Decent Work in Sri Lanka and the Maldives

The Decent Work County Programme (DWCP) for 2018-2022 is the fourth generation DWCP for Sri Lanka. The DWCP outlines the policy direction, strategies, and anticipated results through prioritised areas of work during this period that will contribute to Decent Work for All, thus ensuring no one is left behind.

The DWCP is aligned with the policies and priorities of the Government of Sri Lanka such as the Public Investment Programme (PIP) of 2017-2020 and ‘Vision 2025’, the National Development Framework. ‘Vision 2025’ prioritises increasing employment opportunities as well as re-skilling of the labour force to meet current and emerging socio-economic demands, with special prominence for women and youth. Taking note of existing disparities between regions in country, targeted regional economic development actions are also highlighted in the policy. Apart from these broad macro policies set by the State, the DWCP is also in alignment with sectoral policies such as the National Employment Policy, Child Labour Policy, Small and Medium Enterprise Policy, Skills Development Policy, Education Policy and existing labour laws, to list a few.

The DWCP contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) covering the same period 2018-2022 signed on August 2017 between the Government and the United Nations (UN) in Sri Lanka. The Government of Sri Lanka has committed to working to meet the various targets set forth in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has the responsibility of reporting on progress in this regard. The ILO has an important role in assisting the Government to implement and monitor the SDGs – in particular Goal 8 (Decent work and economic growth) but also to Goal 1 (Poverty reduction); Goal 5 (Gender equality); Goal 10 (Reduced inequalities); and Goal 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions).

The areas of work prioritised by the constituents for the DWCP consist of three Country Priorities and these are: creation of sustainable, inclusive and decent employment; better governance of the labour market; and rights at work for all. Accompanying these three country priorities are eight Country Programme Outcomes. Greater data and knowledge generation is taken as an enabling priority serving the achievement of all three country priorities and eight outcomes.