XIX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work
Date: 11-15 September 2011
Venue: Istanbul - Türkiye

The XIX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, jointly organized by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Turkey, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Social Security Association (ISSA), was hold from 11-15 September 2011 in Istanbul, Republic of Turkey.

The XIX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work has become the largest gathering of health and safety experts in the history of the Congress, with 5400 participants from more than 140 countries over the world. A safety and health exhibition held in conjunction with the Congress and attended by 116 firms attracted more than 15000 visitors.

Prior to the Congress, 32 Ministers of Labour from all over the world signed the Istanbul Declaration on 11 September 2011, recognizing that the right of workers to a healthy and safe working environment is a fundamental human right as well as a societal responsibility, and committing their countries to building sustainable national preventative safety and health cultures.

During the opening ceremony H.E. Faruk Çelik, Minister of Labour and Social Security of the Republic of Turkey, welcomed the gathering to Istanbul and expressed Turkey’s gratitude for hosting XIX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work. Çelik emphasized the importance his administration gives to human being and told “let make the people live so that the economy will live”. He pointed out that any investment made for the well-being of the people would have the greatest return.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the World Congress, H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Prime Minister, emphasized that a productive economy required a competent and skilled workforce, and called for “protective and preventive” approaches to occupational safety and health that aim to provide working conditions which “all human beings deserve”. He pointed out that Turkey has been improving the working conditions as parallel to creating new jobs for its citizens. He also mentioned Turkey’s collaboration with international partners including Organization of Islamic Cooperation in the field of occupational safety and health and expressed his government’s readiness and willingness for more action in this respect.

Activities during the Congress included 10 technical meetings, 31 symposia, 4 regional meetings, 2 regional conferences, 29 side events and training courses, 22 speakers’ corners and 597 poster presentations.

At the closing session on 14 September, Dr. Sıddık Topaloğlu, Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, thanked all the participants to the Congress for their valuable efforts and contribution and expressed his gratitude to finalize this three-year marathon with success and highest participation in the history of the Congress.

During the closing ceremony also, the winners of 8th International Film and Multimedia Festival from Turkey, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Mexico, Malaysia, Norway and United Kingdom, were awarded their prizes. The 8th International Film and Multimedia Festival attracted 232 entries from 30 countries.

The Congress concluded with an invitation by the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) to host the next World Congress in collaboration with the ILO and the ISSA, in Frankfurt, Germany, 24 to 27 August 2014.

The World Congress in Turkey presented a unique opportunity for all occupational safety and health professionals, employers and managers, trade union representatives, those responsible in public administration, insurance and social security, manufacturers and importers, as well as anyone with an interest in safety and health at work for the exchange of knowledge, practices and experiences; reinforced and built networks and alliances while providing the groundwork for cooperation and strengthening relationships among all concerned and for the development of knowledge, strategic and practical ideas.

For more information please visit the official website: http://www.safety2011turkey.org/