Media Advisory

ILO, USDOL to launch new project to support rural workers

The ILO with the support from the United States Department of Labor is launching a new project in the Philippines to improve compliance with labour laws, occupational safety and health and gender equality in rural sectors covering agriculture, fishing and mining.

News | Manila, Philippines | 09 August 2021
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The COVID-19 pandemic has affected lives and livelihoods of millions of workers globally, including 9 million working in rural sectors of agriculture, fishing and mining in the Philippines, of which 22 per cent are women.

These sectors are characterized by poverty, poor working conditions and high risk of occupational accidents and diseases. Women workers in these sectors are at further disadvantage as their work are often undervalued or perceived as mere support to their spouses or other male family members. They face greater risks and suffer more from disproportionate job and income losses, unsafe and unhealthy working environment and double burden from balancing work and family responsibilities, especially during this pandemic.

The International Labour Organization (ILO), with support from the United States Department of Labor (US DOL), is to launch a project on “Improving Workers’ Rights in the Rural Sectors of the Indo-Pacific with a focus on Women”, on Wednesday, 11 August 2021 at 9:30 a.m. via Zoom.

The project aims to improve compliance with labour laws, occupational safety and health (OSH), and gender equality in the rural sectors, covering agriculture, fishing and mining in the Philippines and Indonesia. The project is implemented as part of the ILO Safety + Health for All Flagship Programme, aimed at improving safety and health worldwide, and is envisaged to contribute to the goals and targets under the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) of the Philippines.

The project’s target initiatives are also designed to support the development of a recovery strategy that would bring decent jobs and create equal opportunities for men and women workers in these target rural sectors, whose work demands special measures to ensure their safety and health, as set out under the Global Call to Action for a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It seeks to support the government’s agenda to fully implement the OSH law in the rural sectors,  and broaden market access through various trade agreements, especially for markets requiring compliance and due diligence.

ILO Director for the Philippines Khalid Hassan, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello, III, United Nations Philippines Resident Coordinator Gustavo González, and U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Charge d’affaires John Law will be among the speakers. Panelists from employers and workers’ organizations, including representatives from the women and informal sectors, will also provide their insights during the panel discussion shorty after.

The launch is open to media coverage. Kindly register via Zoom. Full recording will be available to registered journalists after the launch.

For further information please contact:

Ms Ana Valencia
ILO USDOL Project on Improving workers’ rights in the rural sectors
of the Indo-Pacific with a focus on women

Ms Minette Rimando
Media and Public Information, ILO Country Office for the Philippines