The tripartite consensus on decent work for ensuring social justice through an inclusive growth was declared at 16th Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting held in Bali, Indonesia last week.
Representatives including ministers from about 35 countries throughout Asia, the Pacific and the Arab states joined the event to discuss issues affecting employment and the world. The ILO and the United Nations specialised agency dealing with work-related issues jointly hosted the meeting. About 400 people, including more than 20 ministers, attended the meeting.
The meeting concluded with a 23-point declaration termed “Bali Declaration” that emphasised developing policies for more decent jobs through macro-economic policy frameworks for inclusive growth and an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises and entrepreneurship.
“Governments, employers and workers in the region agree that action to promote decent work fosters inclusive growth and social justice, stimulates economic dynamism and innovation and drives sustainable development,” according to the Bali Declaration.
Building and strengthening labour market institutions that enable the realisation of decent work for all are key to addressing the challenges faced by constituents, it added.
The Bali declaration lauded the region’s progress in some areas, including remarkable economic progress, but also noted that growth is slowing down.
While not evenly spread, incomes have increased on average. Labour productivity has also increased.
The incidence of extreme poverty declined and social protection coverage was expanded, it said.
Income inequality has increased. Youth unemployment is persistently high. Child and forced labour still exist. Many workers face significant decent work deficits. The gap between rich and poor is widening, said the declaration.
The declaration called for steps to close gender gaps in opportunity and treatment at work through measures to break down barriers to women labour force participation and advancement, promotion of equal pay for work of equal value, extended maternity protection measures and enabling women and men to balance work and care responsibilities.
In the coming year, the attention should be given on the impact of technological innovation on employers and workers, accelerating action to eliminate child labour and forced labour.
Extending social protection, including by establishing sustainable social security systems, and by establishing, maintaining and upgrading social protection floors comprising basic social security guarantees based on the Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012.
The tripartite constituents of the meeting requested the ILO to provide support including building capacity of constituents to effectively contribute to decent work for sustainable and inclusive development through enhanced social dialogue and collective bargaining.
They also sought data-driven and evidence-based research to inform improved labour and employment policy development, technical advice to strengthen labour market institutions and strengthening capacity building programmes for employers’ and workers’ organisations.