The ILO – International Labor Organization is the UN agency for the world of work. It was founded on a vision based on the premise of a universal justice is at the heart of lasting peace, at the end of the First World War in 1919, as part of the Versailles Treaty. The main objectives of the ILO are to “promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.” This is the only organization in the world that brings together workers, employers and governments of 187 member countries to ensure the views of these partners are reflected in labor policies and standards.
The Centenary Conference of ILO in Geneva ended on June 21 with the adoption of an unprecedented Convention Concerning the Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work. This convention protects workers and other persons in the world of work, including employees, as well as persons working irrespective of their contractual status, persons in training, including interns and apprentices, workers whose employment has been terminated, volunteers, jobseekers and job applicants, and individuals exercising the authority, duties or responsibilities of an employer.” It applies to all sectors, whether private or public, both in the formal and informal economy, and whether in urban or rural areas.
The ILO is inviting all member States to ratify and implement the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019. It is a historic opportunity to shape the future of work and much has to be done to raise awareness for the effective promotion and implementation of the Convention. Until a country ratifies and incorporates convention into its own laws and policies, it will remain at an aspirational level.
Convention on elimination of violence and Harassment: https://www.ilo.org/ilc/ILCSessions/108/media-centre/news/WCMS_711321/lang–en/index.htm
The ILO Centenary Declaration on the Future of Work, 2019, which look to the future of work with human-centered lens, to strengthens the social contract by placing people and the work they do at the center of economic and social policy and business practice. It has a strong focus on enabling people to benefit from changes in the world of work
The Declaration calls for:
- The effective realization of gender equality in opportunities and treatment
- Effective lifelong learning and quality education for all
- Universal access to comprehensive and sustainable social protection
- Respect for workers’ fundamental rights
- An adequate minimum wage
- Maximum limits on working time
- Safety and health at work
- Policies that promote decent work, and enhance productivity
- Policies and measures that ensure appropriate privacy and personal data protection, and respond to challenges and opportunities in the world of work relating to the digital transformation of work, including platform work.
ILO Centenary Declaration: https://www.ilo.org/ilc/ILCSessions/108/reports/provisional-records/WCMS_711288/lang–en/index.htm
The Vincentian Family members engaged in transforming the lives people living in poverty through Systemic Change have an opportunity to study these documents to raise awareness and educate others as well as for advocacy at the local, national and global levels. There is urgency to work with our governments to ratify the Convention and implement the recommendations from the Declaration. The recommendations for decent jobs, lifelong learning, adequate wages and social protections can help to address some of the root causes of poverty, homelessness and inequality. This convention is providing an opportunity for collaboration and networking with millions of workers in all parts of the world.
Watch a video on ILO:
Based on ILO reports
Teresa Kotturan SCN
NGO Representative, Sisters of Charity Federation