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    ANROEV Statement for International Workers’ Memorial Day 2019

    April 29, 2019 in Top News

    28 April a day of remembrance for workers who were killed, injured or disabled due to lack of proper health and safety at work. Workers’ Memorial Day is an opportunity to highlight the preventable nature of most workplace incidents and ill health and to promote campaigns for the fight of improvements in workplace safety. The basic slogan for the day is remembering the deadfight for the living.

    According to recent report of the ILO, currently, more than 374 million people are being injured or affected by illness every year by work-related accidents. It is estimated that economic loss due to OSH-related causes represent almost 4 per cent of global GDP, in some countries the cost can be as high as 6 per cent. The developing Asia is one of a key region in the world constantly suffering with high number of work related deaths, diseases and injuries caused by unsafe working condition. According to a new report from the International Labour Organization (ILO), Changes in working practices, demographics, technology and the environment are creating new occupational safety and health (OSH) concerns. Growing challenges include psychosocial risks, work-related stress and non-communicable diseases, notably circulatory and respiratory diseases, and cancers.  Death caused by hazardous substances at work are all time high linked to 1 million preventable death worldwide each year which is unacceptable.

    It’s a great sorrow to mentation that, 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 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 various parts of Asia show that health and safety of workers is not prioritised by employers or the enforcement authorities. Occupational accident victims specially women and young people are even being further marginalised as they find it even harder to find long term unemployment or forced to take precarious work that is low paid, unprotected and hazardous.

    We must recognize the economic cost, the immeasurable human suffering such illnesses and accidents. These are all-the-more tragic because they are largely preventable.

    According to UNHCR, exposing workers to substances that do not have a determination of a health-based safe level of exposure is a violation of their rights. At the most fundamental level, comprehensive information regarding the intrinsic health hazards of the vast majority of industrial chemicals continues to be absent, including their ability to cause cancer, to be mutagenic or to be toxic for reproduction Continued exposure of workers to such chemicals not only constitutes a challenge to the rights of these workers to information, but also may amount to exploitation by deception. Without such information about toxic exposures at work, this further limits the rights of workers to realize other related rights.

    OSH legislations are out-dated (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 ILO convention 155 (occupational health and safety) and 170 (chemicals convention) is considered as basic international labour standard for securing health and safety rights of all working people inside the national boundary; ensure safe chemical management and exposer fee workplaces. On the other hand, the important feature of the ILO convention 155 is applied to all workers in all branches of economic activity. Therefore, ratification of 155 by countries in Asia is very important to ensure state’s basic legal obligation, ensure occupational health and safety rights of all workers within the country. The formulation of harmonisation of compensation systems and ratification of ILO Convention 155 is an urgent need in Asia. Furthermore, the goal of ILO conversion 170 is to provide workers with information about the chemicals at their workplaces, and about appropriate preventive measures so that they can effectively participate in protective programmes; establishing principles for such programmes to ensure that chemicals are used safely, but regretfully it is found that, till now only few countries in Asia has ratified convention 155 such as China, Korea, Mongolia, Australia, Fiji and Kazakhstan. Its ratification status in south Asia and South East Asia is nil. On the other hand only 21 countries in the world ratified ILO convention 170 (chemical safety), and only China and Korea from Asian region are included that list.

    The international community has long recognized health as a human right. But in a world where above 3 million workers continue to die every year as a result of occupational accidents and work-related diseases; it is time for safety and health at work to be recognized as a fundamental principle and right at work.

    It has to be point out here that, one of key recommendations at just published Global Commission on the Future of Work report is a universal labour guarantee required that protects workers’ fundamental rights, an adequate living wage, limits on hours of work and safe and healthy workplaces.

    On the International Workers’ Memorial Day 2019, ANROEV demands the governments in Asia to immediately ratify ILO Convention 155 and 170 as part of states obligation to ensure workers’ rights for a safe, healthy and hazards free workplaces in Asia.

    Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV)

    28.4.2019

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

    April 28, 2018 in Latest News, Top News

    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

    April 12, 2018 in Top News

    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

    April 12, 2018 in Top News

    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/

    The ANROEV biennial conference 2017

    November 5, 2017 in Top News

    The ANROEV biennial conference was held in Kathmandu, Nepal from September 19 to 21, 2017. ANROEV is providing adequate support to victims and organizations to raise their united voice on OSH rights and to bring necessary changes on OSH situations for the betterment of the victims in the Asian region.

    130 delegates from 18 countries in all over the world participated in the powerful discussion on OSH which envisaged the network activities supporting to ensure the victims rights and promote the OSH Rights in the Asian region. The conference demonstrated plenty of dynamic learnings and thoughtful presentations, discussions on different ongoing and emerging issues on OSH.

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