Seminar on Business, Human Rights and Decent Work for SME Advisors in Georgia

The course aimed to discuss the principles of responsible business conduct and corporate social responsibility and how those principles can be most effectively implemented in business operations which will affect positively the worker productivity, job stability, mature relation at the enterprise level and companies competitiveness.

News | 11 October 2019

TBILISI (ILO News) - The International Labour Organization together with International Training Center (ITC) of ILO has organized 3.5 days seminar on Business, Human Rights and Decent Work for SME advisors in Borjomi, Georgia on 7-10 October, 2019. The seminar was organized in collaboration with the Human Rights Secretariat in Georgia and Georgian Employers Association (GEA), with the financial support of the Government of Denmark (Danida).

The seminar has addressed two main objectives – enhancing knowledge of participants on key issues and topics concerning the decent work - CSR nexus, while at the same time enhancing their expertise as SME advisors.

Representatives of the Government of Georgia – the Ministry of IDPs, Labour, Health, and Social Affairs, Ministry of Justice, LEPL Training Centre of Justice of Georgia, and LEPT Academy of the Ministry of Finance together with the Georgian Employers Association, Georgian Trade Unions Confederation, Business Ombudsman of Georgia and several other business associations had a chance to enhance their skills and competencies to effectively advocate and promote responsible labour practices through the delivery of advisory services to SMEs.

The opening of the seminar was chaired by Kinan Bahnassi, Chief Technical Adviser of the ILO project, Elguja Meladze, President of Georgian Employers’ Association, and Meri Kajaia,  representative from the Human Rights Secretariat. Two resource persons, - Karl Pfeffer, ITC Activity Manager, and Emily Sims, ILS specialist and the Manager of the ILO Helpdesk for Business, facilitated the seminar.

The SME advisors got familiar with the ILO core labour principles and discussed various topics, such as the role of the private sector in promoting youth and women entrepreneurship through corporate social responsibility, understanding grievance mechanisms and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; the effective abolition of child labour and; the elimination of workplace discrimination; Occupational safety and health,  and working hours.

The SME advisors had also participated in a half a day group work exercise where they had to analyse business case studies related to the topics presented, to identify challenges as well as formulate a set of concrete recommendations. 

Project Background

On 23 November 2017, the Government of Denmark, represented by the Danish International Development Agency, and the International Labour Organization signed an agreement to implement a four-year (2017 – 2021) development cooperation project in Georgia. The project is titled “Inclusive Labour Markets for Job Creation” and aims to strengthen labour market institutions by providing support for the implementation of the Strategic Plan of the national Tripartite Social Partnership Commission (TSPC) along with the following thematic areas:
  • Strengthening regulatory labour market institutions, by building upon ongoing efforts concerning labour law reform, building effective labour inspection services, training of judges and legal practitioners, training to promote and improve enterprise-level bipartite consultation and negotiation, strengthening of labour mediation services for collective labour disputes and, possibly, establishing a labour court system.
  • Strengthening entrepreneurship and enterprise development, by providing knowledge and technical expertise, in order to create an enabling environment for the creation and development of sustainable enterprises that generate decent jobs, especially for youth.