Tag: ILO

Kailash Satyarthi: It is now time for universal accountability to end child labour

march

Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and the Global March against Child Labour have demanded universal ratification of the ILO Convention 182 in order and commit themselves to end worst forms of child labour. A note:

On 04 August 2020, in a historic move, Tonga, an archipelago of more than 170 islands in the South Pacific, ratified the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour. Tonga’s ratification makes Convention 182 the only universally ratified convention in ILO’s history.

Convention 182 is the result of steady and sustained international advocacy by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi who founded the Global March Against Child Labour in 1998 that brought together more than 7 million people to call for this convention and the end to child labour. The physical march traversed more than 80,000 kms, covering Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America and Europe, uniting people across 140 countries with the slogan “Down down, Child Labour. We want education!” Mr. Satyarthi mobilised more than 2000 institutional partners who contributed to the success of the march.

The march was spearheaded by former child labourers who, at the 86th International Labour Conference in Geneva, called for the adoption of a strong international law against the worst forms of child labour. The success of the march resulted in the unanimous adoption of the convention in June 1999, the first step in the process of ratification. It was first ratified by Seychelles in September 1999 and today, after more than 22 years, Tonga is the 187th member State and the last to ratify it.

The ratification holds great significance as it reflects member states’ commitment to end child labour. Each ratifying country is now bound under international law to align its national policies and practices to the requirements of the convention, along with reporting regularly to the ILO regarding its application.

Since the adoption of the convention, the Global March Against Child Labour and Kailash Satyarthi, have been advocating for its universal ratification through numerous dialogues at world platforms with global leaders, country governments and their heads of state, supporting civil society in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as promoting the voices and participation of former child labourers at the local and global level.

Mr. Satyarthi has time and again emphasised the need for accountability and efficient implementation of Convention 182, by strengthening national administrative systems, allocating optimum budgets to national laws and policies prioritising children and their wellbeing. His tireless blend of activism, dialogue and deep compassion led the ILO to declare June 12th as the ‘World Day Against Child Labour.’

On this momentous occasion, Mr. Satyarthi congratulates the people and governments of the 187 countries, especially Tonga and the ILO. In these uncertain times of COVID-19, he reminds us that:

“Today marks the victory of the millions of children and activists who marched across 103 countries and 80,000 kms as part of the Global March against Child Labour. In 1998, as thousands of survivors and young people joined me to the lead the largest every mobilisation against child labour in the world, my children De Lucia, Kokhan, Govind, Sokuntia, and Joanna stood on the dais of the 86th Session of the International Labour Conference and demanded the international law whose universal ratification we celebrate today. Today’s celebration is dedicated in gratitude to each one of them, and is grounded in their legacy of freedom.I take this opportunity to congratulate the people and governments of the 187 countries who have made ILO Convention No.182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour the fastest and only universally ratified ILO convention in history, especially Tonga. I also congratulate the ILO on this historic day.”

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Statement of Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi on the occasion of Universal Ratification of ILO 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour:

Today marks the victory of the millions of children and activists who marched across 103 countries and 80,000 kms as part of the Global March against Child Labour. In 1998, as thousands of survivors and young people joined me to the lead the largest every mobilisation against child labour in the world, my children De Lucia, Kokhan, Govind, Sokuntia, and Joanna stood on the dais of the 86th Session of the International Labour Conference and demanded the international law whose universal ratification we celebrate today. Today’s celebration is dedicated in gratitude to each one of them, and is grounded in their legacy of freedom.

I take this opportunity to congratulate the people and governments of the 187 countries who have made ILO Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour the fastest and only universally ratified ILO convention in history, especially Tonga. I also congratulate the ILO on this historic day.

In the past 22 years we have witnessed many victories, big and small. We have successfully reduced the number of child labourers in the world from 250 million to 152 million. However, in the 22 years that it has taken to universally ratify this convention, we have also lost an entire generation to slavery. Today is also a day of awakening. We cannot afford to lose another generation. It is now time for universal accountability to end child labour.

Let there be no doubt, the ongoing pandemic and economic crisis will lead to a substantial increase in child labour around the world. The challenge is enormous, but it is not insurmountable. The world must come together for 2021, the UN Year for Elimination of Child Labour, to prioritise our children in policies, resources and urgency of collective action.

