Strategies to fortify areas in region’s labour sector being developed

ILO labour ministers’ meeting wraps up

Following the culmination of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) 12th Meeting of Caribbean Ministers of Labour on Thursday, a document has been prepared to strengthen areas in the labour sector regionally, which include labour migration, social justice, reengineering the education system and protection of workers.

The move is to guarantee that more people benefit equally from the opportunities available to fulfill the demands in the regional labour market, and will serve to facilitate more collaboration among the Caribbean labour ministers on various issues.

This was highlighted by Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton during the media conference at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston.

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton

“We have a document that we have agreed upon. But generally, this is just the beginning of our collaboration and cooperation. Importantly, we have instructed that our technical teams coordinate amongst themselves to develop whatever strategies, programmes, and plans that we at the level of policy government would want to initiate in the Caribbean, whether all the nations together or bilaterally… So, at the next Caribbean Ministers of Labour meeting, we can pay attention to what we have achieved and what is still languishing,” Minister Hamilton underscored.

He disclosed that important matters that the Caribbean labour ministers agreed upon include skills development and training, protection of workers, the relevance of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), and working collaboratively towards social justice.

The three-day meeting will assist in strengthening regional cooperation to create social justice systems that uphold decent work to achieve economic development and social advancement.

Minister Hamilton noted that conversations will continue with ILO and labour ministers to ensure that everything executed is in the interest of the development of the people and states.

Meanwhile, the Director of ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean, Dennis Zulu noted that the meeting provided the platform for the ministers to collectively provide solutions on various issues that are specific to the region.  

Director of ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean, Dennis Zulu

“I think this meeting has afforded the opportunity for the ministers in the Caribbean not only to meet each other but also to agree on certain issues that are specific to the Caribbean but issues that need the attention of all Caribbean member states in this very difficult world that we are in today,” the director highlighted.

He further noted that the meeting provided ways to improve regional cooperation to promote social justice systems that uphold the importance of decent employment.  

“There is quite a lot that has been discussed. More importantly, the critical points that need to be addressed have been identified and through this network of Caribbean ministers and technical people; we are going to see how this can actually prepare the Caribbean for future work,” Zulu emphasised.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Government of Guyana hosted the meeting under the theme, ‘Social Justice: The Foundation for Sustainable Caribbean Transformation.’