Recommendation no. 71 provided guidance to post-war recovery and reconstruction. Employment and decent work in fragile and crisis-affected situations is as important today is it was at the time of its adoption in 1944. The recurring and changing nature of conflicts and disasters makes a more comprehensive and updated normative instrument needed. With the revision, there were broad consensus that the guidance should be extended to address prevention and resilience, and also apply to non-conflict disasters.
After tough and lengthy discussions in the committee, the Conference adopted the Decent Work for Peace and Resilience Recommendation, 2017 (No. 205). In addition to adapt to the changing nature of conflict and disasters, this revised recommendation widens the focus of the standard on reconstruction and recovery to include prevention and preparedness. The provisions in the new instrument also pays special attention to vulnerable population groups, and includes protection of both migrants and refugees. The recommendation thus provides guidance to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), who participated in the discussions and welcomed the new instrument.
The Conference also adopted a resolution which requests the ILO Director-General to take a lead in strengthening partnerships at the international level to promote the new standard. In his closing remarks to the ILC DG Guy Ryder, underscored the significance of the new recommendation, saying that it is “Significant because it shows, unequivocally, that the ILO is ready and able to update its standards, making them robust and relevant. And significant because it is a vital answer from the world of work to have millions of people, affected by crisis, disaster, or displacement. Not only are we listening to them, we are acting for them and acting with them.”
During the discussion Norway pointed out that the discussions were timely and that these issues are at the heart of the ILO’s work. We hope the instrument will become a useful tool for the ILO and its member States to make a real and positive impact on the world of work.
The recommendation and resolution can be read here.