Historic ILO Recommendation recognises co-operatives as decent work employers and income-generating opportunities

28 Jun 2017

By Rodrigo Gouveia, Alliance director of Policy

Co-operatives were mentioned in the revision of the historic recommendation on employment and decent work for peace and resilience of the International Labour Organization. The Recommendation recognises the role of co-operatives as sustainable enterprises in providing income-generating opportunities, employment and decent work.

The International Labour Conference, which took place on 5-15 June in Geneva, approved the revision of the Recommendation on Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience .

The text of the Recommendation states that “in enabling recovery and building resilience, [countries] should adopt and implement a comprehensive and sustainable employment strategy to promote full, productive, freely chosen employment and decent work for women and men”, namely through “the creation or restoration of an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises, including the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises as well as of co-operatives and other social economy initiatives, with particular emphasis on initiatives to facilitate access to finance.”

The International Cooperative Alliance welcomes this development considering that, along with the ILO’s Recommendation 193 on the promotion of co-operatives, this text will help advocate for the development of co-operatives in many countries affected by war and/or natural disasters.

Representatives of the Alliance attended the International Labour Conference where they had the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with ILO and government officials, employers and trade union representatives, not only regarding the issue of peace and resilience but also on other issues such as the role of co-operatives in the discussion on the future of work and labour migration.

The broad policies of the ILO are set by the International Labour Conference, which meets once a year in June in Geneva, Switzerland. This annual Conference brings together governments', workers' and employers’ delegates of the ILO member States. Often called an international parliament of labour, the conference establishes and adopts international labour standards and is a forum for discussion of key social and labour questions. It also sets out the organisation's budget and elects the Governing Body.

Photo: ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, reflected on the work accomplished by a record 6000+ participants at the 106th International Labour Conference and looks to the challenges ahead for the world of work (c) ILO

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