Around 19 million workers are unemployed at present in Latin America. This total corresponds to 10% of the world’s unemployed population.
From May 2-5, the International Labor Organization (ILO) will be holding its 16th Regional Meeting, in Brasília, capital of Brazil, to discuss political measures and immediate acts of intervention to deal with this problem.
According to José Carlos Ferreira, deputy director of the ILO in Brazil, the organization foresees that it will take up to 15 years to reduce the unemployment figures for Latin America and the Caribbean.
When the discussions in Brasília are done, countries will be expected to implement the measures over which a consensus has been formed.
Representatives from 35 nations are expected to attend the meeting. The goal is to consolidate the agreements reached by the countries at previous meetings.
"We plan to introduce the creation of quality jobs on the agenda of economic and social policies. Few countries today have a real policy of job creation," Ferreira observes.
In his view, a quality job is one that is adequate for the needs of the worker and his/her family. "Moreover, the worker should receive social security coverage," he points out.
Ferreira says that there is a high index of informal employment in the majority of countries. Over 40% of urban workers are subject to these conditions, frequently without the benefits of social security coverage.
"The ILO is striving to bring to the debate a proposal for policies and actions aimed at inserting the agenda of decent employment within the broader perspective of each government’s economic and social policies."
The deputy director of the ILO in Brazil emphasizes that the global economy has been growing at an annual rate of 4-5%. However, this growth has not generated a sufficient number of jobs.
"It is no use to have economic policies that resolve macroeconomic problems without giving the population access to better jobs," Ferreira insists.
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