International Workers' Day may trace its origin to the late 19th century but the values and ideals that underpin it are as relevant in 2013 as they have ever been. While the day originated to mark the labour traditions of Western Europe and North America, the sense of injustice and opportunity that inspired it are just as present in Southeast Asia today.
These issues are at the very core of the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) mandate and are central to its work in this region.
Countless men and women around the world continue to work without even the most basic guarantees for their safety and well-being. Obvious examples come from the horrific workplace disasters that have claimed hundreds of lives this year alone in South Asia and other parts of this region. But, away from the spotlight of the news programmes, many of the region's vulnerable workers face such risks of injury and death every day.
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