Decent Work and Social Protection for All: A Global Challenge, a Common Engagement

SOLIDAR - FOS - SOLSOC Mission to the ILO Conference, Day 2

In the framework of its advocacy and campaign work to promote Decent Work and Social Protection for All, SOLIDAR together with its Members – Solidar Suisse, FOS-Solidaristische Solidariteit and Solidarité Socialiste – attended the 104th Session of the International Labour Organisation’s Conference in Geneva to support the demands of its partners – Asmade (Burkina Faso) and the Coordinadora Sindical de trabajadores azucareros (El Salvador)- for Freedom of Association, Decent Work and Universal Access to Health.

As part of the program, on Tuesday 2nd June, the public roundtable debate “Decent Work and Social Protection for All: A Global Challenge, a Common Engagement” was hosted and followed by a photo exhibition on“Sugar Cane Workers in El Salvador: Fighting for Decent Work”.

Speakers included Frank Hoffer from ILO ACTRAV, Juliette Campaore from Asmade and Noe Gilberto Nerio from the Coordinadora Sindical de Trabajadores Azucareros.

The roundtable debate highlighted that independent trade unions and representative NGOs have a key role in ensuring that everyone has access to a social protection floor and decent work and that Governments’ commitments are translated into national legislations and implemented in the full respect of human rights principles.

Frank Hoffer, from ILO ACTRAV and Coordinator of the Global Labour University, highlighted, among other things, that international solidarity has an important role to play in ensuring he right to social protection for example through the establishment of a fund for Social protection.

Juliette Compaoré, Director of Asmade, closed by calling “ on the Burkinabe authorities to provide a legal framework to develop the Universal Health Insurance (AMU) which is a major step to start operationalizing the national social protection policy. It is high time to vote and pass the AMU Act”. You can find more information on Asmade here.

Noe Gilberto Nerio Juarez presented the situation of the sugar cane cutters in El Salvador and informed that thanks to the international pressure on the government, on May 29th, the Minister for employment and social security officially engaged to recognise the trade union SITRACANA. Nevertheless, there is still the need to keep the pressure on the Government to ensure that, in the next days and during the ILC, a commitment to set up a tripartite dialogue for the sugar sector is also taken. According to the Coordinadora Sindical de trabajadores azucareros’ (CSTA) proposal, this dialogue should foresee tripartite meetings four times a year and extraordinary meetings whenever it is needed. Only through a genuine social dialogue, the working conditions of sugar cane workers can improve and the live of thousands of people saved. You can find Mr. Nerio Juarez’ presentation here.

Participants to the roundtable included representatives from the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, ILO, COLSIBA, the NGO World Solidarity, the Nordic Geneva School Delegation, and many others that with SOLIDAR share the vision that only by joining forces we will achieve Decent Work and Social Protection for All.