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Finnish occupational health and safety know-how to be an export product - Finland joining key ILO project

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
25.11.2014 13.50
Press release -


Finland is participating as a founding member in a new programme of the International Labour Organisation ILO, whose goal is to help developing countries improve their working conditions and to reduce their risk of accidents and occupational illnesses.

"With Finnish occupational health and safety know-how we want to improve the working conditions of target countries by promoting work that is fit for humans. Work in which equality and safety prevails also improves productivity and competitiveness", says Minister of Social Affairs and Health Laura Räty.

The new flagship programme is supported by the G20 countries, and is a significant worldwide partnership in a sector in which Finland has know-how and professional skills that are appreciated. Finland's staunch knowledge and experience are based on tripartite cooperation of management, labour, and the state. In addition to Finland, the United States has also announced that it will take part in the programme as a founding member.

Occupational safety and occupational health are fundamental human rights that must be secured for everyone. In spite of this, 2.3 million people die at their workplaces each year. In other words, an employee dies at his or her workplace somewhere in the world every 15 seconds.

The starting point of Finland's development policy and cooperation is a green, inclusive economy that is based on the sustainable use of natural resources without forgetting human well-being and social equality. One of the most important goals is to create decent work and well-being for as many people as possible. By supporting safe and healthy working environments it is possible to reduce poverty, marginalisation, and human suffering in the developing countries.

"The goal of development cooperation is for societies to gain strength and for people to get on their feet so that they themselves would be capable of contributing to the advancement of development. Also in collaboration with enterprises it is vital that human rights should be taken into consideration in all cases and that collaboration will have a positive outcome for the parties concerned. Sustainable change can only happen if people all over the world can live off of their own professional skill. It is also in the interests of Finnish employees for well-being at work, professional appreciation, and decent pay to be realized all over the world. Finland is participating in the ILO project with a significant degree of input, both financially and by offering its expertise", says Minister for International Development Sirpa Paatero.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder is currently visiting Finland at the invitation of Minister of Labour Lauri Ihalainen.

Further information:

Ministerial Adviser Wiking Husberg, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +368 29 51 63475
Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Ville Lahelma, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 50 4620251

EDIT: 25.11.2014 15:46 The name of  Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Ville Lahelma has been corrected.


Laura Räty
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