ILO in ca­pac­ity build­ing work­shop here

Stabroek News - - EDITORIAL -

The In­ter­na­tional Labour Or­ga­ni­za­tion (ILO) is host­ing a ca­pac­ity-build­ing work­shop in Guyana which be­gan yes­ter­day and will go up to to­mor­row.

A re­lease yes­ter­day from the ILO said that the pur­pose of the work­shop is to im­prove the ca­pac­ity of govern­ment of­fi­cials to ef­fec­tively plan, pre­pare and write vi­tal na­tional re­ports on in­ter­na­tional labour stan­dards.

Govern­ment of­fi­cials from thir­teen Caribbean mem­ber States are at­tend­ing in­clud­ing: An­tigua and Bar­buda, The Ba­hamas, Bar­ba­dos, Belize, Do­minica, Gre­nada, Guyana, Ja­maica, Saint Lu­cia, Saint Kitts and Ne­vis, Saint Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines, Suri­name, and Trinidad and Tobago. Ad­di­tion­ally, there are rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Guyana Trades Union Congress and one rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Con­sul­ta­tive As­so­ci­a­tion of Guyana In­dus­try.

For a num­ber of years, lo­cal groups have queried whether ad­e­quate re­ports are be­ing done on work­place deaths, child labour and re­lated mat­ters.

Ac­cord­ing to Shingo Miyake, ILO Spe­cial­ist on In­ter­na­tional Labour Stan­dards and Labour Law, who is the pri­mary fa­cil­i­ta­tor, “The train­ing al­lows par­tic­i­pants to learn or refresh their mem­ory on the re­port­ing pro­ce­dures for in­ter­na­tional labour stan­dards (ILS). We have no­ticed that coun­tries have real chal­lenges with re­port­ing, es­pe­cially re­ports on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of rat­i­fied Con­ven­tions, which are the main ones. We recog­nise that Labour de­part­ments within Min­istries tend to be small and sim­ply do not have suf­fi­cient man­power to pre­pare the ILS re­ports. ILO as­sists so they can work more ef­fi­ciently.”

The APNU+AFC ad­min­is­tra­tion has faced a num­ber of ques­tions about what has been seen as a minia­tur­i­sa­tion of the labour func­tion by re­mov­ing its min­istry sta­tus. The labour di­vi­sion now func­tions in the Min­istry of So­cial Pro­tec­tion.

“When coun­tries fail to sub­mit na­tional re­ports they miss a golden op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion on their progress but also the stum­bling blocks. Timely re­port­ing to the ILO opens the door for use­ful feed­back from the Com­mit­tee of Ex­perts. When coun­tries sub­mit their re­ports on time, there can be in-depth dis­cus­sion by the Com­mit­tee about how they are ful­fill­ing their obli­ga­tions and sug­ges­tions for suc­cess­ful strate­gies to­wards achiev­ing their goals. Coun­tries could use this feed­back to im­prove their law and prac­tice, and th­ese im­prove­ments can be fur­ther re­ported. There would then be a pos­i­tive cy­cle of di­a­logue”, Miyake said.

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