BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 2, Number 23 June 22, 1998
Fundamental Rights Declaration Clears Final Hurdle: ILO Conference Seeks End to Child Labour Abuses
ILO press release, 18 June 1998
In an 18th June decision reaffirming the commitment of the international community to uphold fundamental rights in the workplace, delegates to the 86th International Labour Conference adopted by consensus a solemn ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, committing the International Labour Organization's 174 member States to respect the principles inherent in seven core labour standards and promoting their universal application. The vote was 273 for, and zero against, with 43 abstentions. The Conference was attended by over 3,000 delegates from 157 countries, including 127 ministers. The impetus for the declaration stemmed from concerns in the international community over the processes of globalization and the possible social consequences of trade liberalisation, expressed notably at the UN World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995) and the WTO Ministerial Conference in Singapore (1996), both of which expressed support for internationally recognised core labour standards and identified the ILO as the competent body to deal with and set such standards.
The Declaration "stresses that labour standards should not be used for protectionist trade purposes, and that nothing in this Declaration and its follow-up shall be invoked or otherwise used for such purposes; in addition, the comparative advantage of any country should in no way be called into question by this Declaration and its follow-up."
"Fundamental Rights Declaration Clears Final Hurdle ILO Conference Seeks End to Child Labour Abuses", ILO PRESS RELEASE, June 18, 1998.
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