UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, at a panel discussion in New York, said the cost included lost productivity, legal expenses, high turnover, sick leaves and harm to corporate reputation, UN Women said.
Mlambo-Ngcuka urged Governments and institutions alike to take responsibility for putting in place adequate standards and measures to prevent such practices.
The UN Women chief pointed out that violence against women has long-term consequences.
She said that Children who watched their mothers and sisters beaten up at home could become perpetrators themselves or unhappy persons when they grow up.
She also said that women could die from violence and experience various forms of suffering, including physical and emotional damage, trauma, stigma, and limited access to the labour market.
According to her, employers will also have to pay the heavy price in the form of lost productivity, legal cost, high turnover, sick leaves and damaged reputation.
“To prevent violence against women, institutions must take responsibility for addressing the issue at the macro-level by setting standards and putting in place preventive measures”, she said.
Manuela Tomei, Director of ILO’s Working Conditions and Equality Department, said that violence against women is a violation of human rights, a threat to women’s security and health, and a threat to women’s empowerment.
She said that a survey conducted by ILO and Gallop found that one of the top three challenges women find in workplace is “abuse and harassment”.
“The world of work goes beyond the physical workplace to include commutes, social events and home,” she said.
She stressed the importance of addressing the issue through an integrated approach that includes prevention, protection and assistance to victims.
Tomei said ILO is leading efforts to set a new global standard by 2019 or 2020 against violence and harassment in workplace.
The event was held on the sidelines of the 61st Commission on the Status of Women, known as the largest inter-governmental forum on women’s rights and gender equality.
Edited by: Felix Ajide
At least 21 million people are victims of human trafficking, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday, adding that the traffickers are smiling to the bank with $150billion every year.
Guterres described the human trafficking trade as appalling.
Guterres, who made the remarks at the ‘Ministerial Open Debate on Trafficking in Persons in Conflict Situations: Forced labour, slavery and other similar practices’ organised by the Security Council, condemned the rising cases of human trafficking.
The UN scribe estimated that traffickers made $150 billion annually through different forms of human trafficking and called for strong efforts to stop the evil trade.
“The International Labour Organisation reports that 21 million people around the world are victims of forced labour and extreme exploitation. Annual profits are estimated to be 150 billion dollars.
“Beyond these numbers is the human toll – the lives cut short, the families and societies torn apart, the gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law,” Guterres lamented.
The UN chief explained that human trafficking took many forms, pointing out that “women and girls in particular are targeted again and again and again”.
“We see brutal sexual exploitation, including forced prostitution, forced marriage and sexual slavery. We see the appalling trade in human organs.
“Let us also remember that modern manifestations of servitude may touch and even implicate us all. Global supply-chains have transformed many lives for the better – but not always without costs.
“In some situations – clothes, food, smartphones, jewellery and other consumer goods may bear, wittingly or unwittingly, the traces of exploitation.
“Gleaming new skyscrapers may owe some of their shine to the sweat of bonded labourers,” he said.
According to him, human trafficking thrives where the rule of law is weak or nonexistent, while situations of armed conflict are especially virulent breeding grounds for human trafficking.
“In some of today’s conflicts, we are confronted by armed groups that not only openly engage in enslavement and forced labour, but actually argue that it is legal.
“In Syria, Daesh has organized slave markets and even published manuals instructing its fighters on how to capture, control and trade enslaved women and girls.
“The leaders of Boko Haram have also argued that slavery is legal.
“In other conflicts, other groups force men, women and children under their control to labour in unsafe mines, as porters and domestic servants, and on the frontlines.”
Guterres said smugglers often coerced and manipulated individuals for profit and make them victims of sex or labour trafficking while terrorists and violent extremists used sexual enslavement as a tool for recruitment.
Drug traffickers use kidnapping and ransom to finance their operations. Criminal gangs force unaccompanied children into a life of petty crime, he added.
He, however, noted UNODC’s December 2016 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, that there are hardly any convictions for crimes related to human trafficking in conflict situations or elsewhere.
Guterres warned that the lack of aggressive investigations and prosecutions only adds to the injustice, allows perpetrators to function without fear, fuels corruption and creates widespread disillusion.
“There is much that we can do both to punish human trafficking, and to prevent it in the first place.
“A solid legal and normative framework is in place, including the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol.
“This includes the first internationally agreed definition of the crime of trafficking in persons and provides a framework to effectively prevent and combat it.
“ILO Conventions and the Global Plan of Action on Human Trafficking complement the Protocol, and are further key parts of the picture.
