Hope is worth much more than money


Head of the ILO’s Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour

When my plane landed in Cuiabá, the Southern Gate to the Brazilian Amazon, the heat almost took my breath away. My first stop was a major construction site where a new stadium is being built for the 2014 World Cup. During the following hours I learned about a fascinating initiative to prevent modern forms of slavery.

The idea of the project is simple but effective: workers who have been rescued from what is called “slave labour” in Brazil, or who are at risk of falling prey to exploitative labour practices, are offered a six-month vocational training course. Once they’ve completed the course, most of them are hired by companies under decent conditions of employment. The company building the stadium for the World cup is one of them.

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Abused domestic workers – are we to blame?

Amelita King-Dejardin

Amelita King-Dejardin

By Amelita King-Dejardin, ILO Domestic Work Specialist

I’ve done hundreds of interviews with domestic workers and their employers, and alarm bells always ring whenever I hear the statement: “I treat her like a member of the family.” In my experience, this declaration, with its vague cultural notions, often means that the domestic worker relies on the benevolence of the employer and not on her rights as a worker. Continue reading

A view from Yangon

Steve Marshall

By Steve Marshall, ILO’s liaison officer in Yangon, Myanmar

A view from Yangon: ILO’s liaison officer Steve Marshall talks about the changes he is witnessing in Myanmar

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar. © A.Lwin Digital

Watch and Listen: Reform process in Myanmar is irreversible, says ILO expert