The theme of the forum is “Strategic Labor Inspection for Decent Work Including in Global Supply Chain”. The conference itself is taking place in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Mr. Joaquin Nunes
The discussion was lively. It began with Joaquin Pintado Nunes, a Senior Specialist from the Labor Administration and Labor Inspection Department of the ILO. He spoke about the complexity of labor inspection in light of global supply chains. The statement that really struck me was how the “Bottom” of the supply chain is informal, and the “Top” of the supply chain is outside the jurisdiction of labor inspectors. This makes enforcement a real problem in the area of labor standards.
Mr. Rene Robert
Joaquin’s colleague from ILO Bangkok, Mr. Rene Robert, came in with a very complementary discussion. He spoke of real world examples where he affirmed that the goal of inspection from a regulator’s perspective is not to have simply visited every enterprise. The goal of inspection is to ensure compliance. He even supplied several real world examples of regulators either collaborating with other sectors to ensure compliance. In the case of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in the UK, my favorite example, apparently workplaces were non-compliant because of the tools they used. Instead of focusing on the employers, regulators worked with the manufacturer’s of the tools themselves and designed them to be safer. This is truly some out of the box thinking.
The Philippine delegation in their respective panel discussion.
A very well executed presentation was had from the Philippine delegation. The Philippines is privileged to be one of the few countries that had representatives from the public (DOLE) and private (Employers Confederation of the Philippines) sector. The two presentations painted a picture that both large employers and regulators are working independently to ensure compliance. While there are definitely troubles in the field of labor law, this mutual pursuit of shared ambition is definitely a bright spot in the Philippine legal landscape.