Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs

Press Release

Minister Patricia Francourt attends the 111th session of International Labour Conference, Geneva, Switzerland


The Minister for Employment and Social Affairs Mrs Patricia Francourt is heading a tripartite delegation from Seychelles at the 111th session of the International Labour Conference, which is being held in Geneva, Switzerland from 5th to 16th June 2023.


Minister Francourt delivered her address to the plenary session of the Conference on Monday 12th June, and conveyed support to the Director General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Mr Gilbert Houngbo on his vision of promoting social justice and decent work and the introduction of a Global coalition on social justice.


Minister Francourt emphasized that social justice addresses the aspirations of citizens and workers. “Social justice renews the ILO’s centenary human-centred approach and it reaffirms our role as tripartite constituents to bring progress to our people and to uphold the constitutional obligations as member states of the ILO. When striving for social justice, we should also aim for inclusiveness and resilient societies, so that we leave no one behind.,” said Minister Francourt.


The Minister also highlighted that the world of work is going through structural transformations and vulnerable groups of society are most affected, notably young people who choose a job in a different training field due to delayed employment, informal workers with limited labour protection and young single mothers who face challenges to balance their work and family responsibilities. When addressing strategies to overcome these challenges, Minister Francourt indicated that, “we have a role to play to equip our labour force with the skills in demand and to provide correct labour market information and equal access to opportunities, to allow them to adapt and grow in the world of work. This is the social justice that we seek!”


Minister Francourt pledged Seychelles’ commitment towards the Global coalition for social justice and explained that various inclusive policies and programmes have been developed nationally to contribute in maintaining an unemployment rate below 5 per cent for the year 2022, although the rate remains high for young people.  The Minister further reaffirmed that “social justice should have no borders and all workers’ rights must be respected,” and in this regard the Ministry launched the “Work in Seychelles” induction programme earlier this year to raise awareness on rights and responsibilities of migrant workers following their arrival in the country.


Minister Francourt also held a side-line meeting with the Minister for Public Service, Labour and Employment of the Kingdom of Lesotho, Mr Richard Ramoeletsi, to discuss possible labour exchange between the two countries. Minister Francourt explained the jobs in demand in Seychelles and the limited available labour supply, whereas Minister Ramoeletsi stated education, health and tourism as main areas for labour migration from Lesotho. An official visit by the delegation from the Kingdom of Lesotho is planned for next year to further discuss a bilateral labour agreement.


Furthermore, Minister Francourt attended the World of Work Summit which was held from 14th to 15th June where the UN Secretary General, Mr Antonio Guterres and other Heads of States addressed the Summit. During the Conference, the Minister also met with the distinguished ILO Regional Director for Africa, Mrs Cynthia Samuel-Olunjuwon and other Ministers namely the Minister for Tanzania.


The ILO being a unique agency of the United Nations where government, employers and workers have the same voice, the Secretary General of the Seychelles Federation of Workers’ Union, Mr Antoine Robinson, also addressed the Conference. Mr Robinson underlined the importance of social justice, challenges being faced by workers in the world of work today and the revamped National Consultative Committee on Employment in Seychelles where social dialogue discussions are held.


The other members of the Seychelles delegation attending the ILO Conference are the Principal Secretary for Employment, Ms Veronique Bresson; Chief Policy Analyst, Ms Susan Morel; Personal Assistant to the Minister, Mrs Gislaine Hoareau; Chairman of the General Employers Trade Union of Seychelles, Mr Donald Monnaie and Vice-Chairman of the General Employers Trade Union of Seychelles, Mr Kevin Barbe and; Secretary General of the Seychelles Federation of Workers’ Union, Mr Antoine Robinson.

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