CMTU/ILO Sub-Regional Seminar on Informal Economy: Trade Union Policies and Actions

This is a follow up activity to the Inter-regional Seminar on Effective use of the ILS to promote formalization including through effective wage setting systems that was held on 23–24 July 2019 in Kyrgyzstan. The seminar is supported by the RBSA project on Promoting Formal Employment for Inclusive and Diversified Economic Growth in Mongolia (MNG/18/01/RBS).


Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia have transformed from the state-led socialist system to the open market one, which has improved the standard of living to some extent, while bringing in a lot of new challenges to labour and society.

Opening of the seminar
Mongolia was traditionally agro-based with large numbers of herders raising cattle but these herders start migrating to urban areas for job opportunities after losses of cattle from severe cold a decade ago on the one hand, and because the urbanisation takes place so fast. For instance, Ulaanbaatar habituates around half of the total population in the country and without proper means of living, rural migrant workers are mainly engaged in the informal economy. The agriculture sector constitutes 26.7 per cent of total employment, are mainly self-employed or family based enterprises. Around 85 per cent of small enterprises employ fewer than 9 workers. Workers in SMEs and in the informal economy lack representation and of opportunities to interact with policymakers often negatively impacts informal operators. Tripartite partners in Mongolia have discussed the revision of the labour law over the years to adequately regulate the changing labour market. CMTU has a membership of around 222,254 members from its 22 province-level and 14 industrial-level unions as of 2017 and organised 2,339 enterprise unions. CMTU has committed to more actively organizing workers in the informal economy and seeks more engagements with unions from other countries to exchange information and experiences.


  • To exchange views on challenges in the informal economy and union actions taken against those challenges;
  • To strengthen the network and partnership among trade unions in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Mongolia to share information and good practices in tackling challenges;
  • To identify common areas of joint action which can create synergy effect and benefit the unions in three countries.
Participants of the seminar
Approximately 35 unionists from Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan will attend the seminar facilitated by ACTRAV specialists. Topics of discussion include: