Validation workshop: Labour inspection and Occupational Health and Safety in Iraq

The ILO and tripartite partners review policies and profiles on labour inspection and Occupational Safety and Health in Iraq, with support from the European Union.

Press release | 05 November 2021
Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (ILO News) The ILO, together with its tripartite partners, is implementing activities, with the support of the European Union, to enhance the labour inspection system and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in Iraq, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These efforts include comprehensive assessments and a set of recommendations that will contribute to modernizing the labour inspection system and improving OSH conditions for workers and their employers, in line with International Labour Standards.

The ILO is working closely with the Government and social partners to develop a national labour inspection policy and action plan and a national OSH policy and programme, which will include reviewing, updating and validating the national OSH profile.

“Social dialogue is critical in ensuring the needs of all relevant sides are taken into consideration in the development of the labour inspection and Occupational Safety and Health policies and profiles,” said Maha Kattaa, ILO Country Coordinator in Iraq. “We are happy to support these efforts that will contribute to an improved working environment and decent work.”

The information provided at this workshop is extremely valuable as it outlines strengths and weaknesses related to labour inspection and safety and health, and looks at international conventions and the reality on the ground."

Sadiq Ramadan, a member of the Kurdistan United Workers Union
A workshop to review and validate the relevant findings and recommendations of the assessments was held in Erbil with key government, employer, and worker representatives from across Iraq including the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. 

The discussions and workshop outcomes will feed into the final versions of the reports.

“Promoting decent working conditions, Occupational Safety and Health and fundamental principles and rights at work, which are at the heart of labour inspection, require concerted efforts and coordination between all relevant parties, in terms of the resources and training needed to build an efficient and effective inspection system,” said Abbas Fadel, Deputy Director General of the Department of Labour and Vocational Training at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. 

“Labour inspection and OSH policies are critical for the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, especially in light of the rapid progress witnessed in the Kurdistan region’s labour market and private sector,” said Arif Hito, the Director General of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. “As a result, labour directorates are in need of more inspectors and capacity building for those inspectors. This workshop is hence very useful.”

The assessment on the labour inspection system provides an analysis of the current inspection system and relevant legislation currently in force; a labour inspection policy; and an action plan for the development of the inspection system that will enhance labour legislation, its enforcement, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of labour inspectors.

This workshop promotes cooperation between government representatives and social partners. We hope discussions focus on the revision of labour and Occupational Safety and Health legislation in efforts to benefit employers and workers and enhance the capacities of inspectors."

Rasul Alwan, Iraqi Federation of Industries
The OSH assessment or profile covers several areas, such as a review of legislation; the adoption of a national OSH policy; a detailed enforcement and inspection strategy; compliance with OSH regulations and international instruments. It also places emphasis on social dialogue and tripartite cooperation and the role of employers, workers and other stakeholders in achieving decent work.

Under the EU-funded project “Enhancing Labour Governance, Inspection and Working Conditions In Response to COVID-19” the ILO has been holding several capacity building workshops for partners that focus on strengthening the capacity of inspectors on effective labour inspection procedures, strengthening the role of employers' and workers' organizations in the field of OSH; and introducing its “Approach to Strategic Compliance Planning for Labour Inspectorates ” tool, that supports labour inspectorates to promote compliance at the workplace.

Media contacts

Delegation of the European Union to Iraq
Al-Sadiq Al-Adilee – Press and Information Officer

International Labour Organization in Iraq
Nisreen Bathish – Communications Advisor