I call on the millions who joined this fight to end child labour over 20 years ago, and to the millions who continue to fight today, to see this to the end. Standing together, I know we will see the end of child labour in my lifetime.

Source- counterview.org

ILO warns of COVID-19 migrant ‘crisis within a crisis’

Final

Policies need to be put in place to protect stranded migrant workers and to ensure the reintegration of those who return to their home countries, says the International Labour Organization.

GENEVA,24 June 2020 (ILO News): Tens of millions of migrant workers, forced to return home because of the COVID-19 pandemic after losing their jobs, face unemployment and poverty in their home countries, the International Labour Organization has warned.

As containment measures ease, millions of migrant workers may be required to return home to low and middle income countries where labour markets, which were fragile before the COVID-19 outbreak, are now further weakened by the additional strain of high levels of unemployment and serious business disruptions due to the pandemic. In addition, their families will suffer financially from the loss of the remittances normally sent to them.

Meanwhile, other migrant workers have found themselves stranded in host countries without access to social protection and little money for food or accommodation. Even those with jobs may be taking reduced wages and living in cramped worksite residences where social distancing is impossible, putting them at greater risk of contracting the virus.

While many migrant workers, particularly women, are doing essential jobs for their host societies during the pandemic, particularly in the care or agriculture sectors, those in other sectors have lost their jobs or have continued to work informally.

“This is a potential crisis within a crisis,” said Manuela Tomei, Director of the ILO’s Conditions of Work and Equality Department. “We know that many millions of migrant workers, who were under lockdown in their countries of work, have lost their jobs and are now expected to return home to countries that are already grappling with weak economies and rising unemployment. Cooperation and planning are key to avert a worse crisis.”

It is estimated there are 164 million migrant workers worldwide, nearly half of them women, comprising 4.7 per cent of the global labour force. While not all of these workers will return home – after losing their jobs or for other reasons – informal ILO research in more than 20 countries indicates that many millions are expected to do so.

Most of their home countries have very limited scope to reintegrate such large numbers, and often do not have policies and systems in place to ensure effective labour migration governance and smooth reintegration plans, including for skills development and recognition. Governments in Asia and Africa, in particular, expect millions of migrant workers to return, whether through compulsion or voluntarily, as their job prospects evaporate.

A package of ILO briefing and policy documents focusing on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers who are migrants, refugees, or forcibly displaced persons, draws attention to the potentially serious social and economic impact if returns occur over a short period of time and if migrants are not included in social protection measures or given help to reintegrate into national labour markets.

The research also shows how returning migrant workers bring skills and talent that can help their home economies rebuild better after the pandemic. However, the key to unlocking this potential is the establishment of rights-based and orderly return and reintegration systems, access to social protection, and proper skills recognition. This can facilitate better skills and jobs matching, so increasing productivity for national industries.

In addition, migrant workers may bring knowledge and capital to open new businesses that can help to improve employment opportunities.

Helping returning migrants reintegrate will also reduce tensions in their home countries, where some communities may fear that returning migrants may bring the virus or take jobs away. Rebuilding the livelihood strategies of returning migrants will allow them to pay any debts related to their original recruitment abroad, avoiding the risk of forced labour and human trafficking, or re-migration through irregular pathways.

“With the right policies, the return of these workers can be converted into a resource for recovery,” said Michelle Leighton, Chief of the ILO’s Labour Migration Department. “These migrants will bring with them talents and new skills, and in some cases capital, that can support efforts in their home countries to build back better. We must help these countries grasp the opportunity.”

The ILO publications include assessments of the impact of COVID-19 on migrant workers in Jordan, Lebanon and the ASEAN region, on seasonal workers’ schemes, and on refugee workers and other displaced persons. There is also guidance on policy responses to help maximize the benefits of the returning wave of migrants, including procedures for recognizing skills acquired, ensuring fair recruitment, extending social protection coverage, and help with finding new jobs or re-migrating safely.

Garment factories reopen in Bangladesh despite COVID-19 concerns

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Photo: people dispatch

Resumption of work may provide some relief to workers but there are concerns about the spread of the disease due to the absence of adequate safety measures in most factories

By Peoples Dispatch, 29 April, 2020

Thousands of readymade garment workers returned to work in Bangladesh on April 28, Tuesday, amid confusion and delay in the disbursal of salaries for the month of March. There is also uncertainty about the fate of thousands of other migrant workers who come to the capital, Dhaka, from different parts of the country seeking jobs.

