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International Labor Conference Yields Plans for Reshaping Work in Supply Chains

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has plans in place to improve work in global supply chains and to eliminate poverty.

Decent work in global supply chains, maritime labor issues and basic labor rights were key issues on the table at the 105th International Labor Conference held in Geneva May 30-June 10, and coming out of the conference, ILO’s director general said plans are underway for global action to shape the future of work.

“We worked out what needs to be done to ensure that the ever increasing organization of production in global supply chains contributes to the promotion of decent work,” ILO director general Guy Ryder said in a statement. “We began the job of delineating the way that decent work can and must contribute to peace and stability in the wake of conflict, crisis or disaster.”

Ryder said the conference set a compass that will guide member nations to apply ratified conventions and also refined the world’s maritime labor code.

“And if all of that were not enough, we set the course for making poverty history by 2030,” Ryder said.

In a report, “The End to Poverty Initiative: The ILO and the 2030 Agenda,” ILO said the goal of the agenda is not only to end poverty and hunger everywhere, but to protect human rights, promote gender equality and create conditions for sustainable economic growth and decent work for all.

The report, according to the ILO, “integrates the three dimensions of sustainable development—economic, social and environmental, and conveys not just the magnitude, but also the urgency, of the challenges involved.”

To achieve that “decent work,” ILO aims to sustain per capita economic growth of at least 7 percent per year in least developed countries and enhance productivity through diversification, upgraded technology and innovation, and a focus on high-value added and labor-intensive sectors. The agenda also includes implementing equal pay for equal work, protecting labor rights and safe work environments, and eradicating forced labor, modern slavery, human trafficking and all forms of child labor.