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ILO urges policy change to improve workers’ economic security

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Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo
Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo

The Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, has urged governments across the world to implement policies to enhance the economic security of workers

In a message on May Day, Mr Houngbo said: “Our policies and actions must be human-centred, to allow people to pursue both their material well-being and their spiritual development in conditions of freedom and dignity, economic security, and equal opportunity.”

He said the most effective way to achieve this was by providing quality jobs so that people could support themselves and build their own futures, as ‘Decent Work for All,’ is an effective way to attain Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) eight.

The SDG eight is aimed at promoting sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

The ILO DG noted that SDG is achievable, saying: “This approach is not new, it was set out and agreed in the aftermath of World War Two, when the ILO’s international membership signed the 1944 Declaration of Philadelphia.”

He encouraged governments and stakeholders across the world to realistically address the long-term structural transformations of the present time and ensure that new technology creates and supports employment.

Also, there should be proactive efforts to tackle the challenges of climate change through the provision of jobs, skills training, and transition that support workers and businesses to benefit from the new low-carbon era.

He also urged that demographic changes are treated as a ‘dividend’ rather than a problem, with supporting action on skills, migration, and social protection, to create more cohesive and resilient societies.

“We must reinvigorate labour institutions and organisations so that social dialogue is effective and vigorous. We must review laws and regulations affecting the world of work, so that they are relevant, up-to-date, and able to protect workers and support sustainable businesses.” Mr Houngbo said.

This is why we need a Global Coalition for Social Justice that will “create a platform to bring together a broad range of international bodies and stakeholders to position social justice as the keystone of the global recovery, so that it is prioritised in national, regional and global policies and actions,” he underscored.

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