Sweden announces new partnership programme with the ILO

Agreement will provide SEK 100 million (US$ 15.4 million) for the period 2014-15 for initiatives promoting skills and jobs for youth and workers’ rights.

Press release | 14 May 2014
STOCKHOLM – The Director-General of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder (pictured right) announced the first phase of a new Sweden-ILO Partnership Programme at a meeting on 15 May.

The two-year programme will provide SEK 100 million (US$ 15.4 million) from 2014-15, including non-earmarked funds that will allow the ILO to respond flexibly to demands for assistance.

"The partnership programme with the ILO reaffirms Sida’s conviction that decent work is central to poverty reduction and sustainable development. Young people in particular are in need of the skills and opportunities to be able to play their role as engines of creativity and growth for their societies and the global economy,” said Petri Gornitzka, Sida Director-General.

Partnership priorities

The partnership prioritizes youth employment and workers’ rights, particularly freedom of association and collective bargaining, improved conditions for domestic workers and more broadly, the promotion of international labour standards.
Sida Panel and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder
(Click for larger image)

Specific funding has also been made available to strengthen workers’ and employers’ organizations for effective social dialogue, and to mainstream gender equality considerations across the entire programme.

“The agreement provides significant support to the ILO’s efforts to promote decent work and social justice worldwide. It represents a practical response to many of the challenges faced by workers and highlights our shared commitment to social dialogue and a rights-based approach to world of work issues. It is also an important support for ongoing ILO reform,” Ryder said.

As part of the partnership programme, Sida allocated over $US 3 million as flexible non-earmarked core funding (RBSA) and invested in a new innovative ILO programme focused on the provision of skills for trade and economic diversification in developing economies. Sida is also the first donor to directly fund one of the ILO’s recently agreed Areas of Critical Importance, on youth employment.

The agreement is the first phase of the partnership programme between Sida and the ILO, which is expected to extend to 2017.