“All of these build on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Under the Rome Statute, enslavement can constitute a crime against humanity,” the UN scribe said.
Prof. Anthony Elujoba, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, says Information Communications Technology (ICT) will address economic challenges of any country because of the fundamental role it plays.
Elujoba was represented by Prof. Francisca Aladejana at the 3rd International Conference on ICT, Entrepreneurship Education organised by the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Development Studies (IFEDS) and African Centre of Excellence, OAU, Ile-Ife, Osun.
Elujoba was quoted as making this known in the latest edition of OAU Bulletin made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Ile-Ife.
He said that ICT played a fundamental role of bringing information on education and healthcare closer to people.
He said that in recent years, entrepreneurship had become a global dream for a lot of people and governments all over the world had been formulating policy on it.
According to him, OAU has long recognised the increasing importance of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education in developing a nation’s economy.
He said that OAU had wide range of experience in enterprises promotion and had been involved in several initiatives targeted at the introduction of entrepreneurship education and self employment.
Elujoba said that apart from reducing unemployment, the importance of entrepreneurship depended on positive social changes made through non profit organisations or businesses focused on innovative and sustained development.
Prof. Kehinde Osotimehin, the Director, Instituted for Entrepreneurship and Development Studies, in his welcome address, stated that the theme of the conference: ” Entrepreneurship: Key to Economic Growth and Sustainable Development ” had the potential of addressing the problems of unemployment and poverty.
Osotimehin said that its importance also depended on the positive changes that could bring about innovative and sustainable approaches being core of entrepreneurship.
He expressed confidence that the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Development Studies was adequately equipped to support the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria in all the activities of the Entrepreneurship Centres in Nigeria.
According to him, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and trained professional staff in IFEDs can provide various forms of support in the area of entrepreneurship training, small business development, industrial extension and counseling.
The Director of INTECU, Mr Akintunde Okunade expressed delight at partnering with the institute in organising this year’s conference.
Edited by: Grace Yussuf
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) on Friday said that though digital technologies had positive qualities, it could potentially result in longer working hours, higher work intensity and work-home interference.
The ILO in its daily report says that with modern technology, there is a tendency to work longer hours, and for paid work and personal life to overlap leading to high levels of stress.
It noted that digital technologies such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desk computers were fast transforming the traditional model of work.
“The use of modern communication technologies facilitates a better overall worklife balance but also blurs the boundaries between work and personal life depending on the place of work and the characteristics of different occupations.’’
The ILO report says that it is important to address the issue of supplemental work performed through modern communications technology, such as working from home which can be viewed as unpaid overtime.
It said that minimum rest periods must be respected in order to avoid negative effects on workers’ health and well-being.
The labour organisation stressed that the use of digital technologies could improve worklife balance, reduce commuting time and boost productivity.
According to its report, a number of positive effects of Telework and ICT-Mobile work such as greater working time autonomy lead to more flexibility in terms of working time organisation.
Edited by: Oluyinka Fadare//Felix Nwadioha
Namibia will host employers’ organisations from east, central and southern Africa at the regional Employers’ Conference 2017 slated for Feb. 14 to 15, in the port town of Walvis Bay, Namibia.
Tim Parkhouse, Secretary-General, Namibian Employers’ Federation, said this in a statement on Monday.
Parkhouse said 40 senior officials representing employers’ organisations from Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Madagascar, would discuss the importance of employment for economic growth, youth empowerment, skills development, poverty alleviation, capacity building and sustainable development.
According to him, senior specialists from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) from Geneva, Switzerland and TV programme Business Africa, will also be present at the event.
The theme for 2017 event is “Training for Development and Job Creation, especially for the Youth”.
Parkhouse said that the discussions would focus on addressing social and economic issues, helping the private sector grow at regional level, boosting employment creation, assisting the informal economy, poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
The conference will also focus on strengthening employers’ organisations by providing new and better service delivery to members and businesses across the continent.
Edited by: Fatima Sule/Abdullahi Yusuf
African leaders have been called upon to develop the potential of youths to accelerate development of the continent.
Statistics by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) indicated that in spite of African youths being the most educated generation to emerge from schools and universities, a youth is twice as likely to be unemployed when he/she becomes an adult.
The World Bank has also described Africa as having the largest “youth bulge” in the world, as the number of youth is expected to grow by 42.5 million between 2010 and 2020.
Experts have also argued that youth unemployment and underemployment are among the main barriers to development in Africa.
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the outgoing African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, said on Monday in Addis Ababa that the future of Africa largely depended on the development and investment in the youth.
Dlamini-Zuma spoke at the on-going 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States and Governments of AU.
