Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mallikarjun Kharge calls for maintaining ILO leadership in the labour related issues at 101st Plenary Session of ILC (Geneva)
In the years to come, ILO must maintain its leadership in the subjects related to labour since it has the unique advantage of tripartite structure, transparency and the ability to obtain inputs from real economy. This was emphasised by Shri Mallikarjun Kharge while delivering his address in Plenary Session of the 101st Session of International Labour Conference at Geneva (Switzerland) today.

Shri Kharge stated that the journey of ILO over the last more than nine decades has been eventful and full of important milestones. The last eleven years have been particularly effective under the stewardship of Mr. Juan Somavia and India wishes to place on record its deep appreciation. He also expressed his confidence that under the experienced leadership of Mr. Guy Ryder, DG-elect, ILO will achieve new heights of excellence in the years to come

He further added that the primary function of ILO is standard setting and their application. Many of the ILO Conventions are outdated and need to be revised as identified by Cartier Working Party. Even the core conventions have failed to achieve universal ratification due to lack of flexibility. ILO should undertake in-depth analysis to put in place a standards strategy which encourages steps like progressive ratification of a Convention. The choice of topics for future standard setting should be widened according to the requirements of all ILO member states having diverse socio-economic conditions like large informal economy, rural sector etc.

The Minister cautioned that in the recent years we have seen moves by various organizations to enter into the area of labour standards. Mushrooming of various types of voluntary standards and CSR standards are a clear indication of attempts to marginalize the role of ILO. Moreover, in the area of labour inspection several accreditation agencies and third party inspections are being encouraged whereas ILO Convention No. 81 clearly states that labour inspection is the responsibility of Governments. ILO should be very watchful of this situation.

Shri Kharge expressed concern that ILO is moving into the areas of operation of other organizations like ECOSOC, UNICEF, Human Rights Council, etc. The international labour scenario is facing new challenges in the form of reduced job opportunities on account of the financial crisis coupled with jobless growth. He urged that ILO should concentrate its limited resources on these challenges and its core areas of operation. Technical cooperation projects to be sustainable and effective must be planned and executed by recipient countries reflecting their priorities. ILO should continue to make labour markets work better by assisting in improving information and analysis, provide technical advice on skills and employability, promote freedom of association, collective bargaining, social dialogue and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. India’s commitment to the ideals of ILO and assurance of our full cooperation in this partnership was also reiterated. 

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