Creating decent employment is at the heart of any development policy because it eradicates poverty. Sri Lanka and ILO have joined hands in developing a Decent Work Country Programme for 2008-2012. It assists Sri Lanka to improve the livelihoods and working conditions of the country’s women and men.
Work is central to peoples well being. It provides income and can pave the way for broader social and economic advancement by strengthening individuals, their families and communities.
But work also has to be decent. Decent work means work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families.
Decent work also means better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom to express concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect work and therefore lives.
Unique tripartite structure
The ILO in Sri Lanka works closely with:
- Ministry of Labour and Labour Relations;
- Employers Federation of Ceylon (EFC); and
- Major trade unions: Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya (SLNSS), National Workers Congress (NWC), Health Workers Alliance, Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), Ceylon Bank Employees Union (CBEU), Free Trade Zone and General Services Union (FTZGSU), Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS), and Lanka Jathika Estate Workers Union (LJEWU), Ceylon Federation of Trade Unions (CFTU), Ceylon Estate Staff Union (CESU), Confederation of Public Sector Independent Trade Union (COPSITU) and the National Association for Trade Union Research and Education (NATURE) (Group of 17 Trade Unions working together on training and educational activities).
Three priority outcomes
Under its Decent Work Country Programme 2008-2012, ILO with its constituents in Sri Lanka have identified the following three priority outcomes:
- Enhanced access to more and better jobs in economically disadvantaged and crisis affected areas;
- Enhanced labour administration and promotion of equitably employment practices;
- Improved tripartite cooperation initiatives linking job security, productivity and competitiveness.
In addition, the Programme mainstreams the following cross-cutting themes: informal economy, gender equality, international labour standards and HIV/AIDS in the workplace.