18th American Regional Meeting

ILO "Lima Declaration" calls for combatting inequality through decent work

News | 16 October 2014
Closing ceremony of the 18th American Regional Meeting
LIMA – Over 490 government, worker and employer delegates gathering at the ILO's 18th American Regional Meeting, agreed a series of measures to promote the fight against informality and inequality in the region through decent work.

"It is very important that we send a common, tripartite message to the world from the Americas, saying that there is no human development without decent work, and democracy only prospers if there are better jobs for all," ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said in his closing speech at the meeting.

Fredy Otárola, Minister of Labour and Employment Promotion of Peru and President of the Conference, said that "we all agree that reducing inequality promotes sustainable development and good governance."

According to the latest ILO data, there are 130 million workers in the informal economy in the region, representing almost 47 per cent of the population.

The "Declaration of Lima" calls for combatting inequality through "integrated economic and social policies to promote social inclusion, decent work and productive employment, as well as an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises." As highlighted in the final document of the meeting, "this includes public policies against discrimination and violations to the right of freedom of association."

"To overcome existing obstacles to the creation of quality jobs and to make progress in this field, respect for fundamental rights at work, an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises, and effective social dialogue based on mutual trust between governments and representative and independent employers’ and workers’ organizations are essential," the document states.

During the four-day meeting delegates discussed the Director-General’s report and participated in interactive sessions on sustainable development, the transition from informal to formal work, and the role of multinationals in promoting decent work.

Conference participants also launched a regional initiative to accelerate efforts to combat child labour and achieve the goal of its total eradication by 2020.

ILO efforts to put inclusive economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work on the post 2015 sustainable development agenda received wide support from participating countries.

The meeting brought together 497 delegates from 33 countries of the Americas, 33 per cent of which were women, which represents an increase of almost 10 per cent compared to the last American Regional Meeting.

ILO regional meetings are held every four years in each of the following regions: Asia- Pacific, Americas, Africa, and Europe and Central Asia. The first ILO regional meeting in the Americas took place in 1936.

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