The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the United Nations agency devoted to advancing opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. Its main aims are (i) to promote rights at work, (ii) encourage decent employment opportunities, (iii) enhance social protection, and (iv) strengthen dialogue in handling work related issues. The ILO is the only ‘tripartite’ United Nations agency in that it brings together governments and representative organizations of employers and workers to jointly shape labour policies and to negotiate agreements by consensus. This unique arrangement gives the ILO an edge in advancing the creation of decent jobs and the kind of economic and working conditions that give working people and business people a stake in coping with crisis and in creating lasting prosperity and progress.
Disaster Reduction Goal
The ILO supports the reconstruction of societies affected by recurrent disasters through promoting decent work, enhancing preparedness, mitigating potential impacts and increasing resilience.
In disaster scenarios, the ILO – in partnership with other UN and multilateral agencies – contributes to disaster prevention, mitigation, preparedness and recovery focusing on employment creation, income generation, risk reduction of vulnerable livelihoods and the promotion of sustainable local development.
The ILO works to develop the capacity of key institutions, such as economic and labour ministries, workers’ and employers’ organizations, in order to (i) support quick recovery in the aftermath of disasters focusing on employment creation, (ii) introduce policies and programmes focusing on preparedness and planning for livelihood recovery, and (iii) implement active measures for reducing livelihood vulnerabilities and risks in disaster-prone areas. By mobilizing relevant actors for reconstruction, crises can open a window of opportunity to promote decent work for a better future.
Policies and Programmes in DRR
POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES
In disaster recovery scenarios, the ILO works actively with the UN and other multilateral agencies to develop policies and programmes that support the creation of decent employment opportunities as a central plank of efforts to reduce and eradicate poverty, thus helping affected populations avoid becoming dependent on relief aid and fall into a vicious circle of poverty aggravated by shocks and crises. Concurrently, the ILO seeks to advocate and raise awareness among disaster actors to place decent employment concerns and local economic recovery strategies at the forefront of national and international efforts in promoting disaster risk management. It focuses on employment and vulnerable livelihoods through a variety of policies and programmes:
• Support to employment policies and social dialogue
• Rapid assessments of impact of disasters on employment, income and social protection
• Establishment/consolidation of Emergency Employment Services
• Implementation and monitoring of livelihood risk reduction and recovery programmes
• Employment-intensive infrastructure programmes
• Local Economic Recovery programmes
• Targeted support to vulnerable groups and sectors
• Expansion of coverage of social security and safety nets
• Employability development and vocational training systems
• Support to SMEs and micro-enterprises
• Support to enterprises through micro finance schemes
• Support to the transition to a low-carbon, greener economy
The “Decent Work Country Programmes” (DWCP), adopted by Governments as a component of the UNDAF and PRSP, constitute the country frameworks for ILO’s pre-disaster risk reduction interventions and post-disaster recovery. Within this framework, the ILO promotes the participation of its constituents in implementing targeted decent employment recovery and development policies and orienting livelihood risk reduction programmes.
The centrality and continued relevance of the creation of decent employment and income-generation opportunities in the recovery from crisis, the transition to peace and in building resilience are recognized unequivocally by the international community. In this light, the ILO has a distinct role to play in crisis response, building on the principles enshrined in the 2008 Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, the 2009 Global Jobs Pact, and the United Nations Policy for Post-Conflict Employment Creation, Income Generation and Reintegration (UN Post-conflict employment policy), also released in 2009. The UN Post-conflict employment policy (whose development the ILO has spearheaded jointly with UNDP), calls for multifaceted and interlinked interventions based on three programming “tracks” addressing specific objectives and challenges of the conflict and disaster management cycle. In so doing, the transition from the emergency response to decent work creation is made possible. The UN Post-conflict employment policy highlights the importance of national and local resilience in its aim to maximize the impact, coherence and efficiency of employment support. It highlights the challenges that root causes of conflict present and offers recommendations for addressing such challenges through job creation that links short term and more sustainable long term employment and reintegration programs. An operational guidance note complements the policy and helps practitioners to articulate a coherent and integrated strategy, guide decision making, and identify roles and responsibilities.
