The Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, has welcomed the endorsement by the Labour and Employment Ministers (LEMM) of the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – of the ILO’s Global Call to Action for a human-centered recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, adopted by last month’s International Labour Conference.
Describing the Declaration adopted by the LEMM as “a concrete demonstration of your commitment to repair the damage of the crisis,” Ryder said, “the Global Call outlines a comprehensive agenda to ensure that the recovery is inclusive, sustainable and resilient, and based upon fundamental principles and rights at work. This approach is essential. Unless we address the inequalities that have deepened during this crisis, there is a real risk that its economic and social consequences will cause long-term scarring.”
The Global Call to Action for a human-centered recovery was adopted unanimously by the ILO Member States in June 2021, at the International Labour Conference.
The LEMM Declaration, issued at the end of the Ministers’ virtual summit on 15 July 2021, expresses great concern at the pandemic’s negative effects on unemployment, decent work deficits, and inequality, and states their strong determination to recover with stronger national economies, inclusive labor markets, and social protection systems.
Their Declaration highlights four key pillars for labor and employment policy responses to the pandemic; promoting social security agreements between BRICS nations, formalization of labor markets, women’s labor force participation, and the role of gig and platform workers.
Ryder welcomed the Ministers’ commitment to deepen social security cooperation and promote agreements between themselves, saying “this could make a real difference for the millions of workers who travel to other countries to find work.”