The Programme for Workers’ Activities is the training arm of the Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV) of the ILO. The Programme responds to the training needs of workers' organizations through courses, materials, projects and advisory services.
Areas of expertise
Activities for Employers
The private sector is a vehicle for economic growth, macroeconomic stability and poverty reduction. Indeed, successful companies invest, improve productivity, employ people, pay salaries, provide goods and services, generate profits and pay taxes.
The ILO estimates that there are still 215 million children caught in child labour, of whom 115 million are exposed to hazardous work, a measure of which is often used as a proxy for the worst forms of child labour. These estimates show that the problem of child labour is still immense. Its elimination requires a concerted effort by governments, international organizations, employers, workers, NGOs, local communities, the children themselves and their parents.
The ILO estimates that between 25 and 30 per cent of the world's growing labour force is unemployed or under-employed. This is a major cause of poverty. In addition, 500 million women and men work for less than US$ 1 per day, many of them in micro-enterprises in the informal economy.
Forced labour and human trafficking
The ILO estimates that at least 20.9 million persons worldwide are victims of forced labour, trapped in exploitative work which they are unable to leave, suffering at the hands of unscrupulous employers, labour contractors or agents. They may be victims of trafficking into commercial sexual exploitation. More often, they are working in "mainstream" economic sectors like agriculture, construction or informal manufacturing, frequently labouring under the burden of a debt which they can never repay.
Freedom of association
Freedom of association is a universally recognized and protected human right and a core ILO value enshrined in its Constitution since 1919.
HIV and AIDS
Our training concerning HIV and AIDS focuses on workplace policies and programmes, prevention and social protection. The workplace offers an entry point from which to reach young and adult populations, because nine out of ten people living with HIV are adults in their productive prime.
International labour standards
International labour standards (ILS) are legal instruments that establish basic minimum social standards agreed upon by governments, employers and workers. ILS cover all matters related to work and are backed up by a supervisory system designed to deal with all sorts of problems in their application at the national level.
Occupational safety and health and working conditions
Workplaces are responsible for more than 2.3 million deaths per year, of which 350,000 are fatal accidents and nearly 2 million are due to work-related diseases. ILO seeks to create international awareness of this situation and stimulate and support practical action at all levels, to promote the adoption of international labour standards by Member States, and to improve the capacity of tripartite constituents to design and implement policies that provide prevention and protection against work-related accidents and diseases.
Social security for all
The ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No.202) reaffirms the universal right to access to essential services, in particular health and social protection benefits with a view to preventing or alleviating poverty, vulnerabilities, and social exclusion, and preserving the dignity of all members of a society, including older persons. However, global estimates show that only 25% of people have adequate social protection coverage.
Education and training are among the major functions of workers' organizations throughout the world. Training members and officials is essential to strengthening the organization and improving its functions and services for members. The involvement of workers' organizations in an increasing number of social and economic issues makes workers' education and training even more vital to strengthening those organizations' capacity and enabling them to represent the interests of working people better.