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    • Demand to Asian Governments for the Immediate Ratifications of ILO Convention 155

      ANROEV Statement for International Workers’ Memorial Day 2018

      On April 28, a day of remembrance for workers who are killed, injured or disabled due to work, we the members of the Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV) a coalition of victims’ groups, trade unions and other labour groups across Asia raise our voices collectively for the ratification of the ILO convention 155 on Occupational Safety and Health and the working Environment. The ANROEV network is a grassroots network that is committed to the rights of victims and for overall improvement of health and safety at the workplace.

      Work-related disease and accidents are increasing due to OSH Rights violation at the workplace in Asia and poor working conditions kill a worker every 15 seconds across the globe.[i]   According to the ILO[ii] in 2017, OSH-related deaths totaled to 2.78 million workers per year and 317 million workers suffer from work-related injuries annually[iii] . The total cost of accidents, death and illnesses is conservatively estimated at four percent (4%) of the world GDP[iv].

      Asia is the highest contributor to these figures and constituted about two-thirds of the global work-related mortality in 2017. The overall development approach in the field of OSH in Asia is mainly focused on workplace accident, addressing occupational diseases is still not a priority. Occupational diseases (silicosis, asbestosis and occupational cancers and many more) are an invisible and imminent threat for workers in Asia. The absence of OSH Rights, social protection and just compensation for industrial accidents, injuries and diseases are pushing affected families deeper into poverty and making them vulnerable.

      Recent tragic workplace accidents in Asia such as Ali Enterprises [2012] in Pakistan, Tazreen Fire [2012] and Rana Plaza Tragedy [2013] in Bangladesh, Kentex factory fire [2015], HTI fire [2017] in the Philippines and the Fireworks factory explosion [2017] in Indonesia show consistently that health and safety of workers is not prioritised by employers or the enforcement authorities.  Victims specially women and young people are even further marginalised as they find it even harder to find long term unemployment or are forced to take precarious work that is low paid, unprotected and hazardous.

      Despite of the fact that large numbers of workers in different industries and workplaces are being exposed to deadly hazards and carcinogens, diagnosis of these occupational related illnesses and diseases takes a long time because of multitude reasons in the Asian region like lax laws, poor enforcement mechanisms, lack of skilled doctors to name a few. There is a dire need for medical practitioners who are adept and skilled in diagnosing occupational diseases and doctors on the ground who have access to workers and communities to make a timely diagnosis to ensure that workers receive swift treatment and compensation.

      OSH legislations are outdated (regressive) as these generally fail to keep in step with emerging workplace issues and non-standard forms of employment. In many cases, workers in the informal economy, domestic workers, migrant workers are not covered under the legislations. Enforcement of OSH legislations are equally a serious concern in Asia and require joint responses at national and regional level. Updated OSH legislation in the Asian region reflecting the nature of work in Asia is crucial to prevent workplace accidents and diseases and to ensure just compensation for victims.  The formulation of harmonisation of compensation systems and ratify ILO Convention 155 is an urgent need in Asia.

      On the International Workers’ Memorial Day 2018, ANROEV demands the governments in Asia ratify ILO Convention 155 to ensure workers’ rights for a safe and healthy workplace.

      Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims

      28.4.2018


      [i]https://www.ituc-csi.org/one-worker-dies-every-15-seconds

      [ii] http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/safety-and-health-at-work/lang–en/index.htm

      [iii] ILO, WSC-2017

      [iv] ITUC/AP Report

    • Unions are organising for safer, healthier, decent work

      Worldwide, poor working conditions kill a worker every 11 seconds. All these deaths are avoidable, yet the body count is increasing, warns Sharan Burrow. The ITUC General Secretary says that is why global unions are launching a reinvigorated and urgent organising campaign to demand safety, justice and accountability.
      Every work-related death is avoidable. We have the knowledge. We have the technology. We can live for months in the vacuum of space.
      But back on earth, the number of workers killed by their jobs has risen sharply. That is not because of a lack of know-how. It is because of a lack of will.
      Companies are judged on their annual accounts, not their accident books. Corporate CEOs are richly and legally rewarded for asset stripping, job slashing, outsourcing and profit-taking. It takes nothing short of a major disaster, however, to see workers’ health and safety generate a murmur of concern in most boardrooms.
      And that disinterest or disdain comes at a cost. It is why estimates from the International Labour Organisation, released in September 2017, showed work-related fatal injuries and diseases worldwide have increased to 2.78 million per year. Most – 2.4 million deaths per year – are the result of occupational diseases, not ‘accidents’.
      IIt is a preventable epidemic that sees one work-related death every 11 seconds, every day, round the clock. ILO puts the estimated cost of this haemorrhage of life at 3.94 per cent of global GDP per year, or 2.99 trillion US dollars.
      Make no mistake, these are large under-estimates. Work associations with diseases are missed, either by accident or design, and for whole categories of conditions no-one is counting the bodies.
      In Japan, the authorities may record your fatal heart attack as caused by overwork. In most other places, it’s in the ‘natural causes’ column. In Germany, Italy, Denmark and France, your laryngeal cancer may be linked to asbestos and compensated, but it is likely to go unrecognised, uncounted and uncompensated in most other countries.

      Read more …

      28_April_2018_ITUC_Report

    • Workplace deaths hit four-year high in Bangladesh

      Dhaka tribune picAt least 1,242 workers were killed and 371 were injured at their workplace in the year 2017 while the number was 1,240 last year. About 92.9% of the deceased workers were male and 7.1% were female, the statistics showed. Although the issue of workplace safety has gained much attention in the recent years, especially after the collapse of Rana Plaza in 2013, a rising number of accidents in garments and other factories have once again intensified the need for labour security in the country. According to Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE), a specialized foundation that works for the implementation of labour rights, the number of workplace death in 2016 was higher than the previous three years.

      Read more here…

      http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2017/12/30/workplace-hazards-bangladesh-killed-1242-workers-2017/

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