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Switzerland and ILO sign agreement on development cooperation

Children working at a brick factory on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2019. Switzerland has joined a global platform to combat child labour, forced labour and human trafficking. Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Economics Minister Guy Parmelin and the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, have concluded an agreement on development cooperation.

Parmelin, who holds the rotating Swiss presidency this year, also announced that Switzerland had joined a global platform to combat child labour, forced labour and human trafficking, the government said on Thursday.

The agreement, signed in Bern in the presence of employers’ and employees’ associations, sets out Switzerland’s strategic priorities for joint development cooperation activities and is intended to ensure that Switzerland’s policy is coherent with that of the Geneva-based ILO and its programmes.

The new agreement replaces that of 2016 and takes into account the changing context of development cooperation, namely the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the ILO’s “Centennial Declaration on the Future of Work”, and the global employment crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Fulfilling a promise

Parmelin also announced that Switzerland had joined Alliance 8.7. This global platform – named after Target 8.7 of the UN’s 2030 AgendaExternal link – aims to share knowledge, encourage greater cooperation and advance appropriate measures in the areas of child labour, forced labour and human trafficking.

As a new partner country, Switzerland is fulfilling a promise it made during the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, the government said.

During their bilateral talks Parmelin and Ryder discussed further steps regarding technical cooperation in the fight against child labour, forced labour and human trafficking, as well as in overcoming the global employment crisis.

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