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Workplace violence, social dialogue, others top agenda as labour confab begins 

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International Labour Organisation

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has urged a renewal of spirit of tripartism to tackle world of work challenges as the 107th International Labour Conference (ILC) begins in Geneva.  

The conference, which is slated to end next Friday, 8th June 2018 is expected to address a range of issues such as workplace violence, women at work, social dialogue, application of standards and development cooperation.

Speaking at the opening of the conference on Monday, the Director-General of the ILO, Guy Ryder warned of ‘heightened tension in the world’.  

He urged delegates to show “the spirit of tripartism, compromise, and consensus,” which, he said “is a precondition of success for the Conference and of the ILO.”

Ryder spoke on the growing challenge to international cooperation through multilateralism.

Referring to ‘a new brutalism’ in the world, he expressed his firm belief that the ILO as well as the ILC must be a bulwark against such contagion, by its own conduct and by the results it achieves.

He said in this environment, the conference discussion on social dialogue is timely and an opportunity to sharpen it as an instrument for dealing with the transformations taking place in the world of work. 

On workplace violence and harassment, the Director-General called on delegates to open “the way for guarantees of workplaces entirely free of violence and harassment.”  
Underscoring the need for action against all forms of violence and harassment at work, including sexual harassment – which has been brought into sharp focus by the ‘Me Too’ campaign – he encouraged delegates to produce results which will really make the difference: “Our answer to the ever more vocal call for action must be ‘Us Too’”, he said.  

During the Conference, a committee of workers, employers and government representatives will hold a first discussion on possible new standards to fight against violence and harassment at work.  

Looking ahead, Ryder announced a major report to be published by the Global Commission on the future of work early next year, adding that: “The future of work also means the future of the ILO.” 

Ryder also introduced his report on ‘The Women at Work Initiative: The push for equality’, which calls for innovative action to close the persistent gender gap.  
His annual report on ‘The situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories’, had little positive to report on the labour situation but he pointed out the potential of ILO action bringing some improvement to the realities faced by working people there.

  


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