ILO welcomes G7 steps to foster fair production in global supply chains
ILO, the International Labour Organisation has welcomed the renewed commitment by G7 countries for concrete action to promote sustainable global supply chains
During a two-day meeting in Berlin in mid-October 2015, the G7 ministers of Employment, Labour, Social Affairs, International Cooperation and Development agreed to mobilize their joint efforts and political leadership to build on the decision adopted earlier this year by the G7 to boost “labour rights, decent working conditions and environmental protection in global supply chains.”
The ministers agreed on a series of measures, including the creation of a multi-donor Vision Zero Fund for action in producing countries. The fund will support social dialogue and the application ILO standards on occupational safety and health (OSH) and fundamental principles and rights at work in global supply chains.
ILO figures show 2.3 million men and women die every year from work-related accidents and diseases. An estimated 4 per cent of the world’s GDP is lost annually due to the costs of work-related accidents and diseases.
“The Vision Zero Fund will help prevent and reduce the unacceptable number of workplace-related deaths, injuries and diseases. Gaining access to global supply chains can be an important part of strategies for poverty reduction. The Fund will help to make this route safer,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, who was at the meeting.
“The ILO will work closely with governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations, as well as with other stakeholders, to ensure that the G7 agreement translates into concrete improvements in the lives of the estimated 450 million people who work in global supply chains related jobs.”
The final declaration of the G7 ministers states that the ILO will assume the lead role in the implementation of the Fund. The first activities are due to start in 2016.
The ILO Director-General also welcomed specific efforts to promote fair production in small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), including through a general discussion on “decent work in global supply chains” that is scheduled to take place during the International Labour Conference next year.
The G7 also expressed support for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its sustainable development goals, especially by working alongside developing countries. It also stressed the need to provide more information to consumers and to promote more responsible value chains.