PERC ILO seminar on trade union and international labour standards for the Western Balkan trade unions

The strategic use of ILO’s Supervisory Machinery in light of recognition of OHS standards as Fundamental Rights at Work.

A joint activity of the ILO – Budapest Office and ITUC / PERC SEE TU Office was organised on 27-28 April 2023 in Skopje, N. Macedonia – a 2-day Seminar on promotion of workers’ rights and improvement of working conditions in the region of Western Balkan.

Seminar aimed at strengthening trade union capacities for engagement with the international bodies and fight for workers’ rights, as well as promotion of relevance of OHS standards in companies, and it is also an important step in the direction of continuous improvement of workers’ rights and working conditions in the Balkan region. Through assembling trade unions from the whole region, ILO and PERC try to promote cooperation and coordination in promotion of decent work for all.
Seminar was focused on two key topics: the strategic use of ILO’s supervisory machinery and promotion of ILO standards of OHS, and the strategic use of the ILO ILS (International labour standards) system and the role of trade unions in the ILO supervisory machinery. A special attention was paid to the following topics: Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155) and Convention on Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187), OHS as the added right to the Fundamental principles and rights at work: ILO system of international labour standards and mechanisms for supervision, Possibilities for trade unions to be adequately included in the OHS polices in the Balkans, including the improvement of the genuine harmonisation with the Chapter VI on the compensation for the work related accidents and social security (minimum standards) from the Convention No. 102 and Convention No. 121 on Employment Injury Benefits Convention, Other mechanisms – EU Framework Strategy on OHS – national OHS policies – Trade union priorities, Modern and long-term challenges on OHS – anticipation and change management.

Trade unions from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Kosovo attended the seminar and they had a chance to learn from experts in this filed, and to engage in the discussion on the best practices and strategies for the promotion of labour rights and the improvement of working conditions. ILO and PERC representatives and experts provided their professional contribution in the seminar: Sergeyus Glovackas, Senior Workers Activities Specialist for Europe and Central Asia, ILO/ACTRAV, Gocha Aleksandria, Senior Specialist for Workers Activities for Central and Eastern Europe, ILO/ACTRAV, Victor Hugo Ricco, Senior Specialist for Workers Activities, ILO/ACTRAV, Kenichi Hirose, Senior Specialist for Social Protection, ILO Regional Office Budapest, Anton Leppik, PERC Executive Secretary, and external expert Karoly Gyorgy, ITUC/ PERC OHS Expert.

On the International Workers’ Memorial Day, 28 April, all the participants have joined the symbolic marking of the Workers’ Memorial Day, organized by the Association for OHS for North Macedonia, during which they planted 22 trees in a park as a symbol of memory to 22 workers, who died at work in 2022 in North Macedonia.

Working languages were English, BCMS and Albanian. All the Power-point presentations are attached to this Report, in English and BCMS.


Modern and long standing challanges Karoly Gyorgy
EU OSH Strategy Framework – National OSH policies – Trade union priorities Karoly Gyorgy
Roles of Trade Unions in Promoting OSH policies and Employment Injury Benefits Kenichi Hirose