ILO holds workshop on Strategic Compliance Planning for labour inspection and occupational safety and health in Iraq

With support from the EU, the workshop is part of efforts to strengthen the labour inspection system in the country and develop a national labour inspection policy and action plan, in line with international labour standards.

Press release | 23 March 2021

Baghdad, Iraq (ILO News)
The ILO held a workshop for government, employer, and worker representatives in Iraq introducing its “Approach to Strategic Compliance Planning for Labour Inspectorates” tool, as part of efforts to support and strengthen the labour inspection system in the country and develop a national labour inspection policy and action plan, in line with international labour standards.

The training, which was held in Baghdad on the 22-23 March, brought together senior labour inspectors from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, including representatives of the National Center for Occupational Health and Safety. It also included representatives from the General Federation of Iraq Workers, the General Federation of Iraq Trade Unions, the Conference of Iraqi Workers Federations and Unions as well as the Iraqi Federation of Industries working in the field of labour inspection and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH).

“We are happy to launch activities with our partners aimed at improving the labour inspection system in Iraq so that it can better respond to the evolving and changing needs of the world of work, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr Maha Kattaa, ILO Country Coordinator in Iraq. “Supporting progress towards a strategic compliance model for labour inspection in Iraq is a key priority for the ILO in enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the labour inspection system and promoting decent work in the country.”

The workshop introduced participants to the ILO’s strategic compliance model, which has been developed by the ILO’s Labour Administration, Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health Branch (LABADMIN/OSH) in Geneva to support labour inspectorates to promote compliance at the workplace. It is based on a six-step exercise to formulate, sequence and operationalize broader thinking and action that will help labour inspectorates attain the goal of sustained compliance.

This includes examining the differences between a traditional enforcement model and a strategic compliance model and an introduction to the six-step approach which includes exploring the labour inspectorate; priority compliance issues and targets; influences on compliance; stakeholders that can influence compliance; tasks and actions available to labour inspectorates to help achieve effective and efficient enforcement and compliance; and operationalizing the strategic compliance plan.

“This tool is very comprehensive and provides us with useful information that will help us develop targeted and tailored interventions;” said Mr Raed Jabbar Bahedh Director General of the Department of Labour and Vocational Training at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. “We look forward to working closely with the ILO to develop and align our labour inspection system with international labour standards, to promote the rights of workers in the private sector, execute Labour Law No 37 of 2015, as well as the retirement and social security law for workers, and improve the management of foreign workers, while providing opportunities for young Iraqis who wish to work in the private sector. The ministry seeks to support the inspection system with logistical measures in order to facilitate the work of inspectors.”

Through a series of workshops on Strategic Compliance Planning, the ILO will provide technical assistance to the labour inspectorate to develop a strategic compliance plan based on the ILO ‘s strategic compliance intervention model and build their capacity to implement the plan through pilot interventions in selected sectors.

ILO’s efforts to strengthen the labour inspection and OSH systems in Iraq falls under the framework of a project entitled “Enhancing labour governance, inspection and working conditions in response to COVID-19” which is supported by the European Union.

“Increasing employment and ensuring decent work for all are essential aspects of sustainable development. As European Union, we sustain that quality employment and decent work conditions help reduce inequalities and poverty, and empower people, especially women, young people and the most vulnerable such as people with disabilities. We therefore support Iraq in creating and promoting jobs in the agriculture sector and beyond that provide decent earnings, ensuring safe working conditions, providing social protection, and safeguarding workers’ rights,” said Ms Barbara Egger, Head of Cooperation for the EU in Iraq. “This workshop on Strategic Compliance Planning for labour inspection and occupational safety and health is only the start of our EU engagement on the decent work agenda in Iraq and we are looking forward to continuing our engagement with the Iraqi authorities and ILO.”

The programme places emphasis on compliance with decent work in the agricultural sector, where pilot interventions will be implemented to support up to 2,000 workers, including women. This will include interventions to improve working conditions and compliance with national legislation and International Labour Standards, as well as interventions to promote workers’ skills development and improve the quality and availability of employment services to workers.