International co-op movement adopts declaration on decent work

The ICA commits itself to “respect, promote and act diligently to support the fundamental tenets of decent work”

The International Co-operative Alliance has committed to promoting a decent working environment and zero tolerance for harassment.

Its members adopted the Declaration on Decent Work and Against Harassment unanimously at their General Assembly in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The document notes that the movement endorses the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Recommendation 193 on the Promotion of Co-operatives (2002). It adds that the international co-operative movement supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda for 2020, which calls for a world free of poverty, where people are able to enjoy decent work and benefit from “sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth”.

To this end, the ICA, as the global voice of the movement, commits itself to “respect, promote and act diligently to support the fundamental tenets of decent work”. These include freedom of association and full recognition of the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; an end to child labour; and the elimination of discrimination in employment and every form of work.

The declaration defends the basic principles of dignity and equality in the new and emerging forms of employment; prohibits within its sphere of influence all sexual harassment; and strongly opposes every other kind of workplace misconduct, including intimidation, oppression and discrimination, as well as any abuse of power.

While pledging “zero tolerance for violence in the workplace”, the ICA also calls on all members to abide by the declaration, which applies to all of its constituent bodies.

The text highlights that the commitments included in the declaration align with the co-operative values and principles stated in the Statement on the Cooperative Identity.

“We are one of the first international organisations saying formally and strongly that a decent working environment is fundamental in our society and that there is no room for any form of harassment in our organisations,” said ICA president Ariel Guarco.

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