According to Daily Star, out of a total 7,602 garment factories in the country, 2,916 opened up on Tuesday. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturer and Exporters Association (BGMEA) expects more factories to start operations soon.

Bangladesh home minister Assaduzman Khan, after a meeting with the representatives of BGMEA, announced that no worker from outside the Dhaka city limits will be allowed to enter the city for now. Trade union representatives were not present at the meeting.

Bangladesh has imposed a COVID-19 lockdown since March 25, leading factories to shut production. The country has around 6,462 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 155 deaths, as on April 28. The countrywide lockdown will continue till May 5.

The reopening of garment factories may provide relief to workers whose wages for the month of March were delayed and who are worried about being laid off.

Though Bangladesh authorities recently released a USD 588 million package to aid workers, garment manufacturers complain that the funds are not sufficient to check the damage caused by the lockdown. As per BGMEA estimates, orders for 953 million pieces of readymade garment worth USD 3.05 billion have been cancelled. The cancellations affect more than 2.19 million workers, IndustriAll reported.

Garment workers have also been protesting for the payment of their wages. Though part of the wages were disbursed after protests from the workers and interventions by trade unions, full payment of wages is still pending.

Bangladesh is the world’s second largest exporter of readymade garments. However, the fate of the industry in the near future will depend on how European markets, where the bulk of the exports go, cope with the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, re-operationalizing garment factories at a time when the number of COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh is still rising has led to concerns about the security and health of the workers.

Though some factories have arranged for hand washing stations, masks and disposable caps for workers and temperature checks, most have failed to implement adequate physical distancing norms that are mandatory for preventing the spread of the highly contagious virus.

Even minimum protective facilities were reported missing in a large number of factories. Several workers also complained about the lack of transport facilities to commute to work.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) had issued guidelines for production units and governments to carry out proper risk assessment through dialogue with all the stakeholders, including workers, before resuming work. The ILO has emphasized that workplaces need to meet strict occupational and health safety standards.

However, most of the factories in Bangladesh operate with space constraints, where even with a small workforce, physical distancing norms are difficult to implement. The government and factory owners are also often accused of suppressing the voices of the trade unions and the workers.

On April 6, two garment workers died after participating in a protest against authorities in Mymensingh district over a policy of suspending thousands of garment workers and denying allowances during the ongoing lockdown. Workers accused the management of unfair dismissals and the denial of due wages. Workers also alleged being threatened with blacklisting if they demanded their rights.

- Thousands of readymade garment workers returned to work in Bangladesh on April 28, Tuesday, amid confusion and delay in the disbursal of salaries for the month of March. There is also uncertainty about the fate of thousands of other migrant workers who come to the capital, Dhaka, from different parts of the country seeking jobs.

According to Daily Star, out of a total 7,602 garment factories in the country, 2,916 opened up on Tuesday. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturer and Exporters Association (BGMEA) expects more factories to start operations soon.

Bangladesh home minister Assaduzman Khan, after a meeting with the representatives of BGMEA, announced that no worker from outside the Dhaka city limits will be allowed to enter the city for now. Trade union representatives were not present at the meeting.

Bangladesh has imposed a COVID-19 lockdown since March 25, leading factories to shut production. The country has around 6,462 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 155 deaths, as on April 28. The countrywide lockdown will continue till May 5.

The reopening of garment factories may provide relief to workers whose wages for the month of March were delayed and who are worried about being laid off.

Though Bangladesh authorities recently released a USD 588 million package to aid workers, garment manufacturers complain that the funds are not sufficient to check the damage caused by the lockdown. As per BGMEA estimates, orders for 953 million pieces of readymade garment worth USD 3.05 billion have been cancelled. The cancellations affect more than 2.19 million workers, IndustriAll reported.

Garment workers have also been protesting for the payment of their wages. Though part of the wages were disbursed after protests from the workers and interventions by trade unions, full payment of wages is still pending.

Bangladesh is the world’s second largest exporter of readymade garments. However, the fate of the industry in the near future will depend on how European markets, where the bulk of the exports go, cope with the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, re-operationalizing garment factories at a time when the number of COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh is still rising has led to concerns about the security and health of the workers.

