Welcome Message


It is my honor and privilege to open the beginning of the International Forum on Transforming Cities for Decent Work 2019.

The International Forum on Transforming Cities for Decent Work is a meaningful venue where cities around the world, labor-related international organizations and labor experts come together to discuss the shared values of ‘respect for labor’ and to develop policies to improve the lives of workers.

In 2017, the representatives of city governments, including ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, have agreed to head in the direction of creating higher-quality jobs rather than simply aiming for an increased number of jobs. Last year, together with 15 cities and 17 labor-specialized institutions and academia around the world, we shared labor policies and established the role of city government under the theme ”Inequality of Work and Union City”. The cities also agreed upon creating the Decent Work Cities Network (DWCN), the first inter-city international organization in the field of labor. The Network will operate with official support from the ILO and hold its inaugural assembly at the forum.

This year we will be holding the third forum in Seoul on 3 to 4 December under the theme “Work for a Brighter Future” discussed at the Centenary Session of the ILO. More than 40 cities around the world will participate and address various topics such as investment in workers' capabilities, social protection, equal pay for equal work, shortening working hours, protection of safety and health at work, violence and harassment in the world of work adopted by the ILO Centenary Conference, and jobs of tomorrow including platform work, freelancers and gig economy. Through such policy exchanges and in-depth discussions, we shall aim for improving the lives of workers around the world.

Dear Honorable All, let us unite as one, and take the noble step of creating a worker-centered world through cooperation and solidarity.

I look forward to welcoming you in Seoul this December.

Park Wonsoon
Seoul Metropolitan City




International Forum on Transforming Cities for Decent Work 2019


Work for a Brighter Future (tentative)


3-4 December, 2019


Multi-purpose Hall (8F), Seoul City Hall

Organized by

Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG)

Supported by

International Labour Organization (ILO)


40-45 cities from the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Africa



Session 1

Jobs of Tomorrow and Social Protection Increasing investment in workers’ capabilities

  • Building an effective lifelong learning ecosystem that enables workers to acquire skills
  • Devising policies for young people to enter the labor market and supporting the continuing economic activities of the older workers
  • Providing universal social protection coverage in all forms of work, including self-employment

Session 2

Pursuing Decent Wage and Equal Pay for Equal Work

  • Non-discrimination through equal pay for equal work
  • Provision of an adequate living wage, ways to root out forced labor that stem from working poverty and low wages
  • Shortening working hours and expanding time sovereignty to achieve a balance between work and personal life

Session 3

Fundamental Working Rights and Protection of Safety and Health at Work

  • Enabling human working conditions through the law enforcement on harassment at work
  • Protecting the worker against sickness, disease, and injury arising out of his employment and fostering an industrial safety- and labor safety-city
  • Fostering safe and healthy workplace through the protection policy for emotional laborers

Session 4

Platform Work and Jobs of Tomorrow

  • Solutions to the diversification in forms of employment: workers in the gig economy and sharing economy and automation
  • Fair treatment of workers and the protection of workers’ rights: labor laws for platform workers and freelancers
  • Improvement of working conditions by utilizing digital technology

City Governments Roundtable

  • Discussion on the establishment of the Decent Work Cities Network (DWCN) and its operational regulations
  • Discussion on cooperative measures in building a ‘Decent Work City Labor Model’
  • Composition of executive council of the DWCN


Keynote Speaker


Tim Dunlop

Author, Speaker, Commentator

Tim Dunlop is a best-selling author, an in-demand public speaker, and a regular contributor to The Guardian Australia and other magazines and newspapers. His work has been published around the world and in translation. He speaks and writes on matters to do with media, politics, and technology and the future of work. He is also a subject coordinator at the postgraduate Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne. Tim has a background in business and a PhD in Communications/Political Philosophy. He speaks at international conferences and events and is often used as a ‘thought catalyst’ to inject a fresh, future-focused perspective into proceedings.


"Dunlop's writing is punchy and witty...providing a conversational style that makes his deeper economic analysis easier for the layperson."
"He has written a timely and highly readable work vital for anyone curious to see where these economic disruptions may take us next."

City Delegates



Carolee C. Kubo

City and County of Honolulu Department of Human Resources Director


New York/U.S.A

Sandra Abeles

First Deputy Commissioner, New York City Department of Consumer and Work


New York/U.S.A

Benjamin Holt

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Labor Policy and Standards (within DCWP)


Sao Paulo/Brazil

Aline Cardoso

Municipal Secretary of Economic Development and Labor


Sao Paulo/Brazil

Berenice Maria Giannella

Municipal Secretary for Human Rights and Citizenship


Colombo/Sri Lanka

Thercy Devika Abeysuriya

Deputy Director Engineering (Works) of Colombo Municipal Council


Colombo/Sri Lanka

Thennekone Rusiripala

Member of Colombo Municipal Council



Mohamed Sefiani

Mayor of Chefchaouen



Afaf Gabelotaud

Deputy Mayor of Paris, Employment Policies



Faustine Bidaud

Project Manager, International Relations Department



Adama Sangaré

Mayor of Bamako



Mahamane Toure

Director of International Relations



Antonio De Santis

Councilor for Human Resources of the Municipality of Rome



Valérie Boissonneault

Director of the Quebec Office in Seoul



Aswin Kwanmuang

Governor of Bangkok



Soham El Wardini

Mayor of Dakar



Johanna Loukaskorpi

Deputy Mayor, Welfare Services, City of Tampere



Lynn Collins

Regional Secretary for the North West of England Trades Union Congress (TUC)



Sayeed Khokon

Mayor of Dhaka



Sufi Mobassher Ali Khan

Chief of Protocol & International Relations



Multi-Purpose Hall (8F),
Seoul City Hall
110, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea


Line 1, 2
City Hall Station Exit 4

Line 2
Euljiro Station Exit 1
Exit of the Underground Connection at City Hall Station


City Hall (Deoksugung) Station
B-Bus – 103, 150, 401, 402,406, N16
G-Bus – 1711, 7016, 7022

City Hall Square Station
B-Bus – 172, 472, N62

Press Center Station
Airport – 6701
Jongno 09, Jongno 11

City hall (Seoul Sinmun) Station
Airport – 6005

International Forum on Transforming Cities for Decent Work 2018


11-12 December 2018


Multi-purpose Hall (8F), Seoul City Hall


Inequality of Work and Union City

Session 1 _ City Experiments for Decent Work
Session 2 _ Social Protection and Strengthening Labor Rights in Urban Contexts
Session 3 _ Seizing the Opportunity in Rapidly Changing Labor Market
Session 4 _ Future of Work and Decent Work City
Roundtable _ The Role of Cities in Decent Work (Proposal for the DWCN)

Keynote Address

Addressing Inequality and the Fissured Workplace through the Union City

David Weil
An economist and the dean and professor at the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University
- The Former U.S. Wage and Hour Administrator at the Department of Labor during the Obama administration
- The author of The Fissured Workplace

Special Speech

Future of Work and New Policies: Seizing the Opportunity

Sangheon LEE
Director, Employment Policy Department, International Labour Office (ILO)

ILO Vision of Decent Work City

Tomoko Nishimoto
Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, International Labour Organization (ILO)


Total 15 (13 Int’l, 2 Domestic)


Total 18 (Public institutions, unions & academia)