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Guy Ryder elected as ILO Director General

It is indeed a moment of unprecedented joy for Global March Against Child Labour, as its long standing friend Guy Ryder has been elected as the Tenth Director- General of International Labour Organization (ILO).

Congratulating the new Director General, the Chairperson of Global March, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi recalled “Guy has been among the first few who embraced my crazy idea of organizing a physical march across the globe, when I met him in 1997 while he was the Secretary General of International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) now known as (ITUC) . This momentous event had marked the onset of a new culture of coalition between NGOs and unions. Since then he has been a great supporter of our movement”.

“As Labour rights’ activists, particularly fighting against child labour and economic exploitation, we applaud this choice by ILO. Guy knows the situation of workers worldwide and we are sure that he will lead the ILO in protecting and promoting the rights of the most vulnerable and marginalized including child labourers. Mr. Somavia joined the child marchers of the Global March Against child Labour in 1998 and we hope Guy would continue carrying the torch against slavery and exploitation,” hoped Mr. Satyarthi.

Guy will assume his new position in October 2012. He will replace Juan Somavia who has headed the ILO since 1998. Guy has held various positions from 1998 until 2002 and again during 2010 and 2011 within the ILO, overseeing a bureau for workers’ activities and efforts to supervise the implementation of International Labour Standards and Workers’ Rights.

It was a great honour for Global March that Guy Ryder had visited its International Secretariat in New Delhi earlier last month, when he launched Global March’s latest report “Dirty Cotton” - a research on child labour, slavery, trafficking and exploitation in cotton and cotton seed farming in India.