Though some factories have arranged for hand washing stations, masks and disposable caps for workers and temperature checks, most have failed to implement adequate physical distancing norms that are mandatory for preventing the spread of the highly contagious virus.

Even minimum protective facilities were reported missing in a large number of factories. Several workers also complained about the lack of transport facilities to commute to work.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) had issued guidelines for production units and governments to carry out proper risk assessment through dialogue with all the stakeholders, including workers, before resuming work. The ILO has emphasized that workplaces need to meet strict occupational and health safety standards.

However, most of the factories in Bangladesh operate with space constraints, where even with a small workforce, physical distancing norms are difficult to implement. The government and factory owners are also often accused of suppressing the voices of the trade unions and the workers.

On April 6, two garment workers died after participating in a protest against authorities in Mymensingh district over a policy of suspending thousands of garment workers and denying allowances during the ongoing lockdown. Workers accused the management of unfair dismissals and the denial of due wages. Workers also alleged being threatened with blacklisting if they demanded their rights.
-Thousands of readymade garment workers returned to work in Bangladesh on April 28, Tuesday, amid confusion and delay in the disbursal of salaries for the month of March. There is also uncertainty about the fate of thousands of other migrant workers who come to the capital, Dhaka, from different parts of the country seeking jobs.

According to Daily Star, out of a total 7,602 garment factories in the country, 2,916 opened up on Tuesday. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturer and Exporters Association (BGMEA) expects more factories to start operations soon.

Bangladesh home minister Assaduzman Khan, after a meeting with the representatives of BGMEA, announced that no worker from outside the Dhaka city limits will be allowed to enter the city for now. Trade union representatives were not present at the meeting.

Bangladesh has imposed a COVID-19 lockdown since March 25, leading factories to shut production. The country has around 6,462 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 155 deaths, as on April 28. The countrywide lockdown will continue till May 5.

The reopening of garment factories may provide relief to workers whose wages for the month of March were delayed and who are worried about being laid off.

Though Bangladesh authorities recently released a USD 588 million package to aid workers, garment manufacturers complain that the funds are not sufficient to check the damage caused by the lockdown. As per BGMEA estimates, orders for 953 million pieces of readymade garment worth USD 3.05 billion have been cancelled. The cancellations affect more than 2.19 million workers, IndustriAll reported.

Garment workers have also been protesting for the payment of their wages. Though part of the wages were disbursed after protests from the workers and interventions by trade unions, full payment of wages is still pending.

Bangladesh is the world’s second largest exporter of readymade garments. However, the fate of the industry in the near future will depend on how European markets, where the bulk of the exports go, cope with the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, re-operationalizing garment factories at a time when the number of COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh is still rising has led to concerns about the security and health of the workers.

Though some factories have arranged for hand washing stations, masks and disposable caps for workers and temperature checks, most have failed to implement adequate physical distancing norms that are mandatory for preventing the spread of the highly contagious virus.

Even minimum protective facilities were reported missing in a large number of factories. Several workers also complained about the lack of transport facilities to commute to work.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) had issued guidelines for production units and governments to carry out proper risk assessment through dialogue with all the stakeholders, including workers, before resuming work. The ILO has emphasized that workplaces need to meet strict occupational and health safety standards.

However, most of the factories in Bangladesh operate with space constraints, where even with a small workforce, physical distancing norms are difficult to implement. The government and factory owners are also often accused of suppressing the voices of the trade unions and the workers.

On April 6, two garment workers died after participating in a protest against authorities in Mymensingh district over a policy of suspending thousands of garment workers and denying allowances during the ongoing lockdown. Workers accused the management of unfair dismissals and the denial of due wages. Workers also alleged being threatened with blacklisting if they demanded their rights.

Thousands of readymade garment workers returned to work in Bangladesh on April 28, Tuesday, amid confusion and delay in the disbursal of salaries for the month of March. There is also uncertainty about the fate of thousands of other migrant workers who come to the capital, Dhaka, from different parts of the country seeking jobs.

According to Daily Star, out of a total 7,602 garment factories in the country, 2,916 opened up on Tuesday. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturer and Exporters Association (BGMEA) expects more factories to start operations soon.

