Additional NOK 30 million to promote workers’ rights

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. Photo by Berit Hessen.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. Photo by Berit Hessen.

The Norwegian Government proposes an allocation of NOK 30 million (US $ 4.7 mill) in new funds to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to improve international labour standards, strengthen national labour inspection mechanisms and increase cooperation between employee and employer organisations.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre commented: “The international finance crisis has become an economic crisis, and is now becoming a social crisis in many countries. The financial crisis has affected the whole world, but some countries are worse hit than others. By strengthening the ILO, we can help to prevent the financial crisis from escalating into a social and political crisis.”


According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), 90 million more people will be out of work in 2010. Millions of those who become unemployed worldwide will have no social security to meet their most basic needs. The increase in unemployment will have serious social consequences.

“We are concerned that the financial crisis will lead to poorer working conditions and undermine social rights,” Mr Støre added.

Many of the international stimulus packages to address the financial crisis have been targeted at the finance sector itself. These have been important for families, enterprises and local communities. But it is also important that stimulus packages also protect employees’ fundamental rights.

“The Norwegian Government would like to see a stronger focus on employment, social protection and the decent work criteria in the international debate on how we should address the financial crisis. Drawing up international standards for decent work is an important part of efforts to fight poverty and ensure a more just world,” said Mr Støre.


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