New ILO Guidelines on Decent Work for Public Emergency Services

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(26 April 2018) On 20 April 2018 an ILO tripartite meeting of experts  agreed new  Guidelines on Decent Work for Public Emergency Services. The Guidelines cover a wide range of  workers including police, firefighters, emergency medical services, and search and rescue personnel, as well as other services regularly called upon to respond in emergencies, such as armed forces, security and surveillance services, bomb disposal units, local governments, body-handling services, services responsible for the restoration of water and electricity supply, and related professions, such as social workers. 

Public Services International (PSI) led and coordinated  the workers’ side.  The Guidelines aim to better protect every and each worker confronted with emergency situations,  including epidemics, extreme weather events, industrial accidents conflicts and terrorist attacks by promoting  coherent measures for emergency preparedness and disaster prevention, access to social protection and effective labour inspection.  Special attention is given  in the Guidelines to the role of volunteers engaged in emergency response to ensure that they also are protected.

The Guidelines, which will be formally adopted by the ILO in November 2018, complement ILO Recommendation No. 205  that covers “all measures on employment and decent work taken in response to crisis situations arising from conflicts and disasters.”

The guidelines and the ILO press release are available in English, French and Spanish