ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 49
Financial Times  

Major ILO report on discrimination at work

The International Labour Office (ILO) is to issue a new report on the state of discrimination in the world of work.

The report to be released on on May 10 examines the status of traditional and new forms of discrimination and analyses progress in combating them at the national and global levels, ILO said in a statement..

The report, entitled “Equality at work: Tackling the challenges” will be formally launched at a high-level event in Brussels, Belgium by ILO Executive-Director Kari Tapiola, Peter Van Velthoven, Belgian Labour Minister, Director-General Michael Van Der Pas of the European Commission on Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, and Manuela Tomei, the ILO expert who authored the report.

The report highlights newly emerging forms of discrimination, such as unfair treatment in hiring of younger and older workers, people with disabilities, those living with HIV/AIDS, on the basis of sexual orientation, and others. The report also explores the new challenges stemming from the emergence of practices that penalize people with a genetic predisposition to developing certain diseases or who have lifestyle issues considered unhealthy, such as tobacco use and obesity.

The traditional forms of discrimination based on gender, age, race and social origin, affecting virtually everyone in the world, remain stubbornly resistant to all efforts, including legal measures. The report concludes with a range of policy suggestions and offers a plan of action for achieving equality at work for all.

Four years ago, the ILO provided the first global report allowing a reliable assessment of the extent of discrimination in the workplace. It called upon governments to take a more integrated approach to eliminating discrimination at work, which is imposes large costs on the global economy in unrealized benefits. This year’s report will present a new global agenda building on lessons learned to achieve further progress in the elimination of discrimination is all its forms.

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