‘Effort should be to provide meaningful and respectful jobs than merely giving opportunities to work.'

The recent economic downturn has resulted in a severe degradation of labour conditions in many parts of the world, according to M.P. Joseph, Head, International Labour Organisation (ILO), Cambodia.

He was delivering a lecture on ‘The International Labour Organisation and India: The Past, Present and the Future,' organised by the Centre for Trade, Development and Governance (C-TDG) at the School of International Relations and Politics (SIRP) of Mahatma Gandhi University here on Thursday.

Mr. Joseph said that the crisis had led to job losses for millions. The number of unemployed youth was as much as the number of children forced to work. He also mentioned that unemployed youth refer to a destabilising social force in all countries. The wrong direction in which global economy is moving, and its inherent nature of favouring a few at the cost of many are the core factors of the existing problem, he said.

Mr. Joseph added that the labour situation that existed is most parts of the world had deteriorated, with labour, especially during migration, projecting a steady trend of dignity lapses and violations. Unsafe migration had become a key issue in the current scenario and the position of the ILO was to promote free labour. Assuming equal importance were the problems of trafficking and forced labour. Both together, he said, concerns millions of people across the world.

In an attempt to counter such widespread issues, the ILO sought for employment generation, maintaining employment, as well as decent work. The global jobs pact that had been proposed by the ILO carried forward this position, he said.

On MGNREGS, Mr. Joseph said that effort should be to provide jobs that were more meaningful and respectful rather than merely giving opportunities to work. He, however, appreciated the scale and intent of the national programme.

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