A more active engagement of African workers at the 111th session of the International Labour Conference

Keywords : Benin Newsletters Human and trade union rights

The 111th session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) is now in full swing at the headquarters of the International Labour Office (ILO), where African trade union delegates are making their voices heard. The ILC brings together representatives of governments, employers and workers from around the world to discuss key issues affecting the world of work.

The African trade union delegates took the opportunity to delve into the debate, voice their concerns and champion the rights of African workers. Delegates emphasised the need to guarantee decent working conditions, combat unemployment and promote equal opportunities in the world of work. They also discussed social protection, health and safety at work and the promotion of social dialogue.
A number of African speakers, representing trade union organisations from Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, Kenya, Mauritius, Ghana and Tunisia, took part in the plenary sessions devoted to the examination of the reports of the Chairperson of the Governing Body and the Director-General of the ILO. They took it in turns to present the situation of the workers and the challenges that they are facing in their respective countries.

" Today, workers around the world face the reality of their most basic rights being violated, all in the name of economic recovery and maximising corporate profitability. As a result, the fundamental principles and rights at the heart of the ILO’s mandate are being undermined in all four corners of the world," declared Comrade Anselme Amoussou, speaking on behalf of the workers of Benin at this 111th session of the ILC.
Social and economic development has helped raise average living standards around the world. However, the world also faces a number of challenges. The world is still marked by high levels of inequality and social vulnerability. Restrictions and limitations on the right to trade union activities are increasingly faced by African trade unions.

" As the poverty rate peaks at over 45%, attacks on social and trade union gains continue, including the criminalisation of the right to strike. Yes, in my country, workers who go on strike can be sentenced to prison. This is unacceptable. While social dialogue has become a luxury, the principle of wage adjustment is being questioned, as well as the updating of company and sectoral collective agreements, " added Comrade Anselme.
This conference, which brings together workers, employers and government delegates from the ILO’s 187 member countries, runs until 16 June and has a wide range of issues on the agenda.

A World of Work Summit will also be held on 14 and 15 June on the theme of "Social justice for all". It will feature speeches and round tables with Heads of State and Government, the Director-General of the ILO and high-level representatives of the United Nations, other international organisations and employers’ and workers’ organizations.

In addition to participating in plenary sessions, African trade union delegates also took part in informal discussions and bilateral meetings with other stakeholders in the world of work. Their exchanges helped to strengthen links between different trade union organisations and to promote closer international cooperation to address common challenges.
Throughout the week, African workers will continue to voice their concerns and press for fair and equitable working conditions for all. Their active participation and commitment is a powerful reminder of the importance of inclusion and representation in shaping the future of work worldwide.

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