Internationella konventioner gäller även i ekonomiska kristider!

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ILOs tillämpningskomitté, Committee on Application of Standards, granskar idag Spaniens politik för att klara den ekonomiska krisen i jämförelse till vad man lovat i form av internationella åtaganden. De spanska facken menar att Spanien inte lever upp till sina skyldigheter i ILOs konvention nummer 122, som innebär att landet förpliktar sig att bedriva en aktiv politik för full, produktiv och fritt vald sysselsättning. ILOs expertkommitté begär att Spanien redovisar vad de gör för att nå målen.

I spåren av den finansiella och ekonomiska krisen är arbetslösheten extremt hög. De spanska fackliga organisationerna hävdar att regeringen inte gjort eller gör tillräckligt för att människor ska få arbeten med anständiga villkor. Genom budgetprioriteringar har Spanien skurit ner på stödet till arbetsförmedlingar, utbildning och vägar till riktiga jobb, samtidigt som folks behov har ökat markant.

I mitt inlägg för arbetstagarsidan säger jag att internationella konventioner måste hållas också då tillgängliga resurser är knappa. En ratificerad konvention ska följas och vara vägledande för nationell politik såväl i goda tider som i kristider. Det är själva meningen med internationella standarder, att tjäna som riktmärke för de politiska beslut som tas i konkreta fall som budget eller lagändringar.

Att fatta beslut innebär valsituationer. Det finns alltid fler än ett sätt att agera. Det är här vi påminner länder som Spanien om deras skyldighet att leva upp till vad de lovat, också när det är ont om pengar.

Här följer mitt inlägg, som stöds av de nordiska och estniska fackliga företrädarna i kommittén:

It has been stated that the Spanish economy is recovering from the crisis. But still the crisis and its effects are not over.

Almost a decade of economic hardship and austerity measures has had a decisive impact on the reality today and the future prospects of workers and their families. Especially for young people, the time span of a nearly a decade is a very long time, which indeed shapes their view on society, on work life in general and their own possibilities for a decent life.

Unemployment is at historically extremely high levels, and as we all know, the situation for young people is even worse than for the average population.

In addition, we note that a large proportion of the new job opportunities in Spain are precarious, like short term contracts. The reality of many people is far from the concept of Decent Work.

Youth unemployment and lack of relevant supportive measures lead to the result that many youngsters leave Spain in search of a better future. There are mentions about as much as 500 000 young people who have left the country in recent years. This must be seen as an immense loss, which will have repercussions for years to come.

These challenges must be met by active labour market policies. The design of such measures, as well as other policies, is always subject to various alternatives.

Restoring public finances and the overall economy can be done in ways that serve the workers as well as enterprises.

Policies to overcome the crisis must not be used as a pretext to dismantle social policies, including active labour market policies.

International standards are to be complied with also in times of economic hardship. Commitments based on international standards exist with the purpose to have a decisive impact on concrete decisions that responsible people and institutions make in their national context.

Although we are now in the ILO, Spain is also a member of the European Union. Two years ago, the EU launched the so called Social Investment Package. The concept can be interpreted as a strong support for social policies that lead to something positive in the future. Social policy measures and spending are to be seen as an investment. This must be valid for labour market policies, especially regarding investment in youth, like education and support for transition from education to quality jobs; decent work. We, workers’ representatives, are convinced that such actions will pay off for society as well as for individuals concerned.

Chairperson, I would like to reiterate the conclusions of the committee of experts on this case, and transform them into demands, not only to provide information, but to act.

That is about measures aiming at reducing youth unemployment, facilitating the entry of young people to the labour market. There is need to invest, to improve education and training in relation to employment opportunities, and in a broader sense; investment in social policies that benefit people. A good example could be active labour market policies in compliance with ILO conventions, including the wording and spirit of convention 122.

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