This second-generation Decent Work Country Programme 2022 - 2025, was launched in Mbabane by the Honourable Prime Minister of Eswatini, Prime Minister Cleopas Sipho Dlamini together with ILO’s Social Partners, business and workers organisations.
The DWCP is the main vehicle for delivery of ILO support to countries and has two basic objectives, notably to promote decent work as a key component of national development strategies, and to organise ILO knowledge, instruments, advocacy and cooperation at the service of tripartite constituents. Tripartism and social dialogue are central to the planning and implementation of a coherent and integrated ILO programme of assistance to constituents in member States.
This DWCP for Eswatini, is aligned with the Eswatini United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2021 – 2025 (UNSDCF) development priorities and supports the National Development Plan 2023/24 – 27/28. It is also guided by the ILO’s Integrated Strategy on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work 2017–2023. The priorities of the EDWCP 2022 -2025 enhance Eswatini's operationalisation of the AU Declaration on Employment, Poverty Eradication and Inclusive Development in Africa, the African Union Agenda 2063 aspiration for a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development, and the ILO Abidjan Declaration, on Advancing Social Justice: Shaping the future of work in Africa.
The launch of the DWCP comes in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic that did not only pose serious health risks to the citizens of the country, but negatively impacted on the economy, presenting a threat to the great progress made by the Kingdom of Eswatini on the SDGs and towards tackling the decent work agenda.
The priorities of the DWCP are organized about two pillars of the UNSDCF, Prosperity and People. Under Prosperity the DWCP seeks to promote Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Growth, while under People, envisaged results are to Invest in Human Resources and Social Development and to promote Accountable Governance, Justice and Human Rights.
Social Partners, came in numbers and they were all represented, from Federation of Swaziland Trade Unions(FESWATU) ,Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), Federation Of Eswatini Business Community(FESBC) and Business Eswatini.
The workers emphasized the point that they were fully involved in the development of the DWCP and saw the DWCP as a promise for a decent life for workers. They implored Government to promote awareness on the DWCP across various sectors of the economy and amongst investors entering the country as prospective employers of workers.
The Employers underscored the human centered character of the DWCP that seeks to strengthen the capacity of people to enable them to take their rightful place in society as productive members of society; and to protect the rights of people to decent work under conditions of dignity, and security. Collectively the Social Partners pledged their commitment to fully participate and collaborate in the implementation of the DWCP.
In his remarks, ILO Pretoria Director Dr Joni Musabayana, highlighted the significance of the launch and signing of the Eswatini DWCP today, indicating that it signified the commitment of a country at harmony with itself. He emphasized that the signing of the DWCP symbolizes the work programme through which both employers and workers have committed themselves to support a labour market that is at harmony with itself. He further pointed out that the signing of the DWCP is very significant given the role Eswatini plays in the ILO as a member of the Governing Body and in representing the sub-region in key platforms of the ILO.
Director also emphasised ILO’s commitment to support the tripartite partners of Eswatini to implementing the work programme to bring lasting peace and harmony in the labour market in the Kingdom. ”As ILO we say we are with you and remain available to walk with you on this important journey,” said the director in conclusion
The Honourable Minister Phila Buthelezi appealed to every liswati to work together to create jobs and to protect the jobs that already exist. The Minister pledged the commitment of the tripartite constituents to implement the DWCP as a tripartite partnership.
The Prime Minister highlighted that “Since joining the ILO in 1975, the Kingdom of Eswatini has ratified 33 ILO Conventions, including eight out of the ten Core Conventions and two out of the four ILO governance (or priority) Conventions, the rest being technical Conventions,”
In order to give purpose and effect to the spirit of social dialogue and tripartism, two social dialogue structures have been established, being the Labour Advisory Board (LAB) and the National Steering Committee on Social Dialogue (NSCSD), emphasised the Prime Minister.