Opening address at the Communication and visibility capacity development programme for workers

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the Communication and visibility capacity development programme for workers, 29 April 2022, Manila, Philippines

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 29 April 2022
  • Brothers and sisters representing workers’ organizations;
  • Colleagues, facilitators, ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga (good morning)!
The ILO is glad to welcome you today.

I salute each of you ahead of Labour Day and applaud your commitment to promote decent work for all.

We thank the United States Department of Labor (US DOL) for supporting this training.

The COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on markets and supply chains, forcing businesses to close or reduce operations, and displacing workers, even in rural sectors.1

Women rural workers have been disproportionately affected and differently than men since they earn less, have no social protection, and work more informally.

Workers in agriculture, fishing, and mining, particularly those at the bottom of supply or value chains, suffer from extreme poverty and decent work deficits. And COVID-19 has made matters worse.

Workers’ organizations have a mission and a role to play in promoting and advancing better protection and working conditions for rural workers.

You are the best advocates for labour standards, occupational safety and health (OSH) and gender equality in rural sectors.

The ILO has organized this Capacity Development Programme on Communication and Visibility for Workers’ Organizations to enhance working conditions in rural sectors”.

In this training, the Improving Workers’ Rights in the Rural Sectors of the Indo-Pacific with a focus on Women project aims to:

Support workers’ organizations in crafting and enhancing a communication and visibility strategy to promote labour standards, occupational safety and health, and gender equality for workers in the rural sectors; and enhance their capacity to implement the strategy by training communicators, developing campaign materials and providing mentorship.

Social media and online tools have transformed our advocacy work. It has changed the way we engage in dialogue and discussions in the last decade.

Facebook, YouTube, Zoom, Teams, Canva are just a few tools that have helped us cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, we must not forget media outlets, such as local newspapers, TV and radio. They will remain key public information sources, especially in rural communities where the project operates.

Finding the right mix of tools can help improve our service delivery and programme implementation.

It can help us better organize workers and educate our members.

It can also bridge the gap between workers in the formal and informal economy and improve cooperation.

Effective communication skills and strategy help us move closer to achieve the goals under the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP).

It is vital for the ILO’s Global Call to Action for an inclusive, sustainable and resilient human-centred recovery from COVID-19.

With your active involvement, we hope to have more advocates, experts, and champions of workers’ rights, including those in the rural sector.

I wish you all a fruitful and successful training. May our endeavour help make decent work a reality and leave no one behind!

Maraming salamat po (Thank you very much)!

1Policy brief: The Impact of COVID 19 on Women - United Nations, April 2020