Impact and people


  1. Decent Work for the Panama Canal

    02 June 2008

    Extension work on the Panama Canal began a few months ago. When the Canal was inaugurated in 1914 to link two oceans, thousands of workers had died. This shows the importance of the decision to carry out the new project respecting Decent Work principles, according to the Minister of Labour of Panama and President of the 97th International Labour Conference in Geneva, Edwin Salamín Jaén.

  2. International Labour Conference, June 2008 - Decent Work in rural areas: a key path for poverty reduction

    30 May 2008

    Some 3.4 billion people, slightly under half of the world’s population, now live in rural areas. Though the great majority live in developing countries and are poor, their situation, along with the impact of climate change, food price rises and other factors are visibly in the news. Promotion of rural employment and poverty reduction is one of the main topics of discussion at this year’s International Labour Conference meeting in Geneva from 28 May to 13 June. Here are some questions and answers on the state of rural employment today and the key issues for consideration when discussing how to reduce rural poverty through the promotion of Decent Work.

  3. International Labour Conference, June 2008 - Tools for success: skills training in Timor-Leste

    29 May 2008

    Ranked as one of the 10 poorest countries in the world, Timor-Leste faces a daunting development challenge. But it also provides a practical example of the ‘virtuous circle’ fostered by skills development in terms of higher productivity, more employment of better quality, income growth and development – to be discussed at this year's International Labour Conference in Geneva. ILO Online reports from Timor-Leste.

  4. Forced labour in Brazil: 120 years after the abolition of slavery, the fight goes on

    13 May 2008

    On May 13th 1888, Brazil became the last nation in the Western Hemisphere to formally abolish slavery. One-hundred and twenty years later, it is estimated that 25,000 to 40,000 workers are still victims of conditions analogous to slavery in this South American country. The problem is particularly serious in the northern agricultural states, where widespread poverty and the vast distances make it very difficult to detect violations. However, with the guidance of the ILO and the help of employers, the Brazilian government is gradually turning the situation around. ILO Online reports from Brazil.

  5. Promoting better work in global supply chains: Cambodian garment workers show talent

    02 May 2008

    Better Factories Cambodia, a joint initiative of the ILO and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is often cited as an example of how closer links between the two organizations can improve labour practices and competitiveness in global supply chains. But workers also have their own talents, as shown during a recent song contest organized among garment workers. ILO Online reports.

  6. “Superman has fallen”: Managing risk in the work environment

    24 April 2008

    Each year, an estimated 2.2 million people die from work-related accidents and diseases around the world, according to the ILO which says that work related deaths appear to be on the rise. But risks can be eliminated or minimized at source, says a new ILO report published for World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April. ILO Online reports from the Republic of Korea where the country’s occupational safety and health agency KOSHA launched a number of initiatives to prevent accidents at work.

  7. The ILO/USDOL International HIV/AIDS Workplace Education Programme - Stories from the field

    15 April 2008

    Approximately 650 workplaces in 24 countries stretching from Benin to China are now involved with in the workplace education programme known as SHARE (Strategic HIV/AIDS Responses in Enterprises). Overall, an estimated million workers benefit from the ILO interventions financed by the United States Department of Labor. These are some lessons learned from SHARE countries

  8. Saving lives, protecting jobs: new horizons in the fight against HIV/AIDS at work

    14 April 2008

    HIV is having a devastating effect on the world of work. The majority of the 33.2 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS are working and have skills and experience their families, workplace and countries can ill afford to lose. As the UN’s lead agency in HIV/AIDS workplace interventions, the ILO is launching a new report highlighting strategic responses to HIV/AIDS in enterprises worldwide. ILO Online spoke with Dr Sophia Kisting, Director of the ILO/AIDS.

  9. Conditional cash transfer programmes: a useful step in the fight against poverty

    08 April 2008

    Conditional cash transfer programmes constitute an important tool for reducing poverty and promoting social inclusion – two key objectives of the International Labour Organization. Mexico has one of the most successful programmes of this type, which was recently the focus of a seminar at the ILO headquarters in Geneva. But as it was clear from the discussion that followed, these programmes are not exempt from risks.

  10. No vacuum: Cleaning up cleaning contracts

    01 April 2008

    A hidden army of workers is at work each day cleaning the world’s office blocks. Many office staff never meet the people who empty their garbage and dust their desks, for cleaning contracts often specify that the work is to be undertaken out of normal work time, in the early morning or evening periods. Yet cleaners are an essential part of modern office life. Andrew Bibby reports.