Former South African President Nelson Mandela along with a US academic expert has been awarded the International Labour Organization's first annual ILO Decent Work Prize.
Nobel Laureate Mandela was honoured with an exceptional prize for his extraordinary lifetime contribution to knowledge, understanding and advocacy on the central concerns of the ILO, the United Nations labour agency said.
"With this prize, the jury and the ILO wished to recognize and honour his sustained efforts that helped to make decent work a central objective in the policy agenda in South Africa and worldwide, furthering the vision of work which is free from discrimination and oppression, and of social justice and dialogue as the essential base for progress," the citation said.
Also awarded the prize was Carmelo Mesa-Lago, Professor Emeritus on Economics and Latin American Studies in the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, United States, in recognition of his major scholarly contributions to the analysis of socio-economic relationships and policy instruments for the advancement of decent work.
ILO cited his work in particular on social security and pension reform, which the jury stated, had a notable impact on reform processes across Latin America for many years.
The prizes, which were created by the ILO's International Institute for Labour Studies, will be awarded formally at the closing plenary session of the International Labour Conference on June 15 in Geneva.