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Jamaica’s Labour Minister convenes with Caricom Ministers at conference in Geneva

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Jamaica’s Minister of Labour and Social Security, Pearnel Charles Jr., is in Geneva attending the 112th session of the International Labour Organization (ILO). 

This significant event convenes tripartite constituents from the ILO, alongside international organizations and key stakeholders from across the globe. 

The conference, running from June 10 to 21, 2024, serves as a pivotal platform for discussing pressing labor issues and enhancing international labor cooperation.

Focused agenda on workplace safety and rights 

This year’s conference agenda is robust, addressing key issues such as the establishment of standards for protection against biological hazards in the workplace. 

It also revisits the strategic objective concerning the fundamental principles and rights at work. 

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Additionally, the agenda includes discussions on enhancing the care economy through the lens of decent work, reflecting a holistic approach to modern labor challenges.

During the conference, Charles Jr. participated in the Caricom Ministerial Caucus on Monday morning, which was a collaborative effort among member states to consolidate their concerns and requests to the ILO. 

The collective agenda pushed by the Caricom states includes advancing the decent work agenda, enhancing the capabilities of the regional ILO office, and seeking assistance for comprehensive reforms in labor laws and data collection. 

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Other focal points included adherence to global labor standards, particularly in Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), upskilling the workforce, promoting social justice, and fostering opportunities for green jobs.

Jamaica’s commitment to regional labor issues 

In his address, Charles Jr. highlighted Jamaica’s dedication to advancing areas crucial to the Caribbean. 

He emphasized collaboration with other member states to strengthen labor systems, including OSH, accessibility, the decent work agenda, and addressing labor migration issues collectively affecting the region. 

His contributions were positively received, signaling a strong commitment to regional labor priorities.

Continued engagement and anticipated outcomes 

The minister expressed enthusiasm about continuing to engage with international partners throughout the conference, aiming to advance labor priorities for both Jamaica and the broader Caribbean region. 

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