According to her, the focus on the youth justifies the theme; “Harnessing the Demographic Dividends through Investment in African Youth’’.
“This is the comparative advantage we have, which must be translated into demographic dividends. To harness these resources, we must firstly provide all Africa’s boys, girls and young people with opportunities to be in school.
“To unlock their full potential, we should do more to involve young people. This is economically prudent, and a democratic imperative, since they constitute the majority of our population.
“By involving young people, they have a sense of ownership and stake in the future. By facilitating the full participation of girls and young women, we are securing the future,” she said.
According to her, the future of Africa belongs to the youth, both the quality of that future will be determined by what they make of it today.
She said that the youth also had the responsibility to learn, read, serve, participate, innovate, build, and to create.
“They have a responsibility to be organised at local, national and continental levels, so they can help drive Agenda 2063,” she said.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Agenda 2063 is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years.
Its builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.
Zuma noted that there was also the need to tackle youth unemployment, adding that 60 per cent of the unemployed were young people, noting that their unemployment rate doubled that of adults.
According to her, the continent’s programmes of of agricultural modernisation and development of agro-processing must target creation of job opportunities for young entrepreneurs.
``In this regard, we welcome the African development Bank’s strategy for jobs for the youth in Africa 2016-2025, which aims to create 25 million jobs and impart 50 million youths.
“The bank estimates that reducing African youth unemployment rate to that of adults, would translate to a 10 to 20 per cent increase in the continent’s Gross Domestic roduct (GDP).
“We must ensure that African children, young men and women see the blue oceans economy as part of their natural heritage and for possible career paths.’’
According to her this same goes for our celestial space and careers in the space science.
The 28th Ordinary Session, which began on Jan. 24, would close on Jan. 31.
Edited by: Ese E. Ekama
ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, stated this on Thursday while releasing the 2017 World Employment and Social Outlook report.
“We are facing the twin challenge of repairing the damage caused by the global economic and social crisis and creating quality jobs for the tens of millions of new labour market entrants every year.”
According to the report, global growth domestic product (GDP) reached a six-year low in 2016, well below the rate that was projected in 2015.
Forecasters continue to revise their 2017 predictions downwards amid the uncertainty about the global economy.
The situation is generating worry among experts that the economy would be unable to employ a sufficient number of people and that growth would not lead to inclusive and shared benefits, it said.
Throughout 2017, global unemployment is expected to rise by 3.4 million.
The marginal increase, of a modest 5.7 to 5.8 per cent, is due to deteriorating labour market conditions in emerging countries, particularly those in Latin America and the Caribbean.
However, unemployment is expected to fall in developed countries, especially in Northern, Southern, and Western Europe, the U.S., and Canada.
In addition, the figure of 1.4 billion people who are employed in vulnerable working conditions is not expected to decrease.
That number represents 42 per cent of all employment for 2017.
“Economic growth continues to disappoint and underperform, both in terms of levels and the degree of inclusion.
“This paints a worrisome picture for the global economy and its ability to generate enough jobs.
“Persistent high levels of vulnerable forms of employment combined with clear lack of progress in job quality, even in countries where aggregate figures are improving, are alarming.
“We need to ensure that the gains of growth are shared in an inclusive manner,” Ryder said.
“Almost one in two workers in emerging countries is in vulnerable forms of employment, rising to more than four in five workers in developing countries,” Steven Tobin, ILO Senior Economist and lead author of the report, said.
The statistic is even worse for emerging countries as those living in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are facing the greatest risk.
While the number of people living in poverty has been declining in recent years, rates of progress have begun to slow and are expected to continue to diminish in 2017.
In developing countries, the rate of poverty is actually increasing.
Since 2009, the percentage of the working-age population willing to migrate abroad for work has risen in almost every region in the world.
That trend was most prominent in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Arab States.
The report also points out a number of social inequalities that are creating barriers to growth and prosperity.
Gender gaps in particular are affecting the labour market.
In Northern Africa, women in the labour force are twice as likely as men to be unemployed; that gap is wider still for women in Arab States.
As a result of these and other social inequalities across a wide range of demographics, the ILO estimates that the risk of social unrest or discontent is growing in almost all regions.
The ILO advocated policy approaches that address root causes of stagnation as well as structural impediments to growth.
“Boosting economic growth in an equitable and inclusive manner requires a multi-faceted policy approach that addresses the underlying causes of secular stagnation, such as income inequality, while taking into account country specificities,” Tobin said.
Such progress, the UN labour agency emphasised, is only possible through international cooperation.
