Virtual meeting of Ms. Olga Koulaeva, DWT/CO Moscow Director, with Ms. Gulru Jabborzoda, Minister of labour, migration and employment of population of Republic of Tajikistan

On 1 April 2020 a virtual meeting of Ms. Olga Koulaeva, Director of ILO DWT/CO in Moscow, with Ms. Gulru Jabborzoda, Minister of labour, migration and employment of population of Republic of Tajikistan was held. Mr. Mikhail Pouchkin, Senior Employment Specialist and Ms. Jasmina Papa, Senior Social Protection Specialist also attended the meeting on behalf of the ILO DWT/CO in Moscow.

News | 01 April 2020
Ms. Gulru Jabborzoda, Minister of labour, migration and employment of population of Republic of Tajikistan
The Ministry was represented by Mr. Emin Sanginzoda, First Deputy Minister, Mr. Nurullo Mahmadullozoda, Deputy Minister, Mr. Dustmurod Murodzoda, Head of Service for inspections in the sphere of labour, migration and employment, Mr. Mehrobsho Amirbekov, Deputy Director of State Agency for labour and employment and Ms. Farangis Islomova, Head of department for international affairs of the Ministry of labour, migration and employment. Mr. Sobir Aminov, ILO National Coordinator in Republic of Tajikistan, facilitated the meeting.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Minister of labour, migration and employment of population of Tajikistan expressed appreciation to the Director and specialists of the ILO DWT/CO in Moscow for the support provided to the Ministry and the social partners of Tajikistan during almost 30 years of cooperation with the ILO. Ms. Jabborzoda highlighted that there is a National Development Strategy of Republic of Tajikistan for 2030 adopted in the country and Productive Employment is one of its key priorities. She mentioned that another strategic document in the area of labour market is the Labour Market Development Strategy for 2020 which is coming to an end soon and therefore there is an urgent need in developing a new National Employment Strategy (NES) for future years in the country that should be innovative and cover very broad aspects of