(ILO, Kabul) Afghanistan’s first Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) has been signed during a ceremony at the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MoLSAMD) conference room.
The DWCP was signed by representatives of the Afghan Government, employers' and workers' organizations, namely Her Excellency, Ms Amena Afzali, Minister, Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyred and Disabled; Mr Sherkhan Farnood, Chairman of the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI); and Mr Mohammad Zaher Kargar, General President of National Union of Afghan Employees (NUAE). Mr Hervé Berger, International Labour Organization (ILO) Senior Coordinator/Representative for Afghanistan signed on behalf of the ILO – the United Nations specialized agency dealing with work and work-related issues.
The DWCP-Afghanistan was created after consultations with these tripartite partners on priority areas for ILO action, It has three key priorities, in addition to the cross-cutting themes of social dialogue and gender equality. These priorities are:
- Promoting productive employment through labour market information and skills development.
- Promoting and applying International Labour Standards with a focus on ratifying ILO core Conventions and strengthening labour inspection machinery.
- Strong, representative employers’ and workers’ organizations that contribute to national policy formulation and better industrial relations.
The DWCP has a number of key outcomes. These include: building capacity for generating and analysing labour market information, increasing training and employment opportunities for women and men, building a conducive environment for micro and small enterprises, and enhancing the economic empowerment of vulnerable groups (especially women, youth, ex-combatants, returnee migrants and people with disabilities).
Other aims include strengthening employment policy, applying international labour standards, improving labour administration (at national and sub-national levels), boosting Afghanistan’s ability to develop social security policies and the capacity of employers’ and workers’ organizations to take part in national policy formulation, and establishing mechanisms for social dialogue and industrial relations.
Speaking at the signing ceremony Ms Afzali highlighted "the importance of jobs in bringing stability and prosperity to Afghanistan". On behalf of the ILO Mr Berger said that the DWCP "will support the Government of Afghanistan as well as workers and employers in creating decent work at a critical juncture in its history."
The DWCP covers a five year period and places ILO’s knowledge and tools at the service of the constituents, policy-makers and other stakeholders, with the aim of advancing Afghanistan's vision for work carried out in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. It contributes to the implementation of the Afghan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and the National Afghan Plan for Women’s Affairs (NAPWA) and supports the implementation of the country’s United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). It is also in line with the priorities identified by the HRD Cluster that will be presented to the Kabul Conferences on 20 July.
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