Secretary at Labor and Employment Laxman Prasad Mainali met Guy Ryder Director General of International Labor Organization at his office on November 2 and held a discussion on various facets of Nepal-ILO relations. The Labor Secretary is in Geneva to attend the 331st Governing Board Meeting of ILO. The GB meeting started from October 26 and will continue till November 9.
The meeting discussed issues related to strengthening co-operation between ILO and Nepal, the Permanent Mission/Embassy of Nepal in Geneva stated in a press release.
The Labor secretary appreciated the activities carried out by ILO Country office in Kathmandu and requested the DG to consider launching result-oriented projects in Nepal, particularly in the areas of skill development and green jobs creation. Stating that a large number of Nepali youths are migrating for foreign employment, the Labor Secretary underscored that concerted efforts are necessary to safeguard their fundamental rights at the workplace in the destination countries. He underlined the need to create decent jobs for the youths back home and asked ILO to support Nepal in this endeavors. He informed about the activities taken under the labor reform programs highlighting the major provisions of new Labor Act.
Ambassador Deepak Dhital informed the DG about the Colombo Process, and its recent activities under Nepal’s chairmanship and contributions in international labor market. This region comprises 50% of world’s population and contributes 30% of the international labor force. He informed that a Colombo Process joint recommendations document to the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) process is being finalized at present. He emphasized that ILO can play an important advisory and technical role in reflecting the core elements of labor rights in the GCM final document.
Welcoming the seven centenary initiatives launched by the Director General, Ambassador Dhital said that the programs underpinning the centenary initiatives are relevant to Nepal also especially in the areas of creating decent and green jobs and women at work initiatives. In this context, he said that the ongoing process of negotiation for developing global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (GCM) has provided an unprecedented opportunity.
Binda Pandey, a deputy member of Governing Board of the Governing Board of ILO, from the workers group raised concerns related with the decent work and labor migration agenda. She also requested for technical support that ILO could extend to Nepal in implementing some of the social measures of new Labor Act, including in capacity building and the labor inspection. She informed about the upcoming federal and provincial elections in Nepal. Pandey proposed to continue decent work country program for another 5 years in tune with the tenure of the forthcoming elected government that will be in place in the near future, the press release reads.
Extending warm welcome to Nepali delegates, the Director General expressed that the request made by the Nepali delegation could be met through the Decent Work Country Program (DWCP). Referring to the centenary initiatives, he informed that a number of ILO programs are ongoing, in Nepal and there is a possibility of integrating those in decent work program. He also stated that migration should be well managed, safe and secure. However, it should be optional and the nation should work towards creating decent jobs within the country. He assured all possible support from ILO in decent job creation and making labor migration safe and humane.