Awareness campaigns in agriculture and construction, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The International Labour Organization (ILO) supported the government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in setting up and implementing awareness-raising campaigns. The aim of these campaigns was to increase awareness of negative aspects of undeclared work whilst pointing out the advantages of formalising within the agricultural and construction sectors. Attention was also given to decent working conditions.
Taking a step towards enabling measures, awareness-raising campaigns for the agricultural and construction sectors have been introduced in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. These have been aided by the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team and Country Office for Central and Eastern Europe. Trade unions, employers and government institutions were involved in the selecting of themes for the campaign and the sectors involved. Use was made of visual resources such as posters and information materials such as leaflets to convey the negatives of working on an undeclared basis and the positives of being fully declared. Inspection visits accompanied the campaigns to ensure further success.
The aim of this campaign was to increase awareness of negatives of undeclared work whilst pointing out the positives of formalising within the agricultural and construction sectors. The target audiences were employers and workers, particularly those in SMEs.
To convey the message of the campaign the use of images showing good and bad practices was favoured. The main messages consisted of informing employers and workers of the conditions they should have in workplaces to prevent accidents or health problems. Alongside this, information was given on why all employees should be declared and how this can be done. To broaden the campaign use was made of posters, leaflets and booklets both printed and online. Three different posters and leaflets have been developed for agriculture (undeclared work, pesticides and agricultural machinery), four for construction (roof works, scaffolding, excavation and use of personal protective equipment) and four for gender (gender discrimination, sexual harassment, maternity protection and gender equality plans).
Furthermore, labour inspectors were provided with management tools and checklists to support their inspection visits. The campaign was highly publicised through the use of mass media. It was launched by a high level workshop with the participation of ministers as well as employers’ and workers’ organisations and received good media coverage.
Lessons and conclusions
Achievement of objectives
The results of the campaigns have not yet been released as the campaign ended in June 2012. A similar campaign in Moldova did have positive effects: more than 14,000 workers experienced positive changes in their workplaces after the inspection visits and 183 undeclared workers were registered in two months.
Obstacles and problems
One of the reasons for initialising the campaign was that communication and enforcement campaigns were not part of the labour inspectorates’ daily work.
Similar campaigns were set up and implemented by the ILO in the country of Moldova.
ILO (2012), ‘Awareness raising campaigns to reduce undeclared work occupational risks and improve gender equality at work’, available at http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/media-centre/press-releases/WCMS_183459/lang--en/index.htm.