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ILO Country Manager Stresses
Importance Of Labour Statistics

The International Labour Organization (ILO), Project and Country Manager to Liberia, Haji Salif Massalay, has stressed the importance of Labour Statistics in helping government and development partners to develop programs for enhancing decent living and working conditions of people in the Labour sector.
Mr. Massalay said that the ILO Convention #160 which is referred ro as the “Labour Statistics Conventions” first came into being in 1938 and was known at the time as “Statistics of Wages and Hours of Work Convention otherwise known as C-63” but was changed in 1985 to Labour Statistics Convention.
He said each member state of the ILO which ratifies this Convention is expected to regularly collect, compile and publish basic labour statistics.
He said the statistics which shall be progressively expanded in accordance with its resources will cover economically active population, employment, where relevant unemployment, and where possible visible underemployment; structure and distribution of the economically active population, for detailed analysis and to serve as benchmark data; the average earnings and hours of work (hours actually worked or hours paid for) and, where appropriate, time rates of wages and normal hours of work and the wage structure and distribution.
The ILO Country Manager said that Convention #160 also looks at labour cost; consumer price indices; household expenditure, family expenditure, household income, family income; occupational injuries and, as far as possible, occupational diseases; and industrial disputes.
Mr. Massalay said that labour statistics is about the collection of empirical figures which is gathered through research on household expenditure on a monthly and yearly basis.
He said that if there are statistics on these labour indicators, it will help guide the government in setting up a minimum wage for workers as well as in directing programs that are aimed at improving the living conditions of workers and their families in the country.
Mr. Massalay made these assertions during an ongoing regional awareness and sensitizations on three International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions recently ratified by the Government of Liberia. The Conventions are: C-100 which speaks about “Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value”, C-138 talks about “Minimum Age for Admission to Work” and C-160 which is referred to as “Labour Statistics Convention”.
Speaking further, Mr. Massalay said that conventions 100 and 160 are key fundamental and human rights Conventions that speak to wage determination for workers and the improvement of their livelihood.
He noted in order to ensure it effectiveness; governments are expected to conduct a Labour Force survey after every four years as means of making determination on these labour indicators. He added that Labour Force Survey is a major requirement of these conventions.
He lamented that current statistics shows that unemployment in Liberia is low giving that the definition of the ILO states that “Anyone who had work for the last three weeks are considered employed”.
He however noted that 85.5% of Liberians are vulnerably employed meaning that there are more people doing work without job security or may breakdown after a short period of time. This shows that more people in Liberia are employed but are vulnerably employed. That is to say that huge numbers of Liberians are unemployed.
Also speaking, the head of the Regional Outreach team, Labour Ministry Communications Director, Joseph Kortu Nyandibo said that the outreach is the second phase of the regional awareness and sensitizations campaign on the three ILO Conventions recently ratified by Government of Liberia.
He said that the campaign which is being sponsored by the ILO is facilitated by members of the National Tripartite Council (NTC) of Liberia which is comprised of the Ministry of Labour representing Government of Liberia; the Liberia Labour Congress (LLC) representing workers/trade unions and the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC), representing employers in Liberia.
Mr. Nyandibo said that the outreach is intended to increase the knowledge and understanding of social partners in the labour sector as well as community leaders on the Conventions.
He named activities being carryout by his team as: Talk shows, Town Hall meetings and community engagements. It covers six counties of Liberia namely Nimba, Bong, Margibi, Bassa, Grand Cape Mount and Bomi.
The ILO Country Coordinator said that the Equal Remuneration Convention is based on the principles of equality, non-discrimination and proportionality. So is the Minimum Age Convention which is based on human rights principles and rooted in the Convention on the Rights of a Child.
He thanked the Government of Liberia and in particular the Minister of Labour for ratifying these Conventions in addition to the 1986 Amendment to the ILO Constitution.

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