Sustainable Development Goals High on Trade Union Agenda

In June – August 2018, the Trade Union Federation of Kyrgyzstan (TUFK) with support of the International Labour Organization held workshops across the country on the role and policies of Kyrgyz trade unions in achieving sustainable development goals (SDG). The conclusive meeting took place on August 29 in Karakol, Issyk-Kul.

News | 30 August 2018
Workshop participants were advised of the efforts undertaken by the TUFK and the international workshop “Strategic Planning for Kyrgyzstan’s Trade Union Leaders” held in July and attended by leaders of all sectoral central, nationwide trade union committees and regional trade union councils.

Strategic planning of Kyrgyz unions’ activities purports to get union leaders involved in the process of decision-making. “The TUFK’s working group is currently developing a strategic plan to improve the trade union movement in Kyrgyzstan. Any society needs strong trade unions capable of negotiating and fighting for workers’ rights”, said Rysgul Babaeva, TUFK deputy head, who invited regional unionists to be ambitious in their efforts.

In the course of the workshops, participants were informed of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development worldwide and of the role of Sustainable Development Goals in the context of the country’s development.

“In the course of the workshops, we identified the priorities and problems affecting trade union development, formulated union strategies as part of the SDG. The working group set up by the Federation developed guidelines for trade unions for the next few years including those related to child labour and forced labour”, Amina Kurbanova, ILO project coordinator, said.

The current situation and extent of child labour in Kyrgyzstan were high on the agenda. The participants identified policies which trade unions may adopt to eliminate child labour and forced labour under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In addition, regional unionists discussed the issues of protecting legitimate rights and socioeconomic interests of union members, developing unions associated with the regional unions council, as well as collective bargaining and collective agreements.

As a result of these consultations supported by the International Labour Organization which will celebrate its centenary in 2019, the Trade Union Federation finalized its Strategic Plan for 2018-2021. The plan includes specific action and policies to achieve SDG Target 8.7 and contribute to ratification of ILO Protocol 2014 to Forced Labour Convention No. 29.