Orientation visit ILO and Ministry AW&J

News 2023
10 January 2023

In Q4 of last year, a delegation consisting of representatives from the International Labor Organization (ILO) Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean, the Brazil School for Labor Inspection, and the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Youth Affairs (AW&J), paid an orientation visit to Rosebel Gold Mines N.V. (RGM). This visit was organized in connection with a 3-day mission in Suriname aimed at strengthening the Labor Inspection. As part of the mission, a training workshop was organized as part of the 2021 project "Consolidating the Progress of the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Initiative Free of Child Labor." The group then visited RGM which enabled the Brazil School for Labor Inspection to make on-site recommendations to the Labor Inspectorate of Suriname.

Jason Menso, Functioning Head of International Affairs at the Ministry of AW&J, said he was very pleased with the RGM operation, "The group thought it was a great experience because they did not know that Suriname had such a large mining operation like RGM. This was a great opportunity for us to show an operation from a big company in Suriname." Menso further stated that RGM is a good example of a company that conforms to Surinamese laws. "Rosebel is generally one of the most compliant employers in Suriname when it comes to labor laws. They do their due diligence, and they are an example of best practices, but also when it comes to RGM's Corporate Social Responsibility, creating employment for local communities and opportunities for entrepreneurs in the area or when it comes to providing support regarding training and certifications, RGM does a good job," Menso said.

The project is part of a broader ILO-Brazil South-South cooperation program that allows Brazilian labor inspection experience to be shared and national policies to combat child labor to be implemented. Participants in the training workshop were briefed on the ILO Strategic Compliance Planning approach, which underlies modern labor inspection strategies. Stephanie van Lobbrecht, Country Director of RGM, says she was happy to have lent her cooperation in conducting this exercise: "We obviously responded positively to the request from the Ministry. After all, it is important for both employees and employers that we have well-functioning and well-equipped institutes. Where RGM can support to achieve this, we are always willing to lend our cooperation. We strive to be able to remain an example company and continuously improve what we do, with a tight focus on compliance to our internal procedures as well as laws and regulations in Suriname."