Delegates from 22 countries across the Americas gathered yesterday in Barbados to address some of the most pressing issues facing labour in the Hemisphere.

Hosted by the Inter-American Network for Labor Administration (RIAL from its Spanish acronym) in collaboration with the Organisation of American States (OAS), the series of meetings run until Friday, September 19, at Hilton Barbados.

These include the 2014 Meeting of the Working Groups of the XVIII Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor (IACML) and a workshop on “Social Dialogue for Formalisation”.

Topics to be discussed include fighting discrimination and increasing equality in the workforce, building sustainable enterprises, preventing and eradicating child labour and promoting occupational safety and health.

Addressing delegates at the opening ceremony, Minister of Labour, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo expressed delight at being able to welcome the delegations to Barbados.

“On this occasion, Barbados is pleased to host labour management officials who have, for the most part, travelled a long journey in the interest of the development and furtherance of the labour management agenda of our respective countries and of the hemisphere,” stated the Minister.

Commenting on discrimination in the workplace, Minister Byer Suckoo noted that with the assistance of the International Labour Organisation and the OAS, Barbados had undertaken a Participatory Gender Audit of the Ministry of Labour and its agencies to assess how gender issues were currently integrated into management, administrative processes and programmes.

She said that the timing of the Participatory Gender Audit in Barbados could not have been at a better time, as the international community witnessed a surge of interest in all matters of “gender”.

Updates during the conference will be available on Facebook at and on Twitter at, #WG_IACML and #GT_CIMT. For more information, persons may visit

The Inter-American Network for Labour Administration is a mechanism for cooperation among the Ministries of Labour of the Americas to build their human and institutional capacities. It was established following the XIV Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labour of the OAS in Mexico in 2005, in response to the mounting pressures faced by the Ministries.


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