ILO – Uzbekistan cooperation is on track: Decent Work Country Programme for 2021-2025 signed

On 22 September the International Labour Organization (ILO) and its constituents in Uzbekistan – Government, employers’ and workers’ organizations – signed a Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) for 2021-2025.

News | 22 September 2021
In opening the signing ceremony, Olga Koulaeva, Director of the ILO Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, noted that this is the second Decent Work Country Programme for Uzbekistan. The first one, signed in 2014 and extended in 2017, initially was focused on the elimination of the worst forms of child labour and forced labour. Now when the progress achieved by Uzbekistan in these areas has been registered and recognized, the new DWCP covers a broader range of development issues.

The programme sets out to improve the regulatory framework governing labour relations; enhance decent work and better employment opportunities for youth, women and vulnerable groups, generated by inclusive and equitable economic growth; extend the access of the most vulnerable groups to equitable, inclusive and quality education and social protection; strengthen social dialogue and the institutional capacities of the social partners.

Tanzila Narbaeva, Chairperson of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan who has been involved from the very inception of Uzbekistan’s cooperation with the ILO, welcomed the new Decent Work Country Programme. Today, Uzbekistan implements wide-ranging reforms aimed at enhancing a democratic State and guaranteeing the rights of people, including their right to decent work. Ms Narbaeva particularly noted the role of social dialogue. She also made reference to the Global Call to Action for a human-centred recovery from the COVID-19 crisis adopted by the International Labour Conference in 2021.

Heinz Koller, Assistant ILO Director-General and Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia noted that DWCPs “allowed Uzbekistan to make rapid and significant progress towards Decent Work objectives”. “Our cooperation is definitely on track”, he said.

Nozim Khusanov, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, described recent developments in the social and labour sphere, including the revised Law on the Employment of the Population, the National Employment strategy, National Social Protection strategy till 2030. A review of the employment promotion system was also initiated, including the reform of public employment centres, the establishment of the State Labour Inspectorate and a national system for the assessment of qualifications. Nozim Khusanov thanked the ILO for its technical assistance provided in these areas.

Kudratulla Rafikov, Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan , expressed his active support for the new programme. It will contribute to the implementation of the fundamental reforms and to the creation of a new Uzbekistan, he said.

Ilkhom Khaidarov, Chairman of the Confederation of Employers of Uzbekistan, particularly noted the role of the Decent Work Country Programme for employers who are now following principles of decent work thus getting broader access to world markets.

Yu Yu, United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i., called the new programme “one of the milestones for the UN in Uzbekistan”. DWCP is closely aligned with the national development priorities and the national reform agenda as reflected in the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2021-25.

The DWCP signing ceremony was held online.