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Decent Work in Fragile and Conflict-affected States

ILO launches first international academy to promote decent work in conflict-affected states

The ILO Regional Office for Arab States and the ILO International Training Centre in Turin have launched the first global academy to promote decent jobs in fragile and conflict affected settings.

This five-day academy came to a close on Friday (December 2) and was attended by participants working in eight countries with fragile and conflict affected settings including senior government officials, programme managers and staff of civil society organisations as well as representatives of workers' and employers’ organisations.

“It is becoming more and more clear that without decent jobs, chances to move from fragility to peace and resilience are modest,” said Frank Hagemann, Deputy Regional Director of the ILO Regional Office for the Arab States. “What we witnessed over the course of this week was how crisis situations can negatively affect the decency of work, but also how opportunities to advance the decent work agenda may arise from in fragile and conflict affected settings.”

Delivered by leading international experts in the field, the academy drew on experiences from different countries in order to devise an integrated approach to job creation in fragile contexts, both in terms of policy and practice. In addition, participants were acquainted with tools and methodologies to assess the impact of fragility on employment as well as lessons learnt in programmes that aim to create jobs through local economic recovery, employment intensive investments, micro- and small-enterprise development as well as cooperative development.

“We are not only talking about the number of jobs we need to create, but increasingly so about the quality of these jobs—and this is of critical importance,” said Hagemann. “We know that low quality jobs, jobs in which workers’ rights are not respected, insecure jobs and inequalities in the labour market, are catalysts for conflict that deter countries from creating stable communities.”

The academy was facilitated by ILO specialists from the Arab States region as well as international experts from the ILO International Training Centre in Turin and ILO Headquarters in Geneva. In addition, the course offerings were supported by an e-campus, which provided the participants with online access to the necessary tools, documents and interactive methodologies employed during the academy. Due to the fact that the number of applicants to the academy outnumbered places available, the ILO intends to re-run the academy in another location at a future date.

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The only tripartite U.N. agency, since 1919 the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers representatives of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.