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ILO reviews 73-yr-old employment standard

By Victor Ahiuma-Young, just back from Geneva, Switzerland

THE 106th session of the International Labour Conference, ILC, of the International Labour Organisation, ILO, in Geneva, Switzerland,  has   adopted a new landmark standard, the Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience Recommendation, 2017 (No. 205), to provide responses to contemporary crisis situations arising from conflicts and disasters across the globe.

This recommendation updates the guidance of an earlier ILO recommendation adopted in 1944.

The new standard which was adopted after two weeks of deliberations on key world of work issues, including the promotion of peace and stability in countries emerging from conflict, strengthening labour migration governance and greening the economy, also widens the focus of the standard on reconstruction and recovery to include prevention and preparedness.

It equally provides a unique normative framework focusing on world of work related measures to prevent and respond to the devastating effects of conflicts and disasters on economies and societies, paying special attention to vulnerable population groups, such as children, young people, women and displaced people.    The Conference also adopted a resolution which requests the ILO Director-General to take a lead in strengthening partnerships at the international level to promote the new standard.

Speaking on the development, an elated ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, said: “The adoption of a new Recommendation on Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience – is very significant at several levels. Significant because it shows, unequivocally, that the ILO is ready and able to update its standards, making them robust and relevant. And significant because it is a vital answer from the world of work to have millions of people, affected by crisis, disaster, or displacement. Not only are we listening to them, we are acting for them and acting with them.”

The ILO’s Director-General also reminded delegates of the ILO’s responsibilities in respect of labour migration, referring

He referred to the “widespread governance deficits which allow space for abuse, and too frequently a deterioration of public attitudes and political discourse towards migrants and migration.”


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