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Media key tool in addressing labour issues

NKOLE NKOLE, Livingstone
THE media is a key player in communicating international labour standards and issues to the wider public, International Labour Office (ILO) country director for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, Alexio Musindo, has said.

Mr Musindo says by reporting on social and labour matters, the media can further public understanding and in turn strengthen the application of international labour standards at local level to advance human rights at work.
He was speaking here when he opened a three-day training workshop dubbed ‘Communicating labour rights’ for regional journalists organised by ILO.
Mr Musindo said the main aim of the workshop is to equip journalists with the correct knowledge on labour issues which they can then communicate to the wider public.
The ILO is working in collaboration with the Zambia Union of Journalists (ZUJ) for this particular workshop.
Mr Musindo said the idea of inviting journalists from the region to the workshop was to incorporate the element of regional knowledge sharing.
“The reason we are here is to ensure that we do report on international labour standards and on ILO issues,” he said, adding that ILO’s main responsibility is to promote social justice and a decent work agenda.
“Employment and labour issues are central to any political campaign anywhere in the world. Issues of youth employment are always central,” he said.
Mr Musindo said ILO works with both workers in the formal and informal sectors, and that its services extend to promotion of decent work for media practitioners by ensuring that issues of salaries and working hours are applied within existing labour laws.
This year, ILO also plans to support promotion of labour matters by holding media awards in Zambia.
And ZUJ president Shamaoma Musonda thanked ILO for hosting the workshop and for identifying the media as a key player in reporting labour injustices.
Mr Musonda said the media is naturally inclined to ensuring that it plays its part in reporting on labour issues.
He said the collaboration between ILO and regional journalists can only lead to positive results for both parties.
Attending the workshop are journalists from Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.