Mongolian trade unions to fight against forced labour

The Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions (CMTU) and the ILO have jointly organized a two-day training workshop on forced labour for trade unions within the framework of the ILO Bridge-II project funded by the United States Department of Labor (USDOL).

The CMTU has been advocating for better protection and improved working conditions of all workers in Mongolia. In its development programme for 2022-30, the CMTU is committed to adopting a trade union Plan of Action to combat forced labour.

With this purpose, 35 trade union activists have attended the training workshop with a view to improving their understanding about forced labour and exploring potential trade union actions to be undertaken at various levels.

Training participants
In his opening remark, ILO Country Director Chang-Hee Lee emphasized that trade union strategies to fight forced labour can complement and reinforce priority areas that have already been identified at a local level. ‘’Campaigns to organize more workers, promote labour rights, enforce labour legislation, increase employment opportunities, or combat discrimination in the workplace can all be effective tools in the elimination of forced labour.” he said. According to CMTU President Erdenebat Sukhbaatar, unions need to effectively address violations of labour rights and the most common signs of labour exploitation that may amount to forced labour at their workplaces. He said, “This would prevent from escalating these issues any further.”

During the training workshop, the participants actively engaged with a rich panel of speakers and national experts including Alimaa Baasansuren, Director at the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Khongorzul Shagaikhuu, Senior Labour Inspector and Ganbayasgakh Geleg, Head of Gender Equality Center NGO. While learning from interesting thematic sessions led by ILO specialists Bharati Pflug, Arun Kumar and Alix Nasri, they were able to exchange local experiences and strategies among themselves.

Participants working in groups

Coming from various provincial and industrial trade union federations, and enterprise unions, the participants effectively articulated diverse needs of workers and rank-and-file members in interactive discussions to identify action points to combat forced labour.