Statement of the Chairman High Level International Conference “Decent Work – the basis for economic growth after financial crisis”
A High Level International Conference on the Decent Work Agenda was conducted in Moscow on 11-12 December 2012 with the participation of delegates from 80 countries, representatives of international organizations and academic community. The following Conclusions of the Chairman of the Conference provide a reflection of the debates held on those days.
The world financial and economic crisis that began in 2008-2009 has had many seriously adverse effects on the sphere of employment and has resulted in a large-scale increase in the numbers of unemployed in most of the countries around the world, which led to the rise of poverty, malnutrition, migration and a deterioration of working conditions.
The debates at the Moscow International Conference on Decent Work demonstrated that the above mentioned negative consequences of the financial and economic crisis threaten democratic values, social justice and fair globalization.
There was broad consensus that social dialogue between workers’ and employers’ representative organisations and government authorities provide the most effective instrument for reconciliation of different economic interests, and on the relevance of the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization (2008) and ILO Global Jobs Pact (2009).
Based on the results of the debates, The Chairman of the Conference appeals to all the members of the international community:
1. In the sphere of employment:
- to promote joint actions by the social partners to achieve full, productive and freely chosen employment under conditions of decent work;
- to create an enabling environment for innovative job creation, support to entrepreneurship and development of small- and medium-sized enterprises;
- to study labour market demand and supply in order to coordinate them adequately;
- to increase the level of vocational education, training, retraining and lifelong skills development in order to provide new innovative industries with an appropriately qualified workforce;
- to conduct labour market policies to assist socially vulnerable groups of the population (such as youth, elderly, persons with disabilities);
- to work with the social partners to enhance the competitiveness of young workers on the labour market through education, training and the improvement of the quality of apprenticeships;
- to ensure legal and social protections of migrant workers and so assist in their adaptation to receiving countries;
- to provide adequate unemployment benefits combined with assistance to recipients to get back to work;
- to disseminate positive national experiences on the creation of innovative industries, green jobs and safe work places;
- to execute targeted policies to facilitate the labour market integration of the long term unemployed citizens including through skills development and upgrading;
- to cooperate to ensure the promotion of the Concept of decent work at all international and regional organizations and forums, including the G20, and to promote full and productive employment and decent work as an explicit development goal.
2. In the sphere of fundamental principles and rights at work:
- to work against violations of the human rights stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as in the eight fundamental ILO Conventions as well as acts of regional and international organizations;
- to acknowledge that universally recognized labour standards and rights at work, stipulated in the eight fundamental ILO Conventions, are inseparable, interconnected and indispensable to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all and are thus one of the main drivers for sustainable economic growth;
- to confirm that effective realization of the right for freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining is possible only under conditions of cooperation and equality;
- to eliminate all forms of forced or compulsory labour;
- to take all possible measures to abolish all forms of child labour;
- to improve labour legislation and bring it in line with the international standards and norms;
- to take action for the elimination of all forms of discrimination and to encourage social and legal protection of the most vulnerable groups of the population;
- to promote other important and topical ILO Conventions, such as the Maritime Labour Convention (2006) and the Domestic Workers’ Convention, No. 189 (2011);
- to implement national and international programmes preventing human trafficking;
- to support coordinated international responses with regard to countries that violate fundamental principles and rights at work.
3. In the sphere of social dialogue:
- to uphold social dialogue as a means for implementing the Decent Work agenda, encouraging convergence between the interests of workers and employers and preventing social conflicts;
- to support ratification and full implementation of the ILO Tripartite Consultation Convention (to promote the realization of International Labour Standards), No. 144 (1976);
- to promote the pivotal role of social dialogue in achieving the sustainable consideration of economic, social and employment interests of different groups of the population;
- to encourage collective bargaining at various levels;
- to ensure that employers fully respect the rights of workers and to contribute to increasing the effectiveness of social dialogue;
- to disseminate best practices in conflict resolution processes including mediation, arbitration and conciliation commissions.
4. In the sphere of social protection:
- to guarantee national social protection floors providing a basic level of social guarantees for all in need;
- to promote the ratification and full implementation of the ILO Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102);
- to respect rights of workers and provision their social protection not only during times of economic growth but also during financial and economic crisis, not allowing a drastic deterioration of the economic situation of enterprises;
- to expand access to social security systems to those groups of the population which are lacking coverage by social protection;
- to confirm that systems of social security should be based on principles of social solidarity;
- to ensure the broadest possible entitlement of citizens to coverage by national pension systems, complemented through systems of social assistance to prevent poverty of older people beyond retirement age.
- to acknowledge that socially responsible state starts with upbringing of socially responsible citizens who then grow into socially responsible businessmen, politicians and civil servants. Development of the culture of social security and social solidarity, likewise the development of the entrepreneurship culture, should go through the educational process and teaching those qualities from the school bench.
The implementation of Decent Work programmes worldwide will promote not only social and economic progress but also the development of human capacities, the alleviation of poverty and the promotion of human rights. Their fulfilment will require the combination of democracy with political will and the joint efforts of governments and social partners. The ILO will be a full partner in such endeavours.