Care work, both paid and unpaid, is of vital importance for achieving sustainable, egalitarian, inclusive societies that generate decent jobs. In this context, the design and implementation of policies to improve care work has become very important in Latin America and the Caribbean, and one of the areas of intervention prioritized is the improvement of training and certification of labour competencies in the sector.
In this context, the “Regional Meeting on Training and Certification for Care Work in Latin America and the Caribbean” was held in Montevideo, Uruguay, from August 29 to 31, 2023: Training and certification for care in Latin America and the Caribbean”, which was co-organized by the Emerging and Special Partnerships Unit of the International Labour Organization (PARTNERSHIPS), together with the ILO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Gender and Non-discrimination Unit coordinated by ILO/CINTERFOR, and was attended by experts from 10 countries in the region (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic and Uruguay). This event was part of the cycle of activities of the National Care Forum of Uruguay, an initiative that aims to strengthen a coalition in support of the National Integrated Care System (SNIC) and its consolidation as a state policy.
During this meeting, good practices on this topic were shared through worktables and guidelines were defined to incorporate training and certification services in the field of care.
The ILO’s Emerging and Special Partnerships Unit was present at the opening session of this event through the expert Andrea Villavicencio Morales, who highlighted the importance of South-South and Triangular Cooperation in care, emphasizing the gender perspective insofar as the bulk of care work worldwide is carried out by unpaid caregivers, mostly women and girls belonging to socially disadvantaged groups.
Claudia Coenjaerts, ILO Deputy Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Anne Caroline Posthuma, Director of ILO/CINTERFOR, also participated in the event.
Claudia Coenjaerts pointed out that the challenges faced especially in Latin America cannot be ignored, since, despite the growth of qualified personnel in the field of care, professionalization has not received the attention it deserves in most countries, neither in the framework of care policies nor in national training frameworks. In response to this, the ILO and CINTERFOR prioritize in their work program support to governments, workers and employers in the design and implementation of care policies, paying special attention to the area of training and certification.
Anne Caroline Posthuma emphasized that the objective of this seminar is twofold: on the one hand, through professional training, certification, and recognition of people’s competencies; and on the other, the promotion, at the government level, of care policies as a transformative axis for economies, the labour market, gender relations and people’s lives throughout the life cycle. For her, this event was an opportunity to share knowledge and connect with specialists, as well as a reminder of the power of sharing good practices.
As part of this meeting, the presentation of a proposed Roadmap 2023 – 2025 for the promotion of training and certification for caregivers in Latin America and the Caribbean also took place. This roadmap, which will be validated and shared later, includes CINTERFOR’s commitment to continue coordinating and contributing to achieve sustained transformations in the region and contribute to generating adequate contexts for the best use of the opportunities for decent employment that this sector represents.
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