Eighth sitting

Thursday, 9 June 2005
Presidents: Mr. Alsalim and Mr. Finlay

Ms. BAKORU ZOE (Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Uganda)

I wish to express my delegation's support for the development of a new instrument establishing a normative framework in the area of occupational safety and health. We support the adoption of a new convention, supplemented by a recommendation, on work in the fishing sector. However, I wish to point out that most of the fishing on our rivers and lakes fall under the informal sector. It is done on a small-scale, mainly by self-employed fishermen.

Mr. N'KOLO BALAMAGE (Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Democratic Republic of the Congo)

With regard to working conditions in the fishing sector, and to occupational safety and health, the delegation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo supports the preparation of Conventions and Recommendations so that these issues might be clearly defined.

Mr. NDIAYE (Minister of Public Services, Labour, Employment and Professional Organizations, Senegal)

In other words, the issues on which the Conference is focusing this year, (youth employment, occupational health and safety, and fishing and working time) are of real interest to countries such as mine.

Mr. LJUBETIC GODOY (Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Chile)

As regards work in the fishing sector, this is a priority issue for a country like ours, for which the sea is a major economic resource. Our conviction is clear: an activity that is of prime importance for our economy and culture deserves to strengthen its labour standards. We have emphasized the fundamental rights of fishers with the aim of ensuring that they enjoy decent working conditions on board fishing vessels. Accordingly, the adoption of a Convention on work in the fishing sector within these parameters appears to be a crucial task for this Conference.

Ms. MENKERIOS (Minister of Labour and Human Welfare, Eritrea)

To minimize occupational accidents, diseases and HIV/AIDS at the workplace, the IEC (Information, Education, and Communication) programme was launched to create deep-rooted awareness that includes both social partners. To safeguard safety and health at the workplace, efforts are being made by the Government to train inspectors and familiarize them with occupational safety and health equipment. Furthermore, a national safety and health regulation, designed and approved by the Ministry of Justice, is in the process of promulgation. Similarly, to improve the overall condition of work and to protect the rights of seafarers, including the fishing sector, a new law is ready to be proclaimed. To make provision for the maintenance of workers in old age or disability, and survivors benefits, the national pension scheme was put into practice in January 2004.


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