The media and global labour standards
Journalists from all over the world at the Turin Centre (3-7 August 2009)
Thirty journalists from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe are taking part in a course on "Communicating Labour Rights" at the Training Centre. It covers the international standards set by the ILO, and is primarily for media professionals from developing countries, where infringements of basic labour rights are associated with denial of the right to information, and where journalists are often the target of intimidation and repression. However, even in developed countries, awareness of the international regulations that affect laws and labour reforms is increasing, particularly when they concern the impact of the economic crisis on rights, or flexibility, discrimination and migration.
"The media can stimulate debate, promote rights and contribute to the growth of a new ethical and social awareness," explains Alessandro Chiarabini, Programme Manager of the Standards and Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Programme, "and our organization is a source of reliable information for journalists who want to present news and carry out research that will have an undeniable impact."
The international journalistic award, "Media for Labour Rights", was born of this course, which has now been held three times. In 2009, during the International Labour Conference, held in Geneva in June, the award went to the Zambian reporter Jessie Ngoma Simengwa for the article, "Plight of a Zambian mine accident victim", on the health and safety conditions in Zambian mines, where thousands of accidents occur every year and many miners die due to non-observance or unawareness of standards.
ITC-ILO web pages for journalists: http://ilsforjournalists.itcilo.org/