A symposium organized by the Women’s Action Network, with the theme of “decent work,” will be held in Tokyo on May 21.

The phrase “decent work” is advocated by the International Labour Organization as its goal for the 21st century. Panelists consisting of researchers of “decent work” will discuss what it means based on their own experience as workers. (The discussion will take place in the Japanese language.)

The following is the purpose statement of the symposium: (original Japanese page)

“I Want to Work as a Respected person!” – Declaration of Decent Work Date: May 21, 2016 (Saturday), from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Venue: Building #3, Kioi-cho Campus, Josai International University 3-26 Kioi-cho, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

The gap between the rich and the poor is widening due to globalization, and working situations of women, the young, and the elderly have been negatively and significantly influenced. In Japan, rules and practices regarding these people’s labour have been reviewed, and employers have tried various ways to change some mechanisms, in such ways as introducing work time sharing or work time shortening systems.

One of the key phrases expressing such new ways of working is “decent work.” In short, it means a rewarding job for a respected person. That is, a job with which a worker can live fully as a person.

The phrase also expresses a concept with which we review how work should be based on human and labour rights. It is also a tool to create language to be used to refuse low-wage, unprotected, sexually-unequal, dangerous, or unstable jobs.

The main purpose of this symposium is for the participants to consider how corporations, governments, citizens, and society can make efforts for decent work. Under the sponsorship of WAN, we have conducted Decent Work Research Group meetings throughout Japan, and discussed ways of working that make possible respected individual lives.

This symposium will begin with reporting of these meetings. Then, experts from academia, legal world, and governments will provide their own reports as well as discussion.

After group work sessions by participants, we will create a Decent Work Action Plan and the WAN will aim to issue an agenda that provides specific ways to create new forms of working.

Translated and adapted by Naoko Hirose. Original Japanese page