Brussels (IYCW News) – Basma Doka Louis, the African YCW coordinator, read a statement at the International Labour Conference (ILC) addressing one of the main topics in the conference in the social protection committee - A recurrent discussion on the strategic objective of social protection (social security), under the follow-up to the ILO Declaration on social Justice for a Fair Globalization.
In her statement, she emphasized that young workers need to feel valued by living a recognized life. The full implementation of ILO convention 102 and recommendation N. 202 is crucial in order to guarantee a just social protection system for all.
Basma also shared the testimony of a restaurant worker in Australia who was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: “I was working in the restaurant as a cook. When Covid hit and the government provided a form of crisis social security payment, I was not eligible for it and the business let me go. I had to depend on charity events for food and groceries. It impacted my mental health.” The statement was read out from Egypt in a virtual ILC.
What happened to restaurant workers in Australia also happened in many other countries, including to migrant student workers who live without social protection benefits, informal and precarious workers without adequate protection, workers in the gig economy without future certainty, and young people who lost their jobs, income and savings due to the COVID crisis.
Basma emphasized that social protection is a right for everyone. Social protection includes quality healthcare, education, unemployment benefits and a global safety net for all. Infrastructures such as water, electricity and internet are necessary to participate in today’s world. In addition to that, access to public transport is a matter of social justice as well as answering ecological needs.
To achieve all of this, Basma recalled the importance of solidarity from all ILO member countries, workers and employers.
At the end of her statement, Basma called to act in solidarity. Investing in solidarity financing implies that multinational corporations who most profit from the globalized economy should pay taxes wherever they generate their profit so that a strong and transformative social protection system can be established.
“Last but not least, I urge all 187 ILO member states to stick to the steps proposed in the report, taking into account the reality of young people as well,” Basma concluded.
From 7 to 19 June, governments’, workers’ and employers’ representatives from 187 ILO member states are coming together online to discuss world of work issues, including a human-centred recovery from the pandemic, at the 109th International Labour Conference.