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Nov 28, 2023

Ministry of Labor Joins ILO in Discussing Decent Work

Earlier today, the Ministry of Labor partnered with the International Labor Organization’s Decent Work team to organize a workshop aimed at understanding what is decent work.  It is defined as employment that respects fundamental rights of the human person, as well as well as the rights of workers, in terms of conditions of work safety and remuneration.  It also looks at respect for the physical and mental integrity of the worker in the exercise of employment.  Present at the workshop was Valentino Shal, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Labor.


Valentino Shal

Valentino Shal, C.E.O., Ministry of Labor

“The Decent Work Country program is a framework that sets out the relationship and the work program between Belize and the ILO and ILO, of course, we are a member of the ILO and they provide a lot of technical support to member countries and Belize is a member of the ILO.  To pursue that working relationship, you need to have a clear roadmap.  The country needs to articulate its priorities, the country needs to identify those areas it wants the support of the ILO with and so that’s what this is about, it’s to map out what those issues are, what those priorities are and where the ILO can support the country.  So that’s basically what we are doing here today. I think in order to promote decent work in the country, we need to look at various factors.  The first one is the workers, I mean, what are the issues the workers are facing in the country?  For instance, earlier this year, or in January of this year, we raised the minimum wage, addressing things that are of concern to workers like that.  There is safety and health which we are also addressing and, of course, the economic sectors.  Where is Belize experiencing economic growth?  How can we help to promote that growth?  And there are other issues, of course, that deal with rights of workers, responsibilities of workers and there are other issues now that we need to take into account such as gender equality and, of course, climate change.  And so, you will see a diverse set of stakeholders present today because we are trying to be as broad as possible, at the same time, we want to be clear as to what it is that we want to focus on.  But for Belize, it’s really looking at promoting the welfare of the worker, looking at decent wages, looking at diversifying the economy, creating new job opportunities, training for workers and those sorts of things.”

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