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ILO keen to assist Fiji

Felix Chaudhary
Thursday, February 28, 2013

THE International Labour Organization is keen to play a facilitative role in Fiji to aid the country move forward and address issues in regards to labour laws and conventions ratified by the government.

Speaking to The Fiji Times, the ILO's South Pacific office director David Lamotte said there were plans to make a request to send a direct contacts mission to the country from the governing body to find solutions to issues and to see what the government had done in labour relations that were progressive and innovative.

"The ILO wants to be a facilitator and help find solutions," he said.

"The direct contacts mission has as its objective to find a solution to move forward, not to write a report to say how bad the situation is.

"The Fiji government has done considerably well in some areas such as tackling the child labour issue and the Employment Relations Promulgation which provides a sound basis for industrial relations in the country.

"These are good things that need to be highlighted."

Mr Lamotte said conventions and laws were building blocks established by the United Nations which could be used to formulate national plans, strategies, policies and laws.

"There are rules to the game, set by international standards. They are set by 183 governments, 183 trade unions and 183 employer organisations. They are not particularly high, these are considered the foundation, everything should be better than that in national law.

"So there are rules. I'm not a policeman. I'm here to help countries find a way of meeting what is commonly called internationally acceptable labour standards.

"I would do whatever I have to do to help workers, employers and the government of Fiji achieve that objective."


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