In 2017 the International Labour Conference adopted the Employment and decent work for peace and resilience Recommendation (No. 205), the only international normative framework focussing on the employment and decent work dimension of crisis response. Recommendation No. 205 provides guidance to ILO member States on the measures to be taken to generate employment and decent work for the purposes of prevention, recovery, peace and resilience with respect to crisis situations arising from conflicts and disasters. The Recommendation encourages Members to adopt a phased multi-track approach in implementing crisis response strategies and offers practical guidance for designing and implementing crisis prevention and response measures in a range of policy areas, while acknowledging the diversity of national circumstances. In particular, it focuses on employment and income-generation opportunities, sustainable enterprises, rights, equality and non-discrimination, education, vocational training and guidance, social protection, labour law, labour administration and labour market information, social dialogue and role of employers’ and workers’ organizations. The Recommendation provides guidance also on situations related to migrants affected by crises and on refugees and returnees, and describes actions to prevent, mitigate and prepare for crises in ways that support economic and social development and decent work. Finally, it emphasizes the need for strengthened international cooperation and increased complementarity between humanitarian and development initiatives, and it calls on the ILO to take a lead on crisis responses centred on employment and decent work. Besides reinforcing ILO’s core mandate in contexts of crisis prevention and response, Recommendation No. 205 represents an exceptional platform to invigorate cooperation and joint initiatives among international and regional organizations operating on employment and decent work issues, both in the humanitarian and development nexus and in crisis prevention.
In 2016 the ILO also launched five flagship programmes, designed to enhance the efficiency and impact of its development cooperation with constituents on a global scale. One of them is the Programme on Jobs for Peace and Resilience (JPR), which focuses on employment generation, especially for young people, in conflict-affected and disaster-prone countries. The JPR addresses root causes of economic, social and environmental vulnerability to help countries break the vicious cycle of conflicts and disasters by supporting national reconciliation and enhancing resilience. The JPR will The JPR Programme will work to help countries prevent, resist, adapt to and recover from conflicts and slow onset disasters by applying employment-intensive investment strategies that integrate immediate job creation with provision of skills training, enterprise and local development as well as institution building and dialogue.
The International Training Centre of the ILO, within its regular training offer, carries out the course on “Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Local Development”. The course is currently offered in a blended modality (distance learning modules combined with one week in the Turin Campus with focus on a specific topic). This training, developed with the technical support of UNDRR Americas, is given in Spanish and Portuguese and targeted to policy makers, technical and socio-economic actors of territorial development and disaster risk management, developing their activities in governmental organizations, NGOs, community-based institutions and international cooperation.
Membership in Key Networks
- UN Senior Leadership Group. The ILO is a member since its establishment in 2017.
- UN DRR Focal Points Group. The ILO is a member.
- Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA). The ILO contributed to the development of this UNDG/World Bank/EU joint mechanism for assessing the socio-economic effects and impacts of a disaster on key sectors, as well as the recovery needs. The ILO leads the Employment, Livelihoods and Social Protection Sector.
- GFDRR. The ILO and the WB signed a joint statement (June 2009) to work more closely on global disaster risk reduction and livelihoods by reinforcing the collaboration to address the consequences of natural hazards and rebuild livelihoods in the aftermath of disasters, promoting innovative joint initiatives at the field level to help disaster prone countries.
- International Recovery Platform (IRP). The ILO is former chair of the Steering Committee of the Platform ( 2008 – 2009).
- IASC-Cluster Working Group on Early Recovery (CWGER). The ILO is the convener of the livelihood and economic recovery group.
- UNDRR Local Governance Alliance for DRR. The ITC/ILO is member of the Advisory Group since May 2008.
- IASC Working Group on Preparedness. The ILO is a member.
Labour, Economic and Social Affairs ministries, Workers’ organizations, Employers’ organizations.
Disaster Risk Reduction Focal Point(s)
Fragile States and Disaster Response Group (FSDR)/DEVINVEST – ILO, Geneva: firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
ITC/ILO EMLD, Turin: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
This website provides information on ILO’s operations in countries affected by disaster, conflict and fragility, and includes links to relevant ILO’s publications and resources.
This website provides information on ILO’s programme on Green jobs, which responds to the global challenges of environmental protection, economic development and social inclusion.
This platform provides a virtual space to collect and share evidence on what works to promote decent jobs and economic development in situations of fragility caused by conflict, disasters and widespread violence.
Direct link to the text of the Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience Recommendation, 2017 (No. 205)
These websites provide information on the ITC/ILO current training initiatives in DRR.
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