Three-day workshop on International Labour Standards opens in Accra

A three-day National Tripartite Training (NTT) on International Labour Standards (ILS) on Constitutional Obligation with regard to reporting on employment and occupational safety and health conventions opened in Accra on Tuesday.

Organised by International Labour Organisation (ILO), the participants would deliberate on issues confronting their countries and job creation.

The workshop would help respond to the needs and challenges facing workers and employers in the global economy.

Participants would have the opportunity to discuss reporting obligation under already ratified conventions, follow-up to comments by committee of experts on the application of conventions and recommendations as well as developments on ILO Conventions on employment policy, private employment agencies and occupational safety and health.

They would also discuss basic human rights at work such as freedom of association, the right to organise and bargain collectively, the abolition of forced labour, the elimination of discrimination in employment and the elimination of child labour.

Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, addressing the opening session noted Ghana’s involvement in labour issues on the global front.

He said the challenge was effective reporting on conventions which could help improve on the living standard of the citizenry, and underscored the critical role and contributions of ILO to societies and economies world-wide

Mr Mensah said ILO had continued to play positive roles in the development of world economies such as building up the Post World War II economies of North America, Australia, while they continued to contribute towards strengthening the social and economic development of economies of European countries over the past decades.

He expressed the hope that the workshop would help empower the participants to migrate to an era where reporting would become regular and a standard for other countries to emulate, and reiterated government’s efforts to reduce unemployment issue among the youth in the country.

Mr Mensah said, Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) being a central issue to ensure decent working conditions for every worker, the ILO had adopted more that 40 standards which were to deal directly and indirectly with occupational safety and health issues.

He said ILO standards and occupational safety and health provided essential tools for government employees as well as workers to establish sound prevention, reporting and inspection practices adding, the third convention ratified by Ghana in June this year, was the safety and health in agriculture convention in 2001.

Mr Mensah stressed that the Government would continue to work with ILO to pursue a national agenda that could prioritise the realisation of the rights and entitlements of Ghanaians as well as enhance their democratic development.

He pledged the Government’s commitment to establish formal and legal relationships with various countries through bilateral agreements to enhance labour migration.

Ms Cecilia Balima-Vittin, International Labour Organisation (ILO) Specialist in Dakar,Senegal,said, Ghana had been selected as one of the countries for the pilot programme for International Labour Standards (ILS) for the 2012- 2013 biennial conference.

She said this would help the nation to strengthen its capacity in relation to standard reporting on the application and implementation of ILS as well as implement more effectively ratified instruments.

Ms Balima-Vittin said, ILO was subjected to a monitoring system based on the regular and periodical reporting obligations on the application of ratified conventions which were monitored by supervisory bodies called committee of experts.

She said the committee would examine the reports submitted by Member States and determine whether the national application in law and practice was in conformity with the conventions.

Ms Balima-Vittin said the ILO sought to assist countries through dialogue and technical assistance.

Mr Alex Frimpong, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Employers’ Association, said the ILS would help workers to be law abiding and provide a legal entry and exit scheme for work and wealth enhancement.

He hoped that participants would by the end of their deliberations gained deeper insight into good practices and lessons learnt from other laws used as the basis for the development and implementation of future circular ILS programmes.

“It is also my hope that you would formulate a set of practical recommendation and implementation guidelines to enhance further cooperation in the area of ILS among Member States,” he said.

Source: GNA

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