India says workers should get social protection net

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New Delhi, Oct 16 (UNI) India has mooted that workers in the informal sector should be covered in the net of social protection through new legislation, imaginative schemes and sharing of best practices to help enhance social protection for the labour force in the world.

The working group, which was represented by Labour and Employment Minister Oscar Fernandes at the 2nd ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Labour and Employment Ministers' Conference, also underlined that social protection and labour security are inseparable and should be viewed as an investment in the economy.

The two-day meeting concluded in Bali, Indonesia yesterday by underlining the importance of ASEM process as a platform for dialogue and cooperation between Asia and the European Union.

The group noted that laws of the free market were not enough and therefore Corporate Social Responsibility assumed a greater role and it needed to be strongly emphasised in the common vision for social security.

The conference, attended by 13 ministers of Labour and Employment and officials from 35 Asian and European member states, touched upon the compelling issues of labour and employment in Asia and Europe and emphasising the need for strategic cooperation between Asia and Europe to promote decent work and global labour markets for the benefit of ASES partners.

The discussions were held on the topics of "More and Better Jobs - Strategic Cooperation" and "Partnership to Promote Decent Work and Global Labour Markets for Mutual Benefits".

Participating ministers sought concrete efforts in strengthening the social dimension of globalisation and in promoting decent work for all. Three working groups -- Training and Employability; Labour Migration; and Social Protection -- were formed to discuss issues relating to the main theme.

The Social Protection group noted that laws of the free market were not enough and therefore Corporate Social Responsibility assumed a greater role and needed to be strongly emphasised in the common vision for social security.

It also recommended that the member countries should prepare country-specific Social Protection Programmes to ensure that workers get respectable level of social protection, better health care and educational facilities that enhance their skills through training.

The two-day conference in its declaration resolved to promote decent work for all and reiterated its resolve to use ASEM dialogue and other appropriate channels to improve core labour standards, and also committed itself to take actions aimed at fighting against poverty and inequality in all countries irrespective of their level of income.

UNI SD MP HS1941

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