IOE Secretary-General discusses Global supply chains, decent work and the ILO with university students

Linda Kromjong participated in the roundtable discussion at the ILO on "Decent Work in the Global Economy," chaired by Valerio De Stefano from the KU Leuven. IOE's position on a number of key issues were presented:
  1. While there are decent work challenges in supply chains, they are not unique to global supply chains, as implied by the repeated focus of NGO or civil society campaigns on cross-border trade. The challenges mirror those of domestic markets and economies in general.
  2. Global supply chains are complex, diverse and have become increasingly fragmented. At the same time, participation in cross-border trade has created jobs and opportunities for millions of people. In addition, these jobs often offer better working conditions compared to alternative, domestic firms, many of which operate in the informal economy. It is for this reason that cross-border supply chains are described as "ladders of development".
  3. The best approach to respond to decent work challenges in supply chains is to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, whose principles are reflected in other key instruments such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the ILO MNE Declaration.
Other insights were shared during the roundtable discussion on the ILO tripartite system, including on: how the sessions of the ILO Governing Body (GB) and International Labour Conference (ILC) are prepared; how to build consensus within the different groups and within the entire GB or ILC; and the roles of the Secretariats for Workers and Employers. Many students in attendance of the roundtable discussion potentially consider the ILO, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and IOE as possible future employers, and perceive internships within these organisations as career kick-starters. About the roundtable discussion The roundtable discussion was organised as a part of an ILO initiative for students. 50 Students from the University of Leuven (Belgium) and Tilburg University (The Netherlands) attended a 3-day study programme at the ILO. For more information, please contact Linda Kromjong, Secretary-General

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