On 13th June, Guy Ryder, Director General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), closed the first day of The Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Global Summit with a session entitled “The Future of Work: People & Technology”.
Ryder spoke about the fast, profound, and global transformation of employment by technology, and the ramifications for our institutions and labour markets. By working together, he said, there was a great opportunity to grasp in restoring and building confidence in the future. Ryder then spoke about the debate surrounding data disclosure, and said that consumer companies could use satellite technologies and blockchain to map their supply chains in accordance with, or even ahead of, the expectations of the public.
Towards the end of the session, Ryder commended the CGF’s call to action on forced labour, issued at the Global Forum on Responsible Recruitment and Employment and simple, yet powerful of the Priority Industry Principles. Much work remains to be done, he noted, as there are still 25 million victims of forced labour globally. The ILO has a good sense of where the risks of forced labour were the highest, and the people who were most likely to be victims: progressively being a migrant, being undocumented and being a woman steadily increased your risk.
Following the session, the CGF was able to interview, Guy Ryder, who shared further thoughts on the future of work, the protection of workers in this future landscape, Thailand’s recent ratification of the ILO Protocol on Forced Labour, as well as the powerful photography of Lisa Kristine, on show at the Global Forum. He praised the work of the CGF in engaging business around the three Priority Industry Principles, which he said, does an “enormous service to the ILO”, which is working with international legislation, labour standards and public policy, holding governments accountable. By bringing the influence and power of the business community, the CGF complements the work of the ILO and can produce results. He also issued a strong message to CGF members: “Get engaged. Take these commitments seriously. Doing the right thing on forced labour is good business. Aligning good business practices with the right thing to do is out there to be done. Let’s do it.”