Focus on modern slavery: Global expert

Advocacy around inequality, failure of austerity policies, faults in the international trade system and failure to create enough jobs was central to ITUC work, said Sharan Burrow.

GN Bureau | February 6, 2017


#Sharan Burrow   #inequality   #ILO   #International Trade Union Confederation  
Sharan Burrow
Sharan Burrow

The focus we have put on modern slavery has galvanised enormous support, and despite resistance in particular from some Gulf countries, governments and employers alike now know that the world is watching and is ready to act to end the evil of forced labour, wherever it occurs, said Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
 
In an interview to ACTRAV INFO, a monthly newsletter produced by the ILO Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV), Burrow said that the world of sport is not immune to this, and the exposure of egregious violations of workers’ rights connected to mega sporting events has led to the establishment of a platform for human rights and mega-sporting events, involving a collaboration between unions, sports bodies, employers, human rights and anti-corruption groups, as well as the ILO and the UN High Commission for Human Rights.
 
 
She said that through this, we aim to end the “groundhog day” of repeated violations virtually every time a major global sports event is prepared. Also, with ten ratifications already of the protocol to Convention 29 , which has now entered into force, we have a powerful instrument and momentum to move forward the struggle to end slavery. Convention 29 deals with forced labour.
 
 
Burrow said that while 2016 was a turbulent year in international politics, with the global economy still very weak, inequality at historic levels and conflict causing enormous loss of life and driving millions of people from their homes, trade unions all over the world continued to get real and important results for working people. Internationally, it was a busy year, with many successes and yet many challenges still ahead.
 
She added that our frontlines activity on global supply chains exposed the scandal of 50 of the world’s largest companies having a hidden workforce of 94 percent of their total labour force having no direct relationship with the multinational itself and CEOs taking no responsibility for the people who generate the wealth for shareholders. With very strong public engagement in this campaign, more and more CEOs are recognising the scandals of exploitation and even slavery in their supply chains, and we need to maintain pressure to make them act as responsible employers across their entire supply chains.
 
Burrow went on to say that the ITUC’s “Countries at Risk” programme has enabled us to refine and focus international action around countries which are the worst offenders. Pressure on these governments has in many cases led to positive change, however, the challenges are still huge, with some governments still imprisoning trade unionists, and workers still facing discrimination, physical violence and even death simply for standing up for their rights.
 
Advocacy at the global level around inequality, the failure of austerity policies, faults in the international trade system and the failure to create enough jobs was central to our work in 2016. Inequality in particular is now widely recognised as a problem in the vast majority of countries, although the international financial institutions in particular are still to learn the lesson, despite the warnings of their own researchers.
 
Read: Sharan Burrow’s complete interview here 
 

Comments

 

Other News

On a personal note: DIVINE

An underground rapper who grew up on Mumbai streets, Divine spins his music around his environment and poverty. His breakout single, ‘Meri Gully Mein’, along with fellow rapper Naezy caught Bollywood’s attention. The Hindi film ‘Gully Boy’ is inspired by their lives and gr

The role model for an IAS officer

Anil Swarup, an IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre who retired in 2018, is a model bureaucrat who retained his optimism right till the end of service and exemplified dedication and commitment. His excitement at the opportunities that a job in the IAS provided is evident on every page of his new book publis

Reform of the civil services: At home and away

The question of reform of the civil services has been debated extensively at all levels at least over the last five to six decades after independence. Indeed, it was soon perceived that the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) may not be well equipped to deal with the problems of an emerging developing coun

The greatest challenge for any government

Shouting vengeance at all and sundry while wriggling out of holes of our own making seems to be our very special national characteristic. Some recent instances are illustrative of this attribute. A number of business tycoons with thousands of crores of unresolved debts have fled abroad with the government

The mysterious case of CBI’s legality

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) came into existence, based on a Resolution of the home ministry, dated April 1, 1963 – a sheer coincidence that it also happens to be April Fool’s day. Over the past few months, we have seen the CBI live up to its founding day with great zeal, being i

The Evolution of Modi

Gujarat was passing through a turbulent phase in the 1980s. The decade began middle class agitations against new reservation policies, and the caste friction turned communal under the watch of chief minister Madhavsinh Solanki, alienating majority of urban population on both counts. The ground was ripe for

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter