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The Council also recommended that member governments include in their public and voluntary social-welfare services provisions for combating prostitution both from a preventive and rehabilitative point of view.
During the year the United Nations published the first of a series of annual reports on traffic in women and children and on obscene publications. Family, Youth, and Child Welfare
The Secretariat began in 1948 a series of studies of the needs of families and children for financial assistance and social-welfare services. Studies are in process on the organization and administration of family, youth, and child welfare services in the fields of child guidance and the rehabilitation of the handicapped. Questionnaires have been sent to governments, and the Secretariat is currently tabulating the information supplied. At the request of the Representative of the United States, two additional studies were begun. The first is on the needs of homeless children-children who are orphaned or separated from their families for other reasons and require care in foster homes or institutions. The second is on the best methods of administering financial assistance and social services to financially needy families and children.
The Secretariat is also revising the declaration of the rights of the child, adopted by the League of Nations in 1924, with a view to including the newer concepts of child welfare.
The Economic and Social Council authorized the continued publication of the Legislative Series on Child Welfare and the Summaries of Annual Reports in Child Welfare submitted by governments. These publications were formerly issued by the League of Nations and will in future be combined in one volume.
Crime and Treatment of Offenders
The Economic and Social Council at its Seventh Session approved steps to study on a broad international plane, and under the leadership of the United Nations, methods for the prevention of crime and the treatment of offenders. Such a study would include the problems of juvenile delinquency; methods of medical, psychiatric, and social examinations of adult offenders; systems of probation; methods of treatment for "one-time” and habitual offenders; systems for training of staff for penal institutions; and development of criminal statistics with a view to an international report on the state of crime.
The Secretary-General convened a meeting in October 1948 of national and international organizations having an interest in this field, and work is now progressing on the allocation of functions among the
organizations concerned. The Council also authorized the SecretaryGeneral to convene in 1949 a group of internationally recognized experts to advise him and the Social Commission on formulating policies and programs in the field of crime prevention. Migration
Migration questions cut across the interests of a number of organs of the United Nations. During 1948 the Economic and Social Council cleared the way for developing an orderly and systematic approach to these questions by allocating functions among the Social Commission (social rights and benefits of migrants), the Population Commission (demographic aspects of migration, such as the relation of migration to the labor force), and the International Labor Organization (labor aspects of migration). During 1948 the Ilo pressed forward with its work in the field of migration, including the study of proposals to develop a model migration agreement suitable for adoption between pairs of countries, the preparation of international nomenclature of occupations for use in organizing migration, and the collection of information on manpower deficits and surpluses in relation to migration. The last-named project is of particular significance in connection with the European Recovery Program, and priority will be given by the Ilo to a study of the European manpower situation. Housing and Town and Country Planning
Acting on the basis of a survey by the Secretariat of existing activities of international organizations in the field of housing, the Economic and Social Council at its Seventh Session authorized the development of an integrated international program of study and activity which would reflect the interests of all organizations in the subject of housing and town and country planning. The Council also gave its approval to the early publication of a bulletin on housing and town and country planning for circulation to all governments. Stemming from a successful conference of international housing experts convened by the Secretary-General in Latin America in 1947, authorization was given in 1948 to convene two small meetings of experts in other parts of the world, which will be concerned with housing problems in the Tropics.
The Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) held a number of meetings of international housing experts during 1948. Recognizing the importance of improved housing in solving the problem of European recovery, the Commission created a permanent Housing Subcommittee on Industries and Materials.
A number of comprehensive reports on housing were issued in 1948, including Housing Needs and Programs and Housing Materials and
Conservation of Materials, both published by the Ece, and the report of the International Labor Organization, Housing and Employment. Standards of Living
The Secretariat was requested to undertake a preliminary analysis of techniques and methods that might be employed in making a study of the most practical means of improving living standards. Particular attention is to be given to underdeveloped areas and other areas where low standards of living prevail. For purposes of coordination and economy of labor, specialized agencies and other interested United Nations bodies will be invited to cooperate and have been requested to furnish sources of information and other existing materials. The entire effort is being directed as much as possible to practical results upon which member governments can subsequently institute action.
INTERNATIONAL CONTROL OF NARCOTIC
The international traffic in narcotic drugs has been under strict international control for many years, the basic instruments governing this subject being the conventions on narcotic drugs of 1912, 1925, and 1931. The administration of this system was carried over to the United Nations from the League of Nations and is managed by the Economic and Social Council's Commission on Narcotic Drugs, operating in conjunction with the Permanent Central Opium Board (which polices international commitments to control the traffic in narcotics), the Drug Supervisory Body (which compiles and publishes annual estimates of the world's drug requirements), and a division in the United Nations Secretariat.
During 1948 the General Assembly acted to approve the “Draft Protocol To Bring Under International Control Drugs Outside the Scope of the Convention of July 13, 1931, for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs.” This marked the final important step within the United Nations toward regulating the new synthetic drugs which threatened to flood world markets and cause a breakdown in international narcotics control. The protocol was opened for signature on November 19, 1948, when it was signed by 47 countries, including most Members of the United Nations and some nonmembers.
During the year the Economic and Social Council initiated action to develop a single international convention on narcotic drugs which would replace the several instruments on drug control now in force and,
more importantly, would commit governments to limit domestic production of narcotic raw materials as well as restrict and regulate their importation and exportation.
The Council approved the publication of a United Nations narcotic bulletin; authorized the sending of a commission of inquiry to Peru to study the effects of chewing coca leaf and the possibilities of controlling its production and distribution; and invited governments to participate in a joint program of research to determine by chemical and physical means the country of origin of illicit shipments of opium.
Because of the limited time available the Economic and Social Council deferred for later consideration the request of the American Federation of Labor that the Council urge the International Labor Organization to take further steps to investigate and propose ways to eliminate conditions of forced labor. Such conditions, the Federation
, asserted in a memorandum to the Council, exist today despite the general condemnation of conditions approximating slavery and despite the efforts of the League of Nations and the International Labor Organization to ban slavery or forced labor through the adoption of multilateral conventions.
Freedom of Association
The year 1948 saw the adoption, at the Thirty-first Session of the International Labor Conference held at San Francisco in June, of the first international convention on freedom of association and freedom of the right to organize. This move to further the protection of trade-union rights grew out of action earlier suggested to the Economic and Social Council by the American Federation of Labor and the World Federation of Trade Unions and referred by the Council to the International Labor Organization. The convention affirms freedom of association for employers as well as workers.
During the year the Economic and Social Council adopted a resolution endorsing the principle of equal remuneration for work of equal value and calling upon members to implement this principle in every way without regard to nationality, race, language, or religion. The International Labor Organization, which has already taken action on this subject on many previous occasions, planned during the year to undertake further studies in this field. The Council also adopted a resolution asking members to adopt measures enabling women to enjoy the same rights as men in regard to employment and wages, social insurance, professional training, and leisure. Voting Power in the ILO
When the report of the International Labor Organization was under discussion in the Economic and Social Council, the Representative of the U.S.S.R. asserted that the Organization had failed to advance the interests of workers because in its affairs government and employer delegates could outvote the worker delegates. He implied that governments in non-Communist countries were the tools of vested monopolistic interest and carried the class struggle against the workers through the machinery of the Ilo.
Recognizing that speech as an ideological attack upon the basic economic and social systems of the democracies, the United States Representative refuted the specific criticisms and underlying assumptions. He pointed out that the criticisms were based upon the analysis of Karl Marx made a century ago on the assumption that class conflict was inevitable. He showed that, especially in the United States, workers and employers have tremendous common interests, that many transfer back and forth, both are in the owning group, and government serves the general welfare rather than class interest. He declared that the Ilo functions for the general welfare rather than for the interests of a particular group. Citing the record, he showed that the employers have not controlled the adoption of conventions and that the Ilo's usefulness is not to be measured by a mere tally of ratifications.
On the essential question of protection for the worker against exploitation by the employer, the United States Representative turned the indictment against the Communist system. Whereas in democracies workers have real protection against exploitation through freedom to choose their jobs, trade-unions to bargain for them, general welfare legislation to establish standards, and real freedom of expression, no equality of negotiation is possible when the government is the sole employer and exercises the managerial function and where there is not even opportunity for expression of independent political views. Hence he suggested that the Ilo should concern itself with the problem of protection of the working class in Communist countries.
The United States Representative also pointed out that the United States publishes freely all pertinent factual information concerning employment in the United States, whereas the U.S.S.R. conceals from the world as completely as possible what is happening in that country.