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Labour Minister, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo. (FP)

Decent work – defined as employment which is productive and provides a fair income and security in the workplace – continues to be of national importance, with Barbados and other member countries of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to benefit from efforts to further this agenda.

Speaking at this morning’s ILO/Barbados Employers’ Confederation workshop on The Role of Labour Standards in Accessing International Markets and Supporting the Caribbean Single Market, Labour Minister, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, said that in Barbados and several other countries, the core labour standards are complemented by the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda with four strategic objectives and gender equality as a cross-cutting objective. "Those objectives are: creating jobs, guaranteeing rights at work, extending social protection and promoting social dialogue. "In an effort to assist member states in securing technical assistance, the ILO designed an initiative whereby countries would develop Decent Work Country Programmes to focus on priority areas of interest and need," Dr. Byer Suckoo explained.

Elaborating on the function of the programme, the Labour Minister described it as: "to effect positive change in people’s lives at the national level.?? We can agree that work is essential to people’s well-being. In addition to providing income, work can pave the way for broader social and economic advancement, strengthening individuals, their families and communities. Such advancement however, hinges on work that is decent.??

"Decent Work sums up the aspirations of people in their working lives.?? In order, therefore, for the outcomes to be successful, there must be a serious commitment to, and a heavy premium placed on, the promotion of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda," she stressed.

Speaking to the growth of the decent work concept globally, Senator Byer Suckoo noted that, "Decent Work reflects priorities on the social, economic and political agenda of countries and by extension, the world. In a relatively short time this concept has forged an international consensus among governments, employers, workers and civil society that productive employment and Decent Work are key elements to achieving a fair globalisation, reducing poverty and achieving equitable, inclusive and sustainable development. The concept of Decent Work, therefore, demonstrates the need for understanding the relationship between labour standards and trade."

nekaelia.hutchinson@barbados.gov.bb

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