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ILO Calls For Global Initiative On The Future Of Work

Stories: Taiwo Hassan

International Labour Organisation (ILO) has decried the state of unemployment in the world thus calling member states to debate on the future of work to instil confidence in job security and sustainability.

International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Guy Ryder has called for a global debate on the future of work. According to him, there was no doubt that world of work continues to confront challenges of formidable proportions, adding that the world expect the ILO to respond effectively with its member States to these challenges. Ryder who made this known during his opening address at the ongoing 104th International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland noted that sustaining global future of work is task facing the member states.

“The issues of jobs, equity, sustainability, human security, labour mobility, social dialogue, which need to be tackled in a future of work initiative, are almost by definition the key policy issues of our time,” Ryder said. He said the proposed future of work initiative would be structured around four conversations: work and society; the organization of work and production; decent jobs for all; and the governance of work. Subsequently, a high-level commission on the future of work would prepare a report to the ILO’s centenary Conference in 2019.

The Director-General called on delegates to “look at the longer term drivers of change, the transformational mega-trends, and what they imply for the goals we pursue in the ILO in its second century.” Ryder’s proposal is contained in his report to the ILC entitled, The Future of work centenary initiative , and is accompanied by an annual report on the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories.

Speaking on reform, he said the continuing reforms underway in the ILO, and the hard work of the Governing Body over the past year – which its President Ambassador Correia of Angola will report to the conference – show that the Organization is acting, and acting decisively. “Our Organization is changing and must continue to change to be more expert, more efficient, more visible, more useful – and in the end more influential.”

The ILO helmsman stressed that the Programme and Budget for the next biennium 2016-17 which the Governing Body has recommended for approval by this Conference shows very concretely that “we are determined to continue on that path to use the resources that you place at our disposal to best effect, and I want to commend that Programme and Budget to the Conference for adoption.” According to the latest World Employment and Social Outlook report , global unemployment reached 201 million in 2014, over 30 million higher than before the start of the global crisis in 2008.

Moreover, providing jobs to the more than 40 million additional people who enter the global labour market every year is proving to be a daunting challenge. In addition to widespread joblessness, the employment relationship itself is facing a major transformation that is bringing further challenges. In addition to the Director-General’s Future of work initiative, the Conference this year will discuss various other issues, including climate change, a proposed first ever

 “We need to look at the longer term drivers of change, the transformational mega-trends, and what they imply for the goals we pursue in the ILO in its second century”

international standard on the transition from the informal to the formal economy; the role of small and medium enterprises as a major job creation engine; and how to ensure labour protection (wages, working time, maternity protection and occupational safety and health) which is at the heart of the ILO’s mandate and does not currently cover many types of employees.

Ms. Ieva Jaunzeme, State Secretary of the Ministry of Welfare of Latvia, was elected President of the International Labour Conference , which runs from 1-13 June 2015.

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