Decent Work Country Programme for Tunisia

One more step towards decent work in Tunisia

The new Decent Work Country Programme for Tunisia signed by the ILO, the Tunisian Government and social partners identifies 5 national priorities.

Press release | 21 July 2017
From left to right: Ouided Bouchamaoui, President of the Union Tunisienne de l’Industrie du commerce et de l’artisanat (Utica); Noureddine Taboubi, Secretary-General of Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT); Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General; Mohamed Trabelsi, Tunisian Minister for Social Affairs
GENEVA (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO), the Government of Tunisia, the Union Générale Tunisienne des Travailleurs (UGTT), and the Union Tunisienne de l’Industrie du Commerce et de l’Artisanat (Utica) have signed a memorandum of agreement for the implementation of the Decent Work Country Programme in Tunisia for 2017-2022.

The Programme, which is entitled “The social contract, an innovative example of DWCP for Tunisia”, was designed based on a participatory approach. It highlights the following national priorities:
  • Priority 1: Economic growth and regional development; global, sustainable and balanced growth in-between the different regions
  • Priority 2: Employment and vocational training
  • Priority 3: Towards a new model of professional relations and decent work
  • Priority 4: Global reform of social protection in Tunisia
  • Priority 5: Institutionalization of social dialogue
These five national priorities are reflected in the Social Contract signed by the Government and social partners on 14 January 2013. ILO Director-General Guy Ryder also attended this ceremony.

The new Programme will be used as a framework for the ILO to implement different reforms that are foreseen by the Government of Tunisia in the key areas that have been identified.

“The Decent Work Country Programme for Tunisia is an innovative example that successfully concludes negotiations between social partners,” said Mohamed Trabelsi, Tunisian Minister for Social Affairs. The Minister also underlined the major social-economic challenges Tunisia still faces, especially in regard to employment issues.

“We hope that this agreement can be a platform to start a new era of democratic transition,” said Noureddine Taboubi, Secretary-General of Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT). The signing ceremony “also proved the commitment of Tunisia to joining the international community and its values that are especially symbolized by the ILO,” he added.

“We are laying the ground for social and economic steps forward that are based on the Tunisian social contract. We are sending a signal to young Tunisians, who are affected by unemployment, and we also hear the aspirations from employers and social partners,” said Ouided Bouchamaoui, President of the Union Tunisienne de l’Industrie du commerce et de l’artisanat (Utica).

“The Programme is a significant step in the cooperation between the ILO and Tunisia,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder. He emphasized that the recent adoption by the Tunisian parliament of a new law creating a National Council of Social Dialogue was “a precious step towards social peace in Tunisia”.

Ryder also noted that the Decent Work Country programme for Tunisia was the second in the North Africa sub-region (after Mauritania). “A lot still needs to be done and I know governments and social partners in North Africa are aware of the challenges. The youth unemployment rate in North Africa remains the highest in the world.”

“Let me underline how much signing this document is a strong signal that we are sending not only to people in Tunisia but also to other countries in the sub-region,” he concluded.