COOPERATION WITHIN THE ILO
August 27, 2015
INFORMATION ON THE ROUNDTABLE “THE PROGRESS OF COOPERATION BETWEEN UZBEKISTAN, THE INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION (ILO) AND THE WORLD BANK IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF INTERNATIONAL LABOR STANDARDS”
(Tashkent, August 5-6, 2015)
PURPOSE OF THE MEETING
Discussion of the practical aspects of implementation of the Decent Work Country Program co-signed by Uzbekistan and the International Labor Organization (ILO); core principles of the ILO convention on forced labor; international experience of hiring seasonal agriculture workers; the strategy of the ILO in matters of implementation of the Monitoring by the Third Party (MTP) of forced and child labor; and the Feedback Mechanism (FM) in regional World Bank projects during the 2015 cotton harvest period.
MAIN POINTS OF DISCUSSIONS
1. Participants welcomed strengthening cooperation between Uzbekistan and ILO, the International Organization of Employers (IOE), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), World Bank (WB) and emphasized the considerable work accomplished on implementation of conventions of the ILO by holding meetings, roundtables, conferences, and seminar-trainings.
At the same time, foreign participants emphasized that in a short period of time, Uzbekistan had accomplished a substantial amount of work on implementating a program to prevent the use of child labor in agriculture, including harvesting cotton. The committee of experts of the ILO underlined the effective measures taken against the use of persons under the age of 18 working in the agriculture sector, and called for continuation of the current level of cooperation. Participants indicated that government measures to ensure the rights of agriculture workers will be an important step toward implementing the Convention ¹.105 on the abolition of forced labor.
ILO experts expressed full support for the measures that are being realized on the prohibition and eradication of compulsory child labor.
2. Results of participation of the Uzbekistan delegation in the 104th Session of the International Labor Conference in Geneva on June 1-13, 2015, which led to the approval by Uzbekistan’s Cabinet of Ministers of an action plan that foresees a further improvement in hiring practices of employees for seasonal work in the agriculture sector, so that these types of state social services to the population can continue to be provided.
3. Technical aspects of organizing the upcoming Monitoring by the Third Party (MTP) of forced and child labor in harvesting cotton and the Feedback Mechanism during the cotton-harvesting campaign in regions where the projects financed by the World Bank are implemented were another topic for consultation.
It was noted that MTP, financed by the World Bank, would be carried out in ten regions of Uzbekistan (except the Navoi, Surkhandarya, and Khorezmi regions) by ILO experts. In the other three regions, national monitoring will be carried out based on the ILO’s methodology by international experts. The territorial monitoring groups will also include representatives of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, Federation of Trade Unions, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Monitoring coordination will be carried out by the Coordination Council on Child Labor in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
4. The matters of organizing the Feedback Mechanism during the Monitoring by the Third Party were the focus of discussions. In particular, an overview was given of the Feedback Mechanisms functioning at the Ministry of Labor and Social Security and Federation of Trade Unions, as well as a review of the efficiency of their activities in ensuring the social and labor rights of citizens.
It was also noted that there is a need to strengthen measures that are designed to increase the awareness of the population of inadmissibility of forced and child labor, which could be done by placing appropriate information on banners, extensions, and posters, and via mass media (Internet, TV, radio, meetings, roundtables, etc.).
In addition, in order to ensure strict compliance with the norms of the ratified conventions of ILO and the current labor legislation, and provide prompt response by state legal inspections of labor law violations, it was noted that there is a need to establish a “hotline call-center” under the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
Participants agreed on the following:
This event serves as proof of commitment and interest of the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan in clarifying the matters of so-called “forced labor”;
Training for international and local experts before the monitoring, as well as a seminar on completion of this process, will be held;
Monitoring will begin on September 18 and end on October 25, 2015. During the monitoring period, local trade unions will set up headquarters supplied with communications equipment and office hardware;
Coordination of Council on Child Labour will receive weekly information on monitoring;
The Feedback Mechanism activity will be organized at the Coordination Council on Child Labour and operate on the basis of “hotlines” of the Federation of Trade Unions; and
The next roundtable will be on November 10, 2015 to discuss the results of the monitoring and realization of Feedback Mechanism during the cotton harvesting period, as well as to develop a Five-Year Action Plan in order to fully comply to the ILO convention on Child and Forced Labour.