ILO Study Visit, November 2014

Introduction
International Labour Organization - one of the ChangingEmployment Partners has provided to our research fellows the opportunity of having a 2 days study visit and kindly hosted them, in order to allow them the chance of getting aquinted with their institutional procedures, regulations, and a short outline of their main activities and plan of actions in the field of the sociology of work. With this regard, another intervenient career development possibility offered by the ILO to the ChangingEmployment Early Stage Researchers is the opportunity of having there short-term mobility stages, and the chance to get involved as active participants in drafting short research reports during their research stay there.

On this behalf, we would like to convey to the ILO experts our thanks for a warm welcoming and for the excellent lectures!

In terms of the expected outcomes of this research visit on the Early Stage Researchers future careers, below can be consulted some of the few reflections.

Theme 1 ESRs Reflections
During our study visit we had the unique opportunity to experience a meeting of the ILO Governing Body. The policy development section (POL) session on social and employment protection provided an insightful example of internal ILO debates between representatives of workers, employers and governments. For us it was interesting to see how the different positions of stakeholders, for example concerning job quality and employment generation, play out during discussions on ILO policy papers.

We received a warm welcome in the ILO research department with presentations from the department itself as well as from the MULTILATERALS and the NORMES department. We had lively discussions with the presenters about the role of the ILO in today´s corporate-led globalisation and about the different options especially labour organisations have in the UN system to make the voices of workers heard.

Theme 2 ESRs Reflections
Early Stage Researchers visited the International Labour Organisation on November 5th and 6th 2014. Theme 2 “Inclusion/Exclusion” ESRs took this opportunity to observe ILO’s functioning firsthand and exchange with ILO researchers from the perspectives of our research activities.

On the first day of the visit we attended the governing body sessions and could observe the tripartite structure of the ILO at work. On the day of the visit, the Office was presenting a paper within the so-called Area of Critical Importance on “Promoting more and better jobs for inclusive growth”. Representatives of employers’ and workers’ organisations as well as state’s delegates expressed their views on the presented paper. We could observe how contrasting opinions are voiced and how state delegates contribute to the debate, some addressed directly the paper, and others referred to their national situations.

On the second day we had the opportunity to reflect upon this experience and exchange with Stephen Pursey, Multilateral Cooperation Director, on the history of the ILO and its multilateral role within the UN system as well as in relation to other international organisations. With Desirée LeClercq Legal Officer at the ILO Standards Department, we touched upon the drafting, voting, ratification and implementation of conventions as well as the supervision mechanisms available. Finally, Steven Tobin, Senior Economist, presented us the economic situation in Spain and Greece and the ILO recommendations for these countries. This was followed by an interesting discussion on the role and influence of the ILO at the global level today.

The format of the exchange allowed enriching and frank debates and each of us left the ILO with something new to feed into our own researches. We would like to thank the MC organisers of the visit as well as the ILO for their welcome.

See photographs from the event on our Facebook Page

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