During their stay the Committee attended several meetings to get a better understanding of the relevance of international organizations for their work related to the labor market and the working environment, work-related benefits, pensions, social benefits and policies regarding persons with disabilities. This included meetings with representatives from the ILO, IOM, OHCHR, UNHCR, EFTA and WTO. The International Labor Organization (ILO) is especially important for the committee’s work. Norway will become a member of the ILO Governing Body as of this summer.
Among the important topics that were discussed was “Human Rights, Business and Decent Work”. Ms. Lene Wendland, Advisor on Business and Human Rights for OHCHR, briefed the Committee on the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), the global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity. The United Nations Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights in 2011, making the framework the first corporate human rights responsibility initiative to be endorsed by the United Nations Member States.
Dan Rees, Director of the Better Work Program at ILO, also talked about how the Better Work Program has helped the conditions for some of the garment workers across the globe.
Mr. Rees and Ms. Wendland also reflected on developments “one year after Rana Plaza”, the terrible building collapse that killed more than 1100 garments workers, and left more than 2500 injured.
Read more about Rana Plaza “One year on” here.