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Merkel urges world to "turn economic growth into social progress"

Published : 12 Jun 2019, 10:24

  DF-Xinhua Report

German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech during the 108th session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, June 11, 2019. Photo Xinhua.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that the world must work further to improve working conditions and turn economic growth into social progress.

Merkel was among some 40 world heads of state or government and political leaders who are addressing the International Labour Organization' (ILO's) annual International Labour Conference (ILC).

"We want social standards to apply to all people of this world," said Merkel.

This year the ILO is marking the 100th anniversary of the organization in Geneva in a conference that runs from June 10-21.

"The ILO is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago," Merkel said.

"Today, we must further improve working conditions. Economic growth must be turned into social progress. Multilateral action is bringing us forward, and we are all dependent on it."

Merkel also condemned the use of child labor and lent her support to the ILO campaign against it the day before World Day against Child Labor that falls on June 12.

"Many children have to work in a nightmare," said the German leader. "We need social peace; we need fair conditions of labor; we need the preservation and respect of human dignity."

The ILO has the fight against child labor as one of its priorities. Merkel said the ILO has achieved a lot, "but still, a lot remains to be done."