Bangladesh home minister Assaduzman Khan, after a meeting with the representatives of BGMEA, announced that no worker from outside the Dhaka city limits will be allowed to enter the city for now. Trade union representatives were not present at the meeting.

Bangladesh has imposed a COVID-19 lockdown since March 25, leading factories to shut production. The country has around 6,462 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 155 deaths, as on April 28. The countrywide lockdown will continue till May 5.

The reopening of garment factories may provide relief to workers whose wages for the month of March were delayed and who are worried about being laid off.

Though Bangladesh authorities recently released a USD 588 million package to aid workers, garment manufacturers complain that the funds are not sufficient to check the damage caused by the lockdown. As per BGMEA estimates, orders for 953 million pieces of readymade garment worth USD 3.05 billion have been cancelled. The cancellations affect more than 2.19 million workers, IndustriAll reported.

Garment workers have also been protesting for the payment of their wages. Though part of the wages were disbursed after protests from the workers and interventions by trade unions, full payment of wages is still pending.

Bangladesh is the world’s second largest exporter of readymade garments. However, the fate of the industry in the near future will depend on how European markets, where the bulk of the exports go, cope with the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, re-operationalizing garment factories at a time when the number of COVID-19 cases in Bangladesh is still rising has led to concerns about the security and health of the workers.

Though some factories have arranged for hand washing stations, masks and disposable caps for workers and temperature checks, most have failed to implement adequate physical distancing norms that are mandatory for preventing the spread of the highly contagious virus.

Even minimum protective facilities were reported missing in a large number of factories. Several workers also complained about the lack of transport facilities to commute to work.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) had issued guidelines for production units and governments to carry out proper risk assessment through dialogue with all the stakeholders, including workers, before resuming work. The ILO has emphasized that workplaces need to meet strict occupational and health safety standards.

However, most of the factories in Bangladesh operate with space constraints, where even with a small workforce, physical distancing norms are difficult to implement. The government and factory owners are also often accused of suppressing the voices of the trade unions and the workers.

On April 6, two garment workers died after participating in a protest against authorities in Mymensingh district over a policy of suspending thousands of garment workers and denying allowances during the ongoing lockdown. Workers accused the management of unfair dismissals and the denial of due wages. Workers also alleged being threatened with blacklisting if they demanded their rights.

400 million people in India’s risk falling into poverty in the informal economy during the COVID-19 crisis: ILO report

media.photolib
Photo: ILO

“81 percent in the global workforce of 3.3 billion are currently affected by full or partial workplace closures.”

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 8 April 2020: The Coronavirus crisis is affecting tens of millions of informal workers in the unorganized sector. Latest ILO figures for India, Nigeria, and Brazil reveal unprecedented numbers affected deeply towards poverty as a consequence of the lockdowns and other steps.

“Current lockdown measures in India, which are at the high end of the University of Oxford’s
COVID-19 Government Response Stringency Index, have impacted these workers significantly, forcing many of them to return to rural areas, says the ILO Monitor 2nd edition: COVID-19 and the world of work Updated estimates and analysis released on 7 April 2020. (ilo.org)

At the global level, the report press release says, “The COVID-19 crisis is expected to wipe out 6.7 percent of working hours globally in the second quarter of 2020 – equivalent to 195 million full-time workers.

Large reductions are foreseen in the Arab States (8.1 percent, equivalent to 5 million full-time workers), Europe (7.8 percent, or 12 million full-time workers) and Asia and the Pacific (7.2 percent, 125 million full-time workers).

Huge losses are expected across different income groups but especially in upper-middle-income countries (7.0 percent, 100 million full-time workers). This far exceeds the effects of the 2008-9 financial crisis.”

The rather disturbing report reveals more than four out of five people (81 percent) in the global workforce of 3.3 billion are currently affected by full or partial workplace closures.

“Workers and businesses are facing catastrophe, in both developed and developing economies,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “We have to move fast, decisively, and together. The right, urgent, measures, could make the difference between survival and collapse.”

Worldwide, two billion people work in the informal sector (mostly in emerging and developing economies) and are particularly at risk.

Large-scale, integrated, policy measures are needed, focusing on four pillars: supporting enterprises, employment, and incomes; stimulating the economy and jobs; protecting workers in the workplace; and, using social dialogue between government, workers, and employers to find solutions, the study says.