BORJOMI, GEORGIA (ILO News) – The “Inclusive Labour Market for Job Creation in Georgia” project in collaboration with the Human Rights Secretariat, Government of Georgia, organized here from 25 to 27 February 2019 a 3-day workshop, aimed at strengthening capacities of government institutions to engage in dialogue with Business on their contribution to economic and social development, and responsible business practices.
The workshop titled “Responsible Business conduct: The approach of the MNE Declaration and role of Government to advance responsible labour practices” allowed for in-depth inter-ministerial discussions on the use of ILO’s instruments, including the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration).
The course provided a platform for discussion, dialogue and exchange of ongoing practices on responsible labour practices and corporate social responsibility guided by the principles contained in the MNE Declaration. A specific afternoon was dedicated to the role of Public Procurement in terms of advancing decent work through making positive impact on working conditions.
The final day of the workshop discussed the development of sustainable enterprises through improving working condition while enhancing productivity and profit, as an important but yet as untapped potential in Georgia for job creation. Specifically, and as an essential element of Georgia’s Business and Human Rights chapter dealing with youth entrepreneurship, women economic empowerment, woman entrepreneurship was extensively discussed within the Georgian context, examining mind-sets, cultures and stereotypes that might hinder full active participation of youth and women in the Georgian economy through SME development. UN Women also shared their perspective on responsible labour practices by way of sharing ongoing work in Georgia concerning the Women Empowerment Principles (WEP) which are gradually gaining ground in Georgia’s larger enterprises.
The workshop was attended by representatives of the line Ministries and Government Agencies, Georgian Trade Unions Confederation (GTUC), Georgian Employers Association (GEA), and representatives from the civil society organizations, including The Civil Service Bureau of Georgia, The Academy Of The Ministry Of Finance, Business Ombudsman of Georgia, , Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Public Defender's Office of Georgia, Ministry of Justice, Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Georgia's Innovations and Technology Agency, Civil Development Agency (CiDA);
“The workshop had laid the groundwork for further understanding of the ILO MNE Declaration and responsible business practices. Participants learned that CSR route is attractive for business, simply because the CSR movement has shown companies that their responsibilities do not lie purely in making higher revenues, what is important is how sustainable and responsible the business is,” said Kinan Bahnassi, ILO Chief Technical Adviser in Georgia.
“Decent working environment and the development of socially responsible business with a human rights-based approach is one of the priorities for Georgia. In this context, we consider CSR as an additional instrument to promote the protection of labour and moreover to ensure women’s economic empowerment through the promotion of women’s entrepreneurship”, said Natalia Jaliashvili, head of the Human Rights Secretariat.