By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
Belize is preparing to send representation to the 104 meeting of the International Labour Organization, according to the Labour Department.
Paulette Wagner, deputy labour commissioner, explained that the annual conference is held in Geneva, Switzerland, at either the end of May or the beginning of June. At the conference countries which have signed on to the organization’s conventions to give compliance report and receive new recommendations on how to improve the workplace.
“Whenever a member state goes to these conferences they must have tripartite representation,” Wagner said. “There must be representation from the government, the unions and the private sector.”
Wagner added that Belize has benefitted from being a member of the ILO through various training sessions and supervisions the organization has carried out in the country. Belize has been a member of the ILO since 1981. Belize has since ratified 44 of the organizations conventions.
The ILO was created in 1919, as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if it is based on social justice. The ILO became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946. It currently has a membership of 189 countries.
The Labour Department in its preparation, and in honour of Labour Day, held set up information booths at their office in Belize City, to educate the public about the role of the department and the various rights and responsibilities of employers and employees.
Marcelle Theus, labour officer with the department, explained that the department is reaching out to the public with information because many workplace disputes arise from either employees or employers not knowing what is required of them by the law.
The department also explained the various services it offers besides settling employment disputes, which include job site safety inspections, child labour inspections, and factory inspections.
Photo caption 1: Paulette Wagner, Deputy Labour Commissioner
2. Marcelle Theus labour officer