ILO conference calls for ‘new era of social justice’ (5/31)



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The International Labor Organization has posted the following news release. To access the release on the ILO web site, click HERE


Conference to address need for a new era of social justice in the wake of recent economic and jobs crises

GENEVA (ILO News) – The International Labor Organization opens its historic 100th International Labor Conference here on 1 June with a call for a new era of social justice amid high global unemployment and underemployment, and public concern over the employment situation after the recent global financial crisis.


The 100th session on 1-17 June will debate current and future challenges in the world of work, including: record-high unemployment rates; a global youth employment crisis; the extension of social protection coverage to the 8 in 10 persons in the world without any such protection; the role of labor administration in ensuring fair treatment at the workplace; and the extension of basic rights at work to millions of mostly female domestic workers.


“The world faces a serious social justice challenge,” said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia, calling for a new era of social justice. “At this 100th Conference, government, employer and worker delegates will consider how they, as representatives of the real economy, can address this challenge.”


Mr. Somavia will present a new report on the state of the world of work in the aftermath of the crisis titled “A New Era of Social Justice.” The report warns that current patterns of growth have become economically inefficient, socially unstable, environmentally damaging and politically unsustainable, breeding widespread discontent and calls for a new model of globalization that produces “a broad and balanced set of outcomes that people are demanding.”


“Present rules are inefficient because they have led to a growth pattern which has generated increasingly unequal results for people and society. The aim of an efficient growth path is to agree on the primacy of the goal of social justice and the contribution of policies that can generate a different set of market outcomes – decent work outcomes,” says the report.


The Conference will also be addressed by special guests including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Finnish President Tarja Kaarina Halonen, Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey, as well as various former heads of states and heads of international agencies.


In addition to the discussions on the current state of the world of work, highlights of the Conference include discussions on a proposed international labor standard on domestic work; high-level panels on youth unemployment in North Africa/Middle East and other regions on employment and social justice in a globalizing economy, the role of decent work in a fairer, greener, sustainable globalization and a vision of a new era of social justice; and plenary discussions on the latest ILO report on the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories.


The Conference will also host a panel discussion on 10 June on children in hazardous work as part of international events marking the World Day Against Child Labor which is on 12 June.



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