ILO said a coordinated effort to provide fiscal stimuli and public investments would go a long way to jump start the global economy and eliminate an anticipated rise in unemployment for two million people.
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Edited by: Yusuf Zango
There are about 150 million migrant workers around the world, according a UN study, which provides useful labour migration data for policy makers as they seek to make headway on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“Decision makers will now have real data on which to base their policies,” Director-General of International Labour Organisation (ILO), Guy Ryder, said in a press release.
Ryder said that the analysis would help countries to deliver on the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly targets within Goal 8 on protecting all workers, including migrant workers, and Goal 10 on the implementation of well-managed migration policies.
The report, ILO Global Estimates on Migrant Workers, found that there are 232 million international migrants, of which 206.6 million are 15 years old and up.
Of this working-age migrant population, 72.7 per cent, or 150 million, are migrant workers and 83.7 million are men and 66.6 million women.
Labour migration is a phenomenon that concerns all regions of the world, however, almost half, or 48.5 per cent, of migrant workers are concentrated in two broad regions: Northern America, and Northern, Southern and Western Europe, according to the report.
It added that the Arab States have the highest proportion of migrant workers as a share of all workers with 35.6 per cent.
The study also examined the distribution of the migrant workforce in broad industry groupings.
The vast majority of migrant workers are in the services sectors, with 106.8 million workers accounting for 71.1 per cent of the total.
This is followed by industry, including manufacturing and construction, with 26.7 million, or 17.8 per cent, and by agriculture with 16.7 million, or 11.1 per cent.
Among all migrant workers, 7.7 per cent are domestic workers, the report stated.
Edited by: Yusuf Zango
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said with the change in population growth across the globe, no fewer than 40 million additional health workers would be needed by 2030.
Ban, in his message on the Report of the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth in New York, called for greater investment in health to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
“Changing populations will generate a demand for 40 million new health-worker jobs by 2030.
“However, most of these jobs will be created in wealthier countries.
“Without action, there will be a global shortfall of 18 million health workers to achieve and sustain universal health coverage, primarily in low- and lower-middle-income countries.”
The outgoing secretary-general said he was pleased to welcome the Commission’s Report on Health Employment and Economic Growth.
“The Ebola outbreak and the crisis in Syria have all too vividly illustrated the importance of protecting, supporting and investing in the health and social workforce.
“I encourage all stakeholders to review the report and its recommendations, and agree on a way forward to ensure all countries can take bold action to build a sustainable global health workforce and align public and private investments to do so.
“Health workers save lives and are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and targets to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages, everywhere.”
Ban noted the response to the adoption of UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/183 on “Global Health and Foreign Policy: Strengthening the Management of International Health Crises” on Dec. 17, 2015.
The outgoing UN chief said he established the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth on March 2, 2016, and tasked it to propose solutions to this global challenge.
He added that the Commission’s report “Working for Health and Growth: Investing in the Health Workforce” was launched on Sept. 20, 2016, in New York.
“The Report charts a bold shift in vision because it recognises the health workforce not as a cost, but as a driver of growth, an investment with tangible socioeconomic returns.
“This investment will boost global security against outbreaks and other emergencies, and help countries achieve the 2030 Agenda for poverty elimination, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality and decent work and inclusive economic growth.’’
According to him, the report makes 10 recommendations and proposes five immediate actions to advance progress across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
He congratulated the Commissioners for producing “this important report and express my appreciation” to the Commission Co-Chairs President François Hollande of France and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa.
Ban also commended Vice-Chairs Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Other Vice-Chairs Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO); Commissioners; and the Expert Group, were also commended by the UN scribe for their extraordinary leadership and contribution.
Edited by: Muhammad Suleiman Tola
The UN Peacebuilding Fund is allocating three million U.S. dollars on a pilot project to provide peacebuilding and professional skills to Somali refugees volunteering to return from Kenya to Somalia.
The Fund, while announcing the pilot project, said it would also help refugees to settle down, and begin reintegration process into a community, the UN Secretary-General’s office said.
The UN Peacebuilding said the project is unique as it reaches across borders and targets the same population, first in asylum in Dadaab, Kenya, and then upon return to Baidoa, Somalia.
The project builds on an agreement between the governments of Kenya and Somalia and Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees living in Dadaab.
The Peacebuilding Fund is currently sponsoring other projects in Somalia, aimed at strengthening the national authority in areas liberated from rebel control.
The initiative is designed to promote coexistence and peaceful resolution of conflict in Somalia.
This is in addition to supporting the Somali Government’s priorities for stabilisation and peace dividends, including investment in jobs.
Edited by: Ismaila Chafe