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Geneva: CS Bore roots for renewed social contract for sustainable development

This year’s 112th session of the ILO seeks to address a wide range of issues, including the protection of workers against the effects of climate change

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CS Bore at the 112th International Labour Conference in Geneva

Kenya has called for a renewed social contract to promote decent work and social justice.

Speaking during a plenary session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary challenged governments to commit to strengthening laws that will advance equal opportunities for sustainable development.

“We must revitalize and reconfigure existing labour and employment policies and programmes for just transition and sustainable development. To this end, I call upon the Office of the ILO Director-General to help Member States and the coalition of the willing to renew the social contract and to go beyond ratification of international labour standards” she told the 112th Session of the ILO International Labour Conference.

Bore at the same time highlighted the urgency to deal with the existing threats to the social contract which include climate change, technology, Artificial Intelligence and geopolitics which have had profound impacts leaving many vulnerable.

She regretted that Kenya had not been spared either citing the recent floods that resulted in severe loss of life (human and livestock) and property, destruction of infrastructure and displacement of people.

“These children and their families require equal protection of the law and on this point, I do agree there is an urgent need for renewal of the social contract” she said while presenting Kenya’s statement and reactions to the ILO DG report on Renewed Social Contract.

ILC

Additionally, she pointed out how digitalisation although a key driver in the labour market had disadvantaged the poor rural population and elderly persons due to limited access to digital platforms.

“Despite growth in the labour pool, with an increase in skills demand at entry level and task-based work, to specialized work, there is a need to devise new strategies in governance and policy framework to ensure fair distribution of the gains and opportunities of the digital transformation” she stated.

She also decried the decent work deficits, rising unemployment and emigration, a situation she explained calls for a review of existing policies to promote employment and also balance the national and foreign interests to work.

“I wish to state that as a global community we have all made great strides since the Philadelphia Declaration of 1944 and there are documented milestones to this effect. Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement to close the income disparities, inequalities within our populations and reduce social exclusion which all threaten our societal fabric and stability” she stated.

“Mr. President, the existing policies and institutions are ill-prepared to respond appropriately to the transformations in the World of Work. As a Community of 10 Nations, the ILO must be intentional in our collective action and must build bridges for a cohesive, peaceful and sustainable communities” she added.

This year’s 112th session of the ILO seeks to address a wide range of issues, including the protection of workers against the effects of climate change and biological hazards, the care economy and fundamental principles and rights at work.

The CS is accompanied by PS Shadrack Mwadime, COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli and FKE boss Jacqueline Mugo.

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