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OAS to Convene Meetings of Labor Authorities of the Hemisphere in Barbados

  September 15, 2014

The Organization of American States (OAS) will convene a series of meetings this week in Bridgetown, Barbados of national delegates, representatives of worker and employer groups, and international organizations to discuss pressing labor issues in the Hemisphere.

The meetings, to be held from September 17 to 19, include the 2014 Meeting of the Working Groups of the XVIII Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor (IACML), and a workshop on “Social Dialogue for Formalization,” hosted by the OAS as technical secretariat of the Inter-American Network for Labor Administration (RIAL, for its initials in Spanish).

During the meetings, participants will share their experiences and lessons learned regarding labor challenges in the Hemisphere in search of the most effective solutions. They will also follow up on the commitments made last year at the XVIII Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor held in Medellin, Colombia, and hold a dialogue on the decisions made at the 103rd Session of the International Labor Conference, held by the International Labor Organization in May and June of this year.

The OAS meeting will be the first workshop to specifically address the topic of informal work, which is work associated with instability, lack of protection and insecurity. Informal work can also lead to inequality, as workers in the sector tend to be concentrated in low-productivity jobs with low wages and little opportunity for social advancement. A high percentage of the labor force in the Americas works in the informal economy, ranging from 40% to 70% in some countries, which makes this issue highly pertinent and an area where nations have much to gain from sharing their experiences. Participants will also focus on social dialogue as a tool for formalizing informal work and achieving other important labor goals.

Other items for discussion on the agenda include fighting discrimination and increasing equality in the workforce, building sustainable enterprises, preventing and eradicating child labor and promoting occupational safety and health - all areas of major concern for the labor authorities of the region and topics of ongoing cooperation between the Hemisphere’s Ministries of Labor.

Updates during the meetings will be available on Facebook at nd on Twitter at, #WG_IACML and #GT_CIMT. More information is available here.

WHAT: Hemispheric Meetings on Labor Issues

WHEN: September 17 to 19, 2014

WHERE: Bridgetown, Barbados

Reference: AVI-188/14