International Labour Conference

ILO press release   95th International Labour Conference opens 31st May  


  Tuesday 30 May 2006 (ILO/06/23) GENEVA (ILO News) – Some 3,000 government, worker and employer leaders from the world of work are to meet here from 31 May to 16 June for the annual Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to discuss issues ranging from changing patterns in the world of work to child labour, occupational safety and health, the employment relationship, labour inspection, and the labour situation in Myanmar and other countries. Two eminent guest speakers will honour the Conference with their presence this year: H.E. Ms. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, will address the Conference on 7 June, and H.E. Mr. Oscar Arias Sánchez, President of the Republic of Costa Rica, will address the Conference on 8 June. ILO Director-General Juan Somavia will provide delegates with an overview of ILO issues and concerns in an address on June 5. The Director-General will also present a new report on “Changing patterns in the world of work” that provides a global perspective on the main features of the transformation of work and the challenges this presents for the goal of decent work for all. The Conference will also provide a central focus for global activities on the World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June. Working agenda  


  The Conference will discuss elements of future ILO instruments on occupational safety and health with a view toward adopting a new Convention and a Recommendation. The Committee on Occupational Safety and Health will hold a second discussion on a promotional framework aimed at lowering the toll of work-related injuries and diseases which cause some 2 million deaths each year. On 9 June, the Conference Plenary will discuss the ILO’s new Global Report on child labour, including a special event highlighting the progress made in eliminating child labour in countries like Brazil, Tanzania and Turkey. “The end of child labour – Within reach” says child labour declined by 11 per cent between 2000 and 2004. The report is issued under the follow-up of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work adopted in 1998. The Conference will also discuss the increasingly frequent situations in which it is difficult to establish the existence of an employment relationship. Delegates will consider the possible adoption of an international labour Recommendation, on the basis of the debate on the employment relationship at the 2003 session of the International Labour Conference. The draft proposes to member States the formulation and adoption, in consultation with the social partners, of a national policy that aims at guaranteeing effective protection for workers. The Conference Committee on the Application of Standards will consider the effect given by ILO member States to ILO Conventions and Recommendations, including a general survey on international labour standards relating to labour inspection. Delegates will review the ILO’s technical cooperation programmes taking account of significant changes that have taken place in the approach and modalities of ILO programmes and activities since the last time the issue was discussed at the Conference in 1999, including Decent Work Country Programmes and partnerships within the United Nations system and elsewhere. The Conference will also consider the situation of forced labour in Myanmar in a plenary session and review possible further action by the ILO in accordance with its Constitution in order to effectively secure Myanmar’s compliance with the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry established in 1997, and to ensure that no action is taken against complainants or their representatives. During the discussions in the plenary, tripartite delegates will also address the latest report of the ILO on the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories. The role of the International Labour Conference is to adopt and oversee compliance with international labour standards, establish the budget of the Organization and elect members of the Governing Body. Since 1919, the Conference has served as a major international forum for debate on social and labour questions of worldwide importance. The Conference is expected to draw more than 3,000 delegates including labour ministers and leaders of workers’ and employers’ organizations from most of the ILO’s 178 member States. Each member country has the right to send four delegates to the Conference: two from government and one each representing workers and employers, each of whom may speak and vote independently.

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