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Versión Español | May 2014


New opportunities for cooperation between Ministries of Labor

Ministers of LaborBilateral, south-south and triangular cooperation between ministries of labor has become one of the most powerful tools used by the OAS-SEDI to support capacity building efforts. The results of the Seventh Call for Cooperation of the Inter-American Network for Labor Administration (RIAL) was announced in early May, approving eight proposals for cooperation involving 17 ministries of labor from the region.  

Through its different Calls, the RIAL gathers and selects proposals for cooperation presented by Ministries of Labor that have already negotiated the basis for professional exchanges, and then funds onsite visits of experts from one country to the other. The Seventh Call received 35 proposals and was open from February 7 to April 1, 2014.

New cooperation actions to be supported by the RIAL:


*Results of the Seventh Call for cooperation between Ministries of Labor of the OAS-SEDI.

"The most important aspect of these exchanges is that they are tailored to the needs of the ministries and allow direct and personalized assistance; that is what has allowed us to obtain very concrete results," said Maria Claudia Camacho, RIAL Coordinator at the OAS-SEDI. To date, 80 bilateral cooperation activities have taken place, with valuable results in terms of strengthening priority areas of labor administration such as labor inspection, youth employment, combating child labor and gender equality.

Priorities and selection criteria, as well as the operation and funding of the RIAL have been defined by Member States through the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor (IACML). This call underscored cooperation activities with high impact potential, that is, proposals where a particular outcome could be anticipated, resulting in installed capacity and operational improvements of participating Ministries of Labor. The strongest proposals were approved, while ensuring broad representation of countries and giving special consideration to relatively less-developed countries.

An example of this type of cooperation activities is this month’s visit from the Department of Labor of Colombia to Brazil, to discuss issues of social dialogue, specifically the functioning of the Tripartite Committee on International Relations of the Ministry of Labor and Employment of Brazil. Colombia expressed particular interest in this topic given the recent establishment of the Tripartite Sub-Committee on International Affairs. Brazil, in turn, has a Tripartite Committee with extensive experience that has been particularly helpful in the search for consensus on the ratification of International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions and the adoption of international agreements.  

Colombian delegates participating in the exchange highlighted two specific results from the experience; first, that it will inform the development of the rules of procedures of the Tripartite Committee on International Affairs: secondly, that the Brazilian model will be used as the basis to select its delegation to the International Labour Conference of the ILO.  

Opportunities for regional cooperation and collaboration will continue to expand as countries continue strengthening their labor institutions and achieving higher levels of development. In partnership with Member States, the OAS-SEDI will continue to respond to this demand through the RIAL.

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