Iraq and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) have sealed the first Iraq Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP), as the country recovers from decades of conflict. The Programme will run from this 2019 through 2023.
DWCP supports national initiatives to promote decent work and strengthen Iraq’s capacity to mainstream decent work in social and economic policies. It will be implemented through close partnerships between the ILO and employers’ and workers’ representatives in the country.
The agreement was signed on December 5 by ILO Regional Director for Arab States Ruba Jaradat, Director General of Labour and Vocational Training Department of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs Raed Bahedh, President of the Iraqi Federation of Industries Ali Sabeeh al-Saadi, and President of the General Federation of Trade Unions in Iraq Satar Denbous on behalf of the Trade Union organisations.
Also in attendance at the ceremony in Baghdad were the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Bassem al-Rubaie, Minister of Planning Nouri al-Dulaimi, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamad Alhakim, as well as heads of government departments and agencies, employer representatives, trade unionists, ambassadors and representatives of UN agencies.
ILO Regional Director Jaradat said, “the ILO has a long history of close cooperation with the government and social partners of Iraq, and today’s event marks the comprehensive re-engagement of the ILO in the country.”
Adding, she said, “we look forward to providing our partners in Iraq with the required support to address labour market challenges and raise employment rates, strengthen social protection, boost growth rates, and decrease fragile and informal labour.
‘’The new Programme establishes a firm commitment between all partners to strengthen decent work in the country in a holistic, coherent and integrated manner, to ensure that decent work is at the heart of Iraq’s recovery and reform processes.”
DWCPs are the ILO’s main vehicle to promote decent work as a key component in national development strategies. Under the programme, the ILO will work with government, worker and employer organisations in Iraq to support national initiatives on employment promotion, rights at work, social dialogue and social protection.
Based on extensive consultations between the ILO and Iraqi constituents, the Programme in Iraq will focus on three priorities: Ensuring that private sector development supports the creation of new jobs. Extending and strengthening social protection, and addressing child labour. Improving social dialogue in order to promote rights at work.
Iraq has been a member of the ILO since 1932 and has ratified 68 ILO Conventions, including all eight fundamental Conventions.
Since 2004, the ILO and Iraq’s government, workers’ and employers’ organizations have worked closely as part of the post-war reconstruction effort to bolster Decent Work and develop the labour market across different areas of the country.
Recent achievements include the adoption of a new Labour Law to improve Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work ; The ratification of ILO Convention 87 on the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize and ILO Convention 187 on the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health ; A roadmap for public employment services in Iraqi Kurdistan has also been designed.