World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


IMF and World Bank must expand debt relief program

IMF and World Bank must expand debt relief programmes and increase respect for labour rights

Brussels 23rd April 2004 (ICFTU Online): Ahead of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Spring Summit in Washington this weekend, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) today released a statement ( on behalf of the global trade union movement.

Entitled 'implementing a decent work agenda to achieve sustainable poverty reductions', the statement calls on the World Bank and IMF to increase respect for labour rights since this will have a powerful and positive impact on poverty reduction.

To reap the long-term benefits of poverty reduction in the long-term, the international trade movement argues that the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) (i.e. the IMF and World Bank) need to focus on improving the employment prospects and working conditions of those whose only asset is their labour. The international trade union grouping is stressing the consequences of neglecting such issues, for example the continued abuse of women workers' rights which has contributed to the International Labour Organisation's alarming statistics showing that 60% of the 550 million working poor are women. The IFIs' own reports echo this, making the link between rising inequality, the persistence of poverty and the violation of labour rights. Trade unions are well placed to work with the IFIs to draw up relevant policy in this area- targeting employment creation and ensuring that all IFI

Commenting in the run-up to the meetings taking place on 24-25 April, ICFTU General Secretary Guy Ryder said, "the Global Unions urge the World Bank to institute policies which respect the ideal of decent work. Policies must work towards establishing and enforcing laws which recognise workers' rights to earn a living wage, earned in safe conditions and free from abuse. One way to safeguard this would be to include all four core labour standards* in IFC loan contracts and in other World Bank lending agreements".

Trade union organisations will also be arguing for the IMF policy recommendations to be more consistent with internationally ratified ILO conventions.

In the course of the spring meetings, Global Unions will be calling for substantial additional resources to be allocated to debt relief for low- income indebted countries and underlining the need to increase number of eligible countries covered by the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries scheme. Using the example of the Argentinean debt crisis, Global Unions will highlight the importance of introducing a framework for a fair and transparent international debt arbitration and restructuring mechanism.

The ICFTU represents over 150 million workers in 233 affiliated organisations in 152 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC