ILO reports on situation for Palestinian workers

May 2013: Guy Ryder, Director General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) presents the annual report on the “Situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories” to the 2013 International Labour Conference (ILC):

“This year’s mission was the first to be undertaken since the recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer State by the United Nations General Assembly in November 2012. The Report describes a situation of considerable uncertainty, with a real danger of a downward spiral which could frustrate all the economic and social achievements that the international community has been supporting in the two decades following the Oslo Accords. Last year’s Report warned of a dangerous political stalemate. However, at that time there had still been some advances in terms of economic growth, employment, social dialogue and gender equality in the Palestinian labour market. The momentum for growth, already fragile at the time, has now come to a halt, and a fiscal crisis is turning into an economic and social crisis. …

It is also increasingly obvious that the restrictions arising out of the continuing occupation and expanding settlement activity are effectively blocking the Palestinian economy, and importantly its private sector, from further significant progress. In this constrained situation, there is a risk of serious erosion of confidence in the capacity of the institutions for a Palestinian state to deliver on the strategies for economic growth with decent work and respect for fundamental rights. …”

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