Vision: Zero!

The G7-initiated Vision Zero Fund initiative (VZF) aims to prevent work-related deaths, injuries and diseases in global supply chains.

ADDIS ABABA (FES Ethiopia)–Ethiopia’s prosperous economy attracts more and more investors that are linked to global supply chains. Given the mixed experiences in Asia, a stakeholder workshop focused on the protection of Ethiopian workers from work-related injuries and diseases by improving occupational safety and health practices. But do the Ethiopian Government, Trade Unions and Employers Association agree on the way forward?

The ILO estimates that worldwide 2.3 million workers die, 160 Million suffer from work-related disease and 313 Million sustain non-fatal injuries. Since 60% of the worlds labor force is ineffectively or not at all protected against these work-related incidents, the Vision Zero Fund (VZF) aims at achieving the vision of zero fatal and severe work-related injuries and diseases.

VZF is an initiative initiated by the German G7 Presidency in 2015. It aims to prevent work-related deaths, injuries and diseases in the global supply chains since the social and economic losses resulting from these fatalities are significant. The Zero Vision Fund, thus, tries to improve occupational safety and health practices and tries to strengthen institutional frameworks (e.g. employment injury insurances) by bringing national and international stakeholders in both public and private sphere together to engage jointly in sectoral activities in a country.

On the 14th July 2017, an astonishing turnout of around 100 VZF stakeholders took part in the consultation meeting that was organized by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

The main aim of the consultation was to raise awareness about the Vision Zero Fund, mobilize local and international support and engage stakeholders in discussion. Furthermore, the consultation aimed at emphasizing that occupational safety and health is crucial to Ethiopia’s efforts to attract international buyers and investments and highlighting the social dialogue as an essential element to improve productivity.

After the introductory remarks by George Okutho, Director of the ILO East Africa, H.E. Mr. Abdulfetah Abdulahi Hassen, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of Ethiopia and H.E. Ms. Yasmin Fahimi, State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs both stressed the importance of the Vision Zero Fund and elaborated on Ethiopia’s ongoing Prevention Strategies.

Ockert Dupper, Global Manager of the Vision Zero Fund, later appreciated the valuable input and confirmed the commitment of the Vision Zero Fund to facilitate the next possible steps with the most important stakeholders.

Vivid informal talks continued even after the official closing.

Source: FES Ethiopia 
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