Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant heads a SA delegation to 104th Session of the ILO’s International Labour Conference

BY SUPPLIED - MAY 28, 2015

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant is to lead a South African delegation to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) meeting at the International Labour Conference (ILC), held every year in Geneva, Switzerland, in the month of June

Under the theme: “Building a future with decent work” - worker, employer and government delegates from the ILO's 185-member States will in this year’s agenda tackle a wide range of issues, including labour migration and employment strategies, ways out of informality and strengthening ILO Convention 29 on forced labour.

The World parliament of labour as the Conference is often called performs several main tasks such as:

  • The Conference also supervises the application of Conventions and Recommendations at the national level.
  • The crafting and adoption of international labour standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations.
  • Examining the reports which the governments of all member States are required to submit, detailing their compliance with obligations arising out of ratified Conventions, and their law and practice in respect of Conventions and Recommendations (ratified or not) on which reports have been requested by the Governing Body of the ILO.
  • Examine the Global Report prepared by the Office under the follow-up procedure required by the Declaration.
  • The ILC offers a forum where social and labour questions of importance to the entire world are discussed.
  • The Conference also passes resolutions that provide guidelines for the ILO's general policy and future activities.

Every two years the Conference adopts the ILO's biennial work programme and budget, which is financed by member States.

The South African delegation to the ILC conference will also include the Department of Labour’s Director-General, Thobile Lamati; Department of Labour Acting Deputy Director-General of Inspection and Enforcement Services, Virgil Seafield and senior officials of the department from various business branches. The South African delegation is expected to also include officials from the Department of Small Business Development; Department of Higher Education; the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs; the Department of International Relations and Cooperation; the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

There will also be delegates from organised business; and organised labour.

The 103rd International Labour Conference held last year deliberated on key world of work issues - including forced labour, migration, informality, and investment in quality employment. The Conference was applauded for overwhelming adoption of the Protocol to Convention No. 29 on Forced Labour. Last year’s ILC was attended by more than 4 700 government, employer and worker delegates.

Founded in 1919, the ILO tripartite structure gives an equal voice to workers, employers and governments to ensure that the views of the social partners are closely reflected in labour standards and in shaping policies and programmes. The agency’s main aims are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues.

The ILO is a specialised agency of the United Nations. Some of the issues currently pre-occupying the ILO include: post 2015  development agenda; social protection and youth unemployment.  

 

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