EI organised national training and awareness workshops on the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burkina Faso.
The ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its follow up, the third Declaration adopted by the ILO since its creation, covers the following basic rights:
- Freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining (Agreements 87 and 98);
- The elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour (Agreements 29 and 105);
- The effective abolition of child labour (Agreements 138 and 182); and
- The elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation (Agreements 100 and 111).
Priority to social dialogue
The workshops were designed to train and educate the EI member organisations concerned with regards to this instrument and its benefits to trade unions operating in a context which is relatively unfavorable to the free expression of trade union rights.
Their specific objectives were:
- To train and educate union leaders in understanding and using theeffective use of the Declaration;
- To stimulate a wide debate between unions and line ministries on the national policies required for the effective implementation of the Declaration in the country in question; and
- To propose concrete trade union actions that can be evaluated for a multi-year follow-up.
The EI Regional Office for Africa hosted a national training and awareness workshop in Kinshasa, DRC from 17 to 19 July. Its theme was: "The ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its follow-up: what trade unions should know and what they should do."
The workshop was attended by the representatives of EI member national trade unions, namely the Centre for National Education and Scientific Research (CSC-Education), the National Teachers' Federation of Congo (FENECO- UNTC) and the Teachers' Union of Congo (SYECO).
A workshop was held on the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work in the country's capital, Ouagadougou, from 23 to 26 July.
It was attended by the representatives of the four EI national affiliates, the Burkina Faso Federation of Teachers' Unions (FESEB), the Federation of National Teachers' Unions and Research (F-SYNTER), the National Trade Union of African Teachers of Burkina Faso (SNEAB) and the National Trade Union of Secondary and Higher Education Teachers (SNESS).
A representative of the Ministry of Labour, who is also a member of the Burkina Faso Social Dialogue Committee, presented the Declaration and its follow-up.
Social dialogue is crucial for quality education
"In Burkina Faso, we are particularly grateful for the active participation of the Ministries of Civil Service, Labour, Secondary and Higher Education, and Training," said EI Regional Coordinator Samuel Ngoua Ngou. "The Ministry of Labour has provided resource partners, which is a significant contribution given that the ILO has no office in this country. "
He added that EI will continue to support the efforts of its member organizations and national public authorities, to the extent of its resources and if there is interest from its affiliates, towards developing social dialogue given that it promotes quality education in the targeted countries.
A final workshop on the ILO Declaration will be held in Madagascar before the end of 2013.