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The International Labour Organization (ILO) works with other UN agencies, governments and sports organisations through partnerships to use sport as an opportunity to promote social and economic development, youth skills and better working conditions for women and men.

The leisure time of workers and their families are the main reasons for ILO's involvement in the sport sector. In 1922, the Organisation conducted a number of consultations on the above subject area and in 1924, the International Labour Conference (ILC) adopted a resolution following consultations with the IOC President Pierre de Coubertin and a number of experts in local sports institutions. The objective was to reduce the number of working hours to a maximum of eight per day and to reorient the time of the workers to social activities which would include recreation and physical education.

As history goes full circle, it is worth noticing that the ILO is called upon today to help in developing services for recreational activities of workers. In doing so, not only national programmes in favour of the workers are preserved, but real opportunities are created for centres to be upgraded with new services, possibly creating new job categories with training to be developed for coaches, tourist guides, managers etc.

1. Youth Sport Programme

Through the programme, training activities are conducted in Albania, El Salvador, Guinea, Mozambique and Senegal to develop employability skills for youth through sport and to develop partnerships among sport institutions, the UN system and ILO constituents.

2. Common Framework for Sport and Development

Methodology to work in partnership with the UN system and with sport partners. The methodology has been developed and tested: see  here.

3. Decent Work Agenda

A partnership was forged with the International Olympic Committee on various topic areas of the Decent Work Agenda.

Giovanni di Cola (2009),  Developing skills and competences for professional athletes, ILO contribution to the IOC World Congress Copenhagen, ILO.

Arne Barez (2008), Sport as a school of life: The mental and physical characteristics, developmental objectives and coaching methods of youth sport, ILO.

Giovanni di Cola, Christel Costa, Claire Bélony and Bertrand Loze (2008),  Travail Décent, Développement Local et Sport, ILO, Geneva, Switzerland. Also available in Spanish (2008): Trabajo Decente desarrollo local y Deporte, ILO, Geneva, Switzerland.

OIT et Ecoles de Coetquidan-St Cyr (2007), Ethique, Travail décent et Sport, ILO, Geneva, Switzerland.

Giovanni di Cola (ed.) (2006), Beyond the Scoreboard - Youth employment opportunities and skills development in the sports sector, ILO, Geneva, Switzerland (also available in Spanish and in Italian).

For additional resources, see www.ilo.org/universitas

Mr. Giovanni di Cola

Mrs. Anita Amorim

UN ignites the flame of social change through the London 2012 Olympics 13 August 2012
Geneva (UNOSDP) – The London 2012 Olympic Games came to an end yesterday and are already widely lauded as an overall success, with plenty of historic moments that will stay fresh in the minds of many for years to come. But beyond the stadiums, courts and fields where sporting excellence prevailed, the event offered the opportunity to help advance the human development agenda.
Campaign against human trafficking held against Olympic backdrop 27 July 2012
Geneva (ILO) – Visitors thronging London for the Olympics might come across huge, brightly coloured gift boxes that promise passers-by a better life, only to reveal the harsh realities of human trafficking on the inside. The art installations are part of the Gift Box campaign that aims to raise awareness about human trafficking, a crime which affects every country in the world in one way or another.
UN cheers for goals against child labour as World Cup kick-off nears 9 June 2010
Geneva – As football fever spreads with the kick-off of the World Cup in South Africa this Friday, the United Nations labour agency (ILO) today urged the world not to forget the plight of an estimated 215 million children who have to work for survival and miss out on education and sports.

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