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Dr Manal Azzi & the right to safety and health at work

Coming up on In The Spirit of Things we talk to Dr. Manal Azzi about her work at the International Labor Organisation (ILO) and the recent the landmark decision that adds safety and health to Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

This decision means that all ILO Member States commit to respect and promote the fundamental right to a safe and healthy working environment, whether or not they have ratified the relevant Conventions.

About The Resolution

Delegates attending the recent International Labour Conference (ILC) adopted a resolution to add the principle of a safe and healthy working environment to the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

Delegates adopted the measure at the Conference’s plenary sitting on Friday 10 June.

Until now there have been four categories of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work:

  • freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;

  • the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour;

  • the effective abolition of child labour;

  • the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

The decision by the Conference means that Occupational Safety and Health will become the fifth category.

Meet Dr Manal Azzi

Dr Manal Azzi is the Global Team Lead on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) at the International Labour Organization (ILO) based in Geneva, Switzerland. In her 17 years with the ILO, she has had the opportunity to supervise interventions around the world.

Dr Azzi currently leads the ILO’s occupational safety and health team and manages a number of portfolios including the work on chemical safety and the environment and ILO's activities on the prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases, health promotion in the workplace including improved wellbeing, nutrition and the prevention of stress, psychosocial risks, violence and substance abuse in the world of work. She also coordinates the world day for safety and health at work campaign. Dr Azzi also works on advancing OSH management systems and promoting over 19 ILO conventions including ILO core OSH principles Conventions 155 and 187 among others. She was instrumental in the process leading to the recognition of occupational safety and health as a fundamental principle and right at work in June 2022.

Dr Azzi holds a PhD in Health Sciences and Policy (Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences-University of Surrey, UK), a masters in labour law, LLM (University of Leicester), a masters in nutrition, and BSc. in environmental and public health sciences (American University of Beirut), and a degree in biochemistry, human physiology and health education (University of Sydney).

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