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Gender equality takes one step forward, three back during COVID

Gender equality takes one step forward, three back during COVID

GOVERNMENTS, companies and investors must do more to reverse the blow dealt to gender equality by the COVID-19 pandemic and try to cement some silver linings of the crisis for women, experts told a panel at the Reuters Next conference on Thursday. "It is one step forward and three steps back," said Carlien Scheele, director of the European Institute for Gender Equality, noting that women had taken on the bulk of the extra caregiving responsibilities during lockdowns. Women have been hit harder than men by job losses around the world due to the pandemic and their employment levels are likely…
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COVID-19 spurs calls to boost protections for millions of homeworkers

COVID-19 spurs calls to boost protections for millions of homeworkers

EMMA BATHA THE dramatic global shift to remote working during COVID-19 lockdowns has underscored an urgent need for greater protections for homeworkers, many of whom are paid far less than those employed outside the home, the United Nations has said. About 7.9% of workers - 260 million people - were home-based before the pandemic, but this figure has more than doubled, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). "Homeworkers have been invisible for too long. But the explosion in home working during the pandemic has highlighted the poor working conditions experienced by millions worldwide," ILO economist Janine Berg told the…
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50 nations back U.N. drive to end forced labour

50 nations back U.N. drive to end forced labour

THE world has reached a "major milestone" in the drive to combat modern slavery after Sudan became the fiftieth country to back a United Nations treaty against forced labour, the U.N. International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday. The legally binding 2014 pact - a protocol to the 1930 ILO Forced Labour Convention - compels nations to enact measures to prevent forced labour, protect victims and provide compensation. The ILO - with the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) - has led the "50 for Freedom" campaign to encourage governments to ratify the protocol…
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U.N. forced labour drive hits target with backing of 50 nations

U.N. forced labour drive hits target with backing of 50 nations

THE world has reached a "major milestone" in the drive to combat modern slavery after Sudan became the fiftieth country to back a United Nations treaty against forced labour, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has said. The legally binding 2014 pact - a protocol to the 1930 ILO Forced Labour Convention - compels nations to enact measures to prevent forced labour, protect victims and provide compensation. The ILO - with the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) - has led the "50 for Freedom" campaign to encourage governments to ratify the protocol and raise…
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Labor group seeks help for hundreds of thousands of seafarers stranded by COVID

Labor group seeks help for hundreds of thousands of seafarers stranded by COVID

MATTHEW LAVIETES HUNDREDS of thousands of seafarers around the world are stranded at sea due to coronavirus travel restrictions, unable to go home or get medical care, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Tuesday, calling on nations to address their plight. Many shipping and transport workers have been at sea as long as 17 months or longer, as COVID-19-related restrictions make it almost impossible to rotate crews, the United Nations' labor agency said. The ILO adopted a resolution asking nations to take action by providing medical care to seafarers in need, waiving visa or documentation requirements and designating seafarers…
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ILO chief says pandemic’s impact on work is “cataclysmic”

ILO chief says pandemic’s impact on work is “cataclysmic”

THE head of the International Labour Organization on Monday described the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world of work as "cataclysmic" and much worse than that of the 2008 financial crisis. Speaking at the opening of the ILO's two-week ministerial conference, director-general Guy Ryder also warned of an uneven economic recovery after the pandemic, partly fed by inequities in vaccine distribution. "The impact has been devastating, cataclysmic," he said. "Taken as a whole this represents a world of work crisis four times as severe as the one triggered by the financial crisis of 2008-2009." The United Nations agency…
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