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Sharing globally

The first “ILO Global Knowledge Sharing Forum (GKSF) on the transition from the informal to the formal economy” was held on Campus from 23 to 27 November.

The Forum brought together 43 constituents from 20 countries and 4 regions (Africa, Asia, Americas and Europe). The aims were to:

  • further disseminate ILO Recommendation 204 on the transition from the informal to the formal economy, adopted at the International Labour Conference (ILC) in June 2015;
  • discuss a follow-up strategy;
  • assess and document promising formalization experiences and practices from participating countries and regions.

The adoption of Recommendation 204 is a historic landmark for the world of work, as it is the first standard that focuses exclusively on the informal economy as a whole. It therefore applies to more than half of the global labour force and more than 90 per cent of the world’s micro- and small enterprises. One of the main features of R204 is its emphasis on integrated strategies for achieving the threefold objective of facilitating the transition to a formal economy, promoting the creation of decent jobs, and preventing informalization.

This was reflected in the expertise brought together during the GKSF, with input from the various ILO technical departments (skills and employment, enterprises, working conditions, research), field offices (Africa, Europe, Americas, Asia), projects and the Centre itself.

The GKSF built on the strong social dialogue and role established by tripartite constituents in leading the inclusive process for formalization at national, regional, and international levels. This was again highlighted during the Forum by  Mr  Plamen Dimitrov (Bulgaria) and Mr Alexander Frimpong (Ghana), respectively spokespersons for the workers’ and employers’ groups during the 2014 and 2015 ILCs, which led to R204.

The GKSF provided a useful setting for discussing promising formalization practices among countries from different regions and at different stages of development, paving the way for future knowledge sharing on the transition to the formal economy and decent work.

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