WHO Health in the World of Work (H-WoW) Network Calls for Extended Protections of All Workers


March 19, 2024,

Geneva, Switzerland

 The H-WoW Network congratulates the Intergovernmental Negotiation Body (INB) delegates on their remarkable progress towards an international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. This achievement underscores the importance of global readiness to address future crises and effectively protect our people, especially our workers.

To meet future pandemic challenges, H-WoW advocates for a whole-of-society approach. This approach involves the collaboration of public health, employment, education, social services, transportation, and maritime authorities. Through coordinated policies and programs, we can ensure the well-being of all segments of society, particularly our workers.

H-WoW strongly supports the amendments to the instrument proposed by ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo in January 2024. We urge all INB delegates to align the instrument with key principles, including:

  • Ensuring a healthy and safe work environment as a fundamental principle and right at work.
  • Recognizing workers' and employers' organizations as vital stakeholders.
  • Adopting a whole-of-society approach to mobilize resources across various authorities.
  • Addressing and mitigating the adverse socio-economic effects of public health measures.
  • Extending employment, health, and social safety net protections to all workers, including those in supply chains, beyond just healthcare and essential workers.

H-WoW commends the INB delegates for their efforts and stands ready to assist as needed.