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XVIII Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor begins Monday in Medellin, Colombia

  November 8, 2013

The XVIII Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor (IACML) will be held on November 11 – 12, 2013 in Medellin, Colombia under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS) and with the participation of Ministers of Labor of the region, workers’ and employers’ representatives and international organizations. This year the Conference celebrates its 50th Anniversary under the theme “50 years of Inter-American dialogue for the promotion of social justice and decent work: progress and challenges toward sustainable development.”

This IACML is the main forum at the hemispheric level for discussion and decision-making on labor and employment matters. On this occasion, the relevant issues that Ministers will address are the articulation of economic and labor policies, employment as a keystone of equality and development, the protection of workers’ rights, and social dialogue.

Speakers invited to the opening ceremony include the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos; the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza; the Minister of Labor of Colombia, Rafael Pardo; the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare of El Salvador and Chair of the XVII IACML, Humberto Centeno; and the Director General of the International Labour Organization, Guy Ryder, among other authorities. The event will take place on Monday November 11, at the Plaza Mayor Convention Center of Medellin.

During the two-day meeting, high-level officials on labor issues from across the Hemisphere will seek to adopt a Declaration and Plan of Action focused on, among other issues, identifying mechanisms and best practices for the generation of integrated public policies for the promotion of dignified, decent and productive work; advocating for labor and employment-promotion policies to protect populations that are confronted by greater challenges in the labor market; promoting professional training; enhancing labor mobility and recognition of labor skills across countries; identifying strategies to address informal labor and unregistered work; supporting the development of small, medium and microenterprises and expanding international cooperation on labor matters.

Additionally, the XVIII IACML will address topics related to strengthening the management capacity of Ministries of Labor, the development, enforcement, and promotion of labor laws and the effective exercise of fundamental principles and rights at work, strategies for the prevention and eradication of child labor, freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, strategies to combat discrimination in employment and occupation and all forms of forced or compulsory labor and occupational safety and health and worker wellness in promotion of a healthy workforce.

The IACML is the oldest sectoral conference of the OAS, which has brought together ministers in the area since 1963. This process includes a broad participation of workers and employers groups through two advisory bodies: Trade Union Technical Advisory Council (COSATE), the Business Technical Advisory Committee on Labor Matters (CEATAL) and the Permanent Technical Committee on Labor Matters (COTPAL).

The OAS serves as the technical secretariat of the conference, which this year is sponsored by the Ministry of Labor of Colombia and supported by the Inter-American Network for Labor Administration (RIAL). More infomration on the conference is available here.

WHAT: XVIII Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor

WHEN: November 11 – 12, 2013

WHERE: Plaza Mayor Convention Center – Medellín, Colombia

Reference: E-421/13