Dear Mr Ryder,
We, the undersigned civil society organisations, trade unions, and concerned citizens around the world, address this joint open letter to the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the occasion of International Workers’ Day on 1 May 2020, urging you to take action in the framework of your mandate to protect the rights, livelihoods, and dignity of Palestinian workers, women and men, and their families during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work has confirmed the essential role that ILO, one hundred years since its creation, must play for the achievement of ‘social justice, democracy and the promotion of universal and lasting peace.’[i]
We welcome the ILO’s recent statement calling on governments around the world to take action to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. As stressed by the ILO, ‘It is only by implementing occupational safety and health measures that we can protect the lives of workers, their families and the larger communities, ensure work continuity and economic survival.’[ii] We also welcome the ILO’s Palestinian Decent Work Programme, as a serious effort to enhance employment and livelihood opportunities and realise fundamental principles and rights at work for Palestinian women and men.[iii]
[i] ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 108th Session in
Geneva on 21 June 2019, Preamble.
[ii] ILO, “Protect workers both now and after lockdowns ease, says ILO,” 28 April 2020, available at: https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_742898/lang--en/index.htm.
[iii] ILO, “The Palestinian Decent Work Programme 2018–2022,” April 2018, available at: https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/how-the-ilo-works/departments-and-offices/program/dwcp/WCMS_629011/lang--en/index.htm.