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100 years on, ILO's mission focussed on growing inequality

As it celebrates its centenary year, the International Labour Organization (ILO) must help to tackle inequality in the world of work through the efforts of its 180-plus members, said Director-General Guy Ryder on Wednesday

The ILO chief’s message coincides with the launch of an interactive campaign promoting the work of the organization.

Founded by 44 countries in the aftermath of the First World War, the organization’s mission was to address growing and potentially explosive discontent with poor working conditions in Europe.

Today, that objective is shared by ILO’s 187 Member States, Mr Ryder maintained, in a statement to mark 100 years since the body was founded on 6 June, 1919.

Noting that the nature of work “has changed out of all recognition” in many parts of the world since 1919, thanks in large part to technological advances, Mr Ryder warned that many people have not seen the benefits.

“Hopes and fears are unevenly distributed,” he said. “Uncertainty is high and the levels of trust are all too low. And this tells us that the ILO centenary matters. It matters to us all, whatever the country you live in.”

From the number of hours we work to the principle of a fair wage and protection for injured or sick workers, these and many other social benefits and workplace rights that people from many nations take for granted, are the fruit of ILO’s intervention on the global stage.

Its work to improve labour laws and standards worldwide is symbolized by a triple-locking gate at its former headquarters in Geneva – now the home of the World Trade Organization (WTO) – whose keys are marked separately with each partner: governments, workers and employers.

 

Video : The ILO Centenary – Why it matters to us all

[ full story on UN News

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Over 40 million people still victims of slavery

Slavery is still a very real and widespread phenomenon, affecting more than 40 million people worldwide, says the International Labour Organization (ILO), with children making up a quarter of the victims , despite the entry into force of the landmark Forced Labour protocol in 2016.

2 December is designated the UN International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, which marks the adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, which entered into force in 1951.

The day is an opportunity to raise awareness of this global issue, and focus on the eradication of contemporary forms of slavery, such as human trafficking, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

Most child labour that occurs today is for economic exploitation, contrary to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which recognizes “the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.”

Human trafficking is also explicitly prohibited by the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, adopted by the General Assembly in 2000, which defines trafficking as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion for the purpose of exploitation.”

The ILO leads an ongoing campaign, along with its partners, to convince 50 countries to ratify the legally-binding Forced Labour Protocol, called 50 for freedom, where members of the public are encouraged to add their names to help reach the target: to date 27 countries have ratified the protocol.

 play  Video - ILO Director message on international day for the abolotion of slavery.

 

[ story originally posted on UN News ]

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ILO Director-General calls for an end to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, saying it is “a factor leading to violence and harassment in the world of work."

The ILO joins the international community to mark this International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Standing together under the banner of Alliances for Solidarity , we highlight the importance of human rights for all, irrespective of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. 

Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people doesn’t just hurt them; it hurts families, companies and entire countries. The ILO’s Constitution affirms that all human beings “have the right to pursue both their material well-being and their spiritual development in conditions of freedom and dignity, of economic security and equal opportunity”. Each of us has a part to play in ensuring that this aspiration becomes a reality for all workers, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics.

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ILO releases new guide to promote diversity and inclusion at the workplace

GENEVA (ILO News) – On the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities (marked annually on 3 December), the International Labour Organization (ILO) is releasing a new publication to provide step by step guidance on how and when to provide workplace adjustments – also called accommodations – for workers with specific needs. 

Promoting diversity and inclusion through workplace adjustments: A practical guide highlights that while all workers should enjoy equal access to employment, some of them face barriers that may put them at a disadvantage. Such barriers can prevent them from accessing or remaining in employment and, if not addressed, they can also deprive companies of a broader, more diverse pool of workers from which to recruit. 

“Reasonable adjustments contribute to harnessing the full professional potential of workers and thereby to business success,” says Shauna Olney, Chief of the Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch 

While recognizing that the need for a reasonable accommodation may arise in a variety of situations, the guide focuses on four specific categories of workers: workers with disabilities, workers living with HIV, workers with family responsibilities and workers with a particular religion or belief. 

Reasonable accommodation means providing one or more modifications that are appropriate and necessary to accommodate a worker or job candidate’s individual characteristics so that he or she may enjoy the same rights as others. 

Taking effective measures for the inclusion of all workers in the workplace is essential for the promotion of equality and to ensure that the rights and protection contained in International Labour Standards are a reality for all. “This guide constitutes a great tool for those committed to the realization of this objective,” states Horacio Guido, Chief of the Application Branch of the International Labour Standards Department. 

They also point out that these adjustments can be done at little or no cost to the employer and result in concrete benefits to both the employer and the worker. 

The publication is designed to help the user understand the concept of reasonable adjustments, accompanying measures, as well as the process and steps to provide workplace adjustments throughout the employment cycle, including practical examples. 

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