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Agenda Item

Agenda Item A: Industry 4.0 and future of workers

About the committee

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The International Labour Organization (ILO), established in 1919 as a tripartite body, emerged in the aftermath of World War I with a mandate to promote social justice and address global labor concerns. Over the decades, the ILO's mission has evolved to address emerging challenges and trends in the global labour landscape. From pioneering international labour standards and conventions to spearheading initiatives on youth employment, gender equality, and sustainable development, the organization continues to play a crucial role in shaping global labour policies, practices, and perspectives.

The agenda item facing the ILO today may be its most challenging since its inception, as Industry 4.0 threatens to redefine employment paradigms through the full automation of robotics, potentially displacing human workers. Industry 4.0 extends beyond technological advancements, influencing labour markets, employment structures, and socio-economic dynamics worldwide. While fostering innovation, productivity gains, and economic growth, this transformation also raises concerns about job displacement, skills mismatches, wage inequalities, and labour market disruptions, necessitating comprehensive strategies, policies, and responses.

Within this context, the ILO assumes a pivotal role in navigating the complexities, opportunities, and challenges associated with Industry 4.0. By fostering tripartite dialogue among governments, employers, and workers, the organization facilitates consensus-building, policy formulation, and collaborative action to ensure that technological advancements align with human-centric development, social protection, and inclusive growth. However, this task is fraught with challenges, as employers and employees often have divergent interests, and nations are divided both within and among themselves. If not addressed effectively, the current situation threatens to undermine the foundations of modern human civilization.

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