The 19th American regional meeting of the International Labor Organization (ILO) ended in Panama with a call to promote productive development, an environment conducive to the creation of companies, and respect and implementation of fundamental labor rights.
The meeting, which began last Tuesday, brought together about half a thousand representatives from 34 countries to discuss the central topic "Preparing the future of the work we want in the Americas through social dialogue."
The declaration of the meeting states that "to build a better future of work" must "promote an environment conducive to the creation and development of companies, respect and implementation of fundamental principles and rights at work, and respect for freedom of association and collective bargaining", among others.
It also highlights the need to "strengthen the culture of work, respect for rights and compliance with the obligations of the parties involved in the employment relationship, encourage the entrepreneurial spirit, generate more and better spaces and strategic thinking and planning skills, that contribute to the development and execution of programs and policies in the long term".
"Building a better future for work is possible, strengthening democracy through collective work, strengthening democratic governance through social dialogue among governments, employers and workers with a long-term vision, respecting the rule of law, combating corruption, and strengthening the institutions," reads the "Declaration of Panama", informed this Friday the Panamanian Ministry of Labor.
In the framework of this meeting, the Director General of the ILO, Guy Ryder, said that the cycle of economic slowdown that began in 2014 "has influenced the behavior of employment" in America.
"The lowest rate of unemployment was recorded in 2014, when it was 6.1 percent" on average across the continent, and "since then it climbed persistently to 8.1 percent in 2017, the highest in a decade," said Ryder.
He added that in the first semester of this 2018 "unemployment rose to 8.8 percent", and that "it is unlikely that the negative trend will reverse", which he called "worrying".
Regarding youth employment, he said that "the priority is to look for work for young people".
"I am told by Ministers, more than 18 percent is the regional average of youth unemployment; it is estimated that 40 percent of the unemployed are young people, the youth unemployment rate triples that of adults, and 6 of every 10 young people only find employment in informality," Ryder noted.
And informality is another challenge in America that demands "specific creative and political solutions to face it, because it reaches 53 percent of the employed population, including the primary sector, and affects some 140 million people in the continent," said the Director of the ILO.