ILO Director-General calls on Nepal to promote domestic employment, fair migration and social dialogue

"Labour policies should recognize the needs of all groups to access skills and decent work opportunities," said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

Press release | Kathmandu, Nepal | 14 December 2016
KATHMANDU (ILO News) – Addressing a ceremony on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the ILO-Nepal partnership, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder called on the government and the social partners in Nepal to promote domestic employment, fair migration and social dialogue.

Looking back at 50 years of partnership between the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Nepal, he cited the country as a powerful example of how “social dialogue between government and the social partners contributes to strengthening civil peace, democracy and reconstruction”.

The Right Honourable Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal rejoined him lauding the ILO as a key partner for “the creation of decent jobs which are required for lasting peace and prosperity in our country. The ILO has also been a tireless advocate for equality and rights at work, including gender equality, non-discrimination and inclusive development so no one is left behind”.

In turn, the head of the ILO called on the Prime Minister to steer a policy that promotes the national labour market to sustain the post-earthquake recovery and take account of declining labour migration remittances.

Ryder just returned from the 16th Asia and Pacific Regional Meeting in Bali, Indonesia, where governments, employers and workers from Asia, the Pacific and the Arab region had discussed ways to shape a future of work that delivers benefits for all.

He reminded the audience that the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the ILO’s Decent Work agenda committed member States to “leave no one behind”, warning that “if too many people in any society feel that they are being left behind, there is a strong chance that disruptive forces will undermine growth and destabilize social and political harmony”.

Turning to the situation in Nepal, he said that “labour policies should recognize the needs of all groups to access skills and decent work opportunities”. He also insisted on the need for improvements in the business environment for large and small scale, foreign and domestic investment.

The head of the ILO also reminded participants that nearly 1 out of every 4 Nepalese households had a family member working abroad, sending home almost one-third of Nepal’s gross domestic product. “While labour migration generates substantial benefits for Nepal in terms of jobs and remittances, and human resources for countries of destination, abuses during recruitment and employment are quite common”, he said.

He therefore called for extending existing fair recruitment initiatives and make such policies a reality for all migrant workers in the country, including those from the most remote areas.

Ryder concluded with his main message, assuring the government, employers and workers of Nepal “that the ILO will continue to stand by you in firm partnership, and together we will achieve social justice for all”.

In a joint statement on the occasion of the 50th anniversary, the Government of Nepal, the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the Nepalese Trade Unions committed themselves to advance decent work, inclusive growth and equality for all Nepalese women and men.