27 October 2023

Improvement of the treatment of care workers must be accelerated to maintain a sustainable society and economy

On 24 July 2023, the 93rd session of the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 29 October as the International Day for Care and Support. The resolution is intended to raise awareness worldwide about the importance of care and support, achieving gender equality and the need to invest in a strong and inclusive care economy.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is marking International Day for Care and Support on 29 October with the following awareness-raising campaign to remind the importance of the care economy and to encourage governments to take effective action.

Every May since 1997, RENGO has organized the Central Rally (Medical and Nursing Care Fest) for the realization of secure and reliable medical and nursing care. At this year's rally, we adopted an appeal for improved wages and working conditions for all workers in medical and nursing care and made a request to the Government. In addition, by holding RENGO's "Child and Childcare Salon" and other events, RENGO has stressed the need to improve the wages and working conditions of all workers in childcare and other fields. Discussions are currently taking place at government councils and other forums in preparation for the 2024 simultaneous revision of remuneration for medical treatment, nursing care and welfare services for persons with disabilities, as well as the formulation of the Government's 'Children's Strategy for the Future' and 'Children's General Principles'. Taking advantage of the momentum gained from the enactment of the UN International Day for Care and Support, RENGO will continue to make efforts to ensure decent work and, improve wages and working conditions for all care workers and reflect workers' opinions.

In addition, the Employment Environment and Equal Opportunity Subcommittee of the Labour Policy Council in Japan is currently conducting discussions on revising the Act on Child and Family Care Leave. RENGO has long advocated that building a society where both men and women can realize work-life balance is essential. It is necessary to correct long working hours and improve the environment to support balancing work and child and nursing care. In order to amend the Act, from the perspective of 'co-raising' by parents, RENGO calls for a childcare and family care leave system that is easy to access without gender bias and is participating in the discussion on the amendment.

RENGO will continue to work closely with the ITUC and with colleagues around the world to improve universal access to quality public health, care and education services and to achieve a sustainable care economy with adequate pay, including equal pay for equal work, in a safe working environment and free from gender-based violence and harassment.