that help to put the training into action in the workplace.

 

“SCORE Training improved the sense of ownership and accomplishment amongst staff, helped to configure corporate resources in a more reasonable manner, and improved the competitiveness, effectiveness and operational management function of the enterprise in a sustainable manner,”said Mr Shang Lunsheng, Manager of Security Department, TBEA Deyang Cable Co., Ltd (ETI member supplier).

 

Since inception in 2009, the main intervention of the global programme has been to provide support for the implementation of SCORE Training’s practical training and in-factory consulting programme to improve productivity and working conditions in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). SCORE Training demonstrates best international practice in the manufacturing and service sectors and helps SMEs to participate in global supply chains.

 

SCORE Training demonstrates the business case for decent work through the simultaneous improvement to workplace conditions and productivity.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The future world of work must be
fully inclusive of people with disabilities

People with disabilities, with their skills and talents, are an important asset to the labour markets today and in the future,” says ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.”

The ILO’s founding mandate has always led it to promote greater equality of treatment and opportunities for persons with disabilities in the labour market in partnership with its tripartite constituents, members of the UN family, organizations of people with disabilities and other stakeholders.

 

One out of every seven people in the world has a disability and the vast majority of them are of working age. But most do not enjoy the right to work. We also know that the exclusion of people with disabilities from the labour market can cost national economies up to 7 per cent of GDP .

 

Today we must focus on those skills and talents and on what still needs to be done so that the right to productive employment and decent work is fulfilled for every person with a disability.

 

The need is well-recognized; the frameworks are available. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities  and international labour standards call for breaking down barriers to decent work for people with disabilities, while the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development  point to a future in which sustainable development and decent work can only become a reality if persons with disabilities are included.

 

Encouragingly, the positive contributions people with disabilities can make to the world of work and society at large are increasingly recognized. Across the globe, governments, trade unions and employers and others are answering the call for action.

 

This year, once again, more companies have joined the ILO Global Business and Disability Network , and workers' associations worldwide are bolstering their disability inclusion practices. And to mark this year’s observance the ILO is launching new publications to support trade union action for the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

 

Disability must be taken more fully into account, from the promotion of non-discriminatory policies and labour market governance to the accessibility of technology.

 

Much has been achieved, but more needs to be done by all to make the world of work a world in which people with disabilities are truly and equally included.

International Day for the
Elimination of Violence against Women

"With notable exceptions, far too little has been done for far too long to end the culture of impunity, to end the culture of silence," says ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in a statement issued on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

The recent outpouring from global campaigns is a sobering reminder that millions of women face violence and harassment in their working lives – when they pick up their pay cheques, try to advance their careers or just try to feed their families.

Women violence
It's the place where dreams end and nightmares begin—it's the world of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). - Mallika Nawal.
 

 

Today, we must focus on what the world of work can, and must, do to end violence and harassment against all workers. With notable exceptions, far too little has been done for far too long to end the culture of impunity, to end the culture of silence.

 

It is time to send a clear message that violence and harassment is unacceptable, that it is not a normal part of working life. It is essential that we foster workplace cultures that support equality and non-discrimination. It is essential that we provide workers with a safe space to voice their concerns and to take an active part in finding solutions.

 

No group of workers should be left behind in the move to end violence and harassment. We must reach out to farm and factory workers, migrant and domestic workers, to all those hidden and kept behind locked doors. In going forward, we recall, too, that women are not a homogenous group, and we must make visible the experiences of women with disabilities, lesbian, bisexual and trans women, and women living with HIV.

 

Prevention is key, as well as effective measures to provide support and services to victims. Ministries, policymakers, employers and workers and their organizations, among others all have a role to play.

 

Set against this background, the ILO is developing an international framework to end violence and harassment in the world of work. The discussion will take place at the ILO’s International Labour Conference in June 2018 . It is a process that must be informed by real life experiences with violence and harassment, and by effective approaches to address it.

 

Leaving no-one behind means ending all forms of violence and harassment against women. The world of work must be at the heart of such efforts, and the ILO is ready to do its part.

 

 

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