In December 2011, the ILO and Norway signed a new Partnership Cooperation Agreement. This agreement provides financial support for a range of technical areas under the ILO’s mandate, including labour inspection.
This is the fourth and most recent instalment in a long and fruitful collaboration between the ILO and Norway on labour inspection. Three projects have already been carried out between 2009 and 2011under earlier agreements. The goal of all of these projects is to assist countries strengthen and modernise their labour inspection services for more effectiveness and impact. This includes promoting a balanced approach between labour law enforcement and compliance and in so doing, improving cooperation between labour inspectorates, workers’ and employers’ organizations and other relevant institutional partners.
History of ILO/Norway projects on labour inspection
At the same moment that the LAB/ADMIN programme was established (2009), the ILO launched a project entitled “Enhancing labour inspection effectiveness” with funding from the Norwegian government. This initial project targeted six countries in Europe and Central Asia as well as four Arab States.
A second project entitled “Strengthening labour inspection services” began in January 2010 with similar objectives and strategies to the first project. Once again, it was funded through the generous financial assistance of the Norwegian government, this time covering five major countries with emerging economies: Angola, Brazil, China, India and South Africa.
The third project was launched in early 2011, carrying forward the objectives of the two earlier projects, consolidating the achievements in some countries and expanding coverage to include other priority ILO member States.
In all the project countries concerned the ILO’s approach to technical assistance and capacity building was based on an initial needs assessment. The purpose of these assessments was to identify, through a participatory approach, priority areas where national labour inspection systems could be strengthened in line with international labour standards. Based on these assessments, tailored plans of action were developed for each country.
Despite the differences between the different project countries, training of labour inspectors was a common and core activity. Through the ILO/Norway partnership, the ITC-ILO in Turin developed a major new curriculum on labour inspection, which has been translated into more than 10 languages. A number of additional tools were developed under this partnership including an electronic self-assessment tool for labour ministries and labour inspectorates; model national training plans for labour inspectors; and guides for employers’ and workers’ organizations on the role labour inspection.
Summaries of the independent evaluations for the first three projects can be found below:
Project One: “Enhancing labour inspection effectiveness”;
Project Two: “Strengthening labour inspection services”;