International Labour Conference 2016

May 30, 2016 - June 10, 2016

General Discussion on Decent Work in Global Supply Chains

From May 30 to June 10, 2016, members of the WIEGO network participated in the general discussion on decent work in global supply chains at the 105th Session of the ILO International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland. The general discussion offered an important opportunity for ILO constituents to gain a better understanding of how engagement in global supply chains can contribute to sustainable development, inclusive economic growth and decent work for all.

Raising the issues of homeworkers at the ILC

At the ILC, WIEGO coordinated a delegation of homeworkers and organizers from Africa, Latin America, South Asia and South-East Asia who aimed to raise the issues of decent work and rights for homeworkers in global supply chains. As part of this process, members of the WIEGO network collaborated to develop a platform of demands on decent work for homeworkers in global supply chains which sets out the key issues and challenges faced by homeworkers and their demands for improved working conditions, rights and decent work.

As a result of interventions by the WIEGO delegation, the official Conclusions coming out of the discussions includes text which recognizes homeworkers as being part of global supply chains. The Conclusions also acknowledge the ILO Convention on Home Work (C177) as one of the instruments that the ILO should base its programme of action on to address decent work in global supply chains.

 

WIEGO delegate Tatiana Rojas Orellana, from Chile, speaks at the ILC 2016 (in Spanish)

 

Suntaree Saeng-Ging of HomeNet Thailand Speaks During Worker's Group Meeting

 

WIEGO delegate Prabha Pokhrel, from Nepal, speaks at the ILC 2016

 

Sonia George of SEWA speaks on behalf of WIEGO during the Worker's Group Meeting for the Discussion on Decent Work in Global Supply Chains

 

Zehra Khan of the Home-Based Women Worker's Federation Pakistan speaks during the Worker's Group Meeting

 

Zehra Khan speaks on behalf of the WIEGO Network during the ILC's plenary session.

 

Read interviews with homeworker representatives by the ILO Cooperatives Unit and watch interviews done by Open Democracy with the WIEGO Delegation on decent work for homeworkers.

Commemorating 20 Years of the ILO Convention on Home Work

The 2016 ILC also marked the 20th anniversary of the ILO Convention on Home Work (C177) which was adopted by the 1996 International Labour Conference. On June 7, the ILO Workers’ Group hosted a special event commemorating the anniversary. A panel of speakers including Manuela Tomei from the ILO, Chidi King from ITUC, Jyoti Macwan of SEWA and a Belgian government representative (Belgium having ratified C177) spoke during the event. Panelists reflected on the negotiation process towards a Convention 20 years ago, progress to date in terms of country ratification and legislation protecting homeworkers and the Convention's continued relevance now, particularly as homework is increasingly a feature of the “digital economy”. Participants emphasised the need for a “new narrative” and recognized the relevance of home work and C177 in the future of work. As Anna Biondi from ILO-ACTRAV (Workers' Bureau) noted “We need to restart this work and think of better strategies”. In line with this, WIEGO and partners launched a global campaign in 2016 to raise awareness on homeworkers and the need for countries to ratify C177.