ITUC OnLine – February 22, 2010

ITUC Calls on APEC to Provide Effective Response to Global Economy and Climate Crises

Brussels, 22 February 2010:  The International Trade Union Confederation / Asia Pacific Labour Network (ITUC/APLN), in its statement to the 32nd APEC Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG) taking place from 24th to 28th of February in Hiroshima, Japan, has called on APEC to take a series of initiatives with a view to addressing the economic and climate crises.

This meeting of the HRDWG is also setting the agenda for the APEC Human Resources Development Ministerial Meeting (HRDMM), which is to take place in China in September 2010.  The ITUC/APLN is urging APEC to set Guidelines on Decent Work across the APEC area and Social Safety Net Guidelines targeting the hardest hit by the economic crisis: women, youth and migrant workers. In addition to this and as a response to the jobs crisis, the ITUC/APLN called on APEC to develop labour market policies in combination with the extension of fiscal stimulus programmes until there is a recovery in the quality and quantity of employment across the Asia Pacific region.

The ITUC/APLN is also calling for measures to decrease the alarming levels of child labour, especially its worst forms, on both sides of the Pacific. In Peru it is estimated there are a startling two million working children (or more) while in the Philippines the same number of children is estimated to be forced into the worst forms of child labour.

The APEC Working Group will also be discussing what they call “Model Measures for Regional and Free Trade Agreements in APEC”, and the ITUC/APLN considers that their recommendations should incorporate a Labour Measure that would promote the respect to fundamental workers’ rights. Moreover, the Working Group should make use of its mandate on technical training and include the enhancement of human resources with “green” skills, which would allow current and future workers to be trained in the use of sustainable, low-carbon technologies.

Finally, the ITUC/APLN is requesting the Group’s support to achieve a more inclusive model of governance within APEC by promoting the participation of labour in the process. The Asia Pacific Labour Network is calling for the APEC Working Group’s support in establishing an APEC Labour Forum and in involving labour in its own operations. The APLN also considers that the Human Resource Development Ministerial Meetings should be held regularly and in full consultation with the social partners. Read the Statement to the 32rd APEC Human Resources Development Working Group.   Spanish version.


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