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ILC 2013: Joint Statement to the Committee on Employment and Social Protection PDF Print E-mail

The IYCW and WSM take the floor at the 102nd Session of the ILC

 

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is indeed an honor for us to be in this strategic forum and to be able to make this intervention on behalf of the International Young Christian Workers (IYCW) and World Solidarity (WSM).

 

First of all, we would like to congratulate the secretariat on their report on employment and social protection in the new demographic context. It provides an excellent analysis of the challenges posed by “population ageing” in relation with employment and social protection policies. The report clearly shows that demographic change should be addressed from an integrated and longer-term perspective. It contributes to the debate on possible policies that should take into account the complementarities between employment and social protection for all age groups spanned over the life cycle.

 

 The integrated perspective means that we should not only consider “ageing” but also the youth. According to our analysis, young people and older workers are those who suffer most from the lack of “decent work”, i.e. they have casual jobs, are discriminated, have less or no access to social protection, etc. This is why we are calling on you to defend the principle and value of intergenerational solidarity in the discussions to be held in the next days. Young people and older people are not rivals, we are allied in the struggle for decent jobs and access to social protection.

 

As a young woman worker from Guatemala, I can affirm that I have suffered from labor instability and work contracts that minimize legally recognized rights. I can declare that many young workers of my generation will probably not be entitled to social protection benefits since the types of contracts they have limit this right to social protection and create total vulnerability. As a young woman worker, I cannot fail to mention that women are increasingly and more and more strongly faced with that reality, as are all young people working in the informal economy. It is precisely to change that situation that we are carrying on our struggle.

 

Decent work and social protection can be considered as interconnected. On the one hand because work is still the best safeguard against poverty, if it is – of course – decent work, and this is still only but a dream for the majority of the world’s population.

 

Social protection is a right of young workers which contributes to a society that lives the value of solidarity. It should consist of preventing, managing, and overcoming situations that adversely affect people’s well-being. It should be ensured through programs, policies and laws that guarantee stable and just work, economic security, health, the right to education, as well as equality and freedom for a life with dignity.

 

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, through this international forum, especially related to the topic of our discussion today on employment and social protection in the new democratic context, we urge all governments and social partners to:

 

1.      Have a clear vision that employment should contribute to the empowerment of people and to the creation of social and economic justice without discrimination of any kind. Labor market participation should increase for all population groups, in particular for women, young people, migrants, as well as older workers.

 

This can be done through the implementation of job-generating policies which ensure social protection, decent salaries and respect of the working time regulations.

 

We would like to say that the creation of decent jobs can minimize the risk for young people to turn to organized crime as their only source of income.

 

2.      Expand the coverage of social protection programs so as to include access to public, quality education, to health care and to low-cost housing for workers and their families.

 

3.      End the persecution of informal workers and develop proposals for public policies leading to improved working conditions for those people.

 

4.      End the persecution of union leaders and respect the procedures set for the creation of trade unions and workers’ organizations.

 

5.      Recognize and support the work of social movements with regard to job creation and the extension of social protection.

 

6.      Establish a structural dialogue at the national level in which all relevant stakeholders gather their expertise and different approaches, including social movements. Social organizations as well as international movements and institutions also play a very important role in this dialogue.

 

We hope that the ILO and its constituents will play a strategic role in producing and implementing progressive ideas, applicable at all levels, with direct impact on the social and economic life of the people.

 

Thank you again to all members of the ILO who want to fulfill this noble task. We believe that the results of this conference will contribute to improving the lives of workers throughout the world.

 

Thank you so much!

 

Brenda Justiniano                                          Ludovicus Mardiyono                                  Bart Verstraeten

IYCW                                                             IYCW Presidente                                         WSM

 
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