Global: BWI Call to Action: 2023 International Workers’ Memorial Day

International Workers’ Memorial Day 2023 is annually observed on April 28. This year, BWI will highlight ways to put the right to safe and healthy workplaces into practice through the theme “MAKE IT HAPPEN.” This is an effort to celebrate and raise awareness on occupational health and safety (OHS) as a basic right.

Trade unions worldwide will carry out joint activities with employers and/or organise rallies to promote the implementation of OHS as a fundamental worker right. Activities will take place the whole week covering 24-30 April.

On 10 June 2022, the International Labour Conference (ILC) adopted a resolution to add the principle of a safe and healthy working environment to the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. With this groundbreaking development, Occupational Health and Safety is now secured as ILO’s fifth Fundamental Principle and Right at Work.




However, the time for celebration is over; we now shift our campaign to its full implementation. All workers worldwide must become conscious of this landmark agreement, and together, we will call on every government and employer to deliver a healthy and safe work environment.

445 joint declarations covering 480,000 workplaces and 18 million workers worldwide were signed by trade unions and employers calling for the recognition of OHS as a fundamental right leading to its adoption before the ILO. We will now go back to each and every employer who signed the joint OHS declarations and ask them to implement OHS as a right and MAKE IT HAPPEN. We do this by:

  1. Holding joint safety and health trainings at worksites.
  2. Conduct joint safety and health worksite visits/inspections.
  3. Hold candlelight activities and other commemorative events to honour all workers who lost their lives and/or were injured in the performance of their work.

For affiliates with uncooperative employers, we call on them to hold mass rallies and demonstrations in front of companies to protest their unsafe working conditions and poor safety records.

BWI regional offices will assist affiliates in carrying out one or more of joint activities with employer signatories, document their activities and distribute knowledge material and information posters.

Please share your plans with your respective regional coordinators.

We will include them on our dedicated website where various materials, activities and events are shared.

During BWI’s Week of Action, document your activities by:

  1. Taking photos and videos of your activities. Please dowload and promote our campaign posters online and offline.
  2. Issuing press releases and other media publications.
  3. Spreading our activities through social media using the hashtag:  #IWMD2023

Lastly, share all your content with your respective regional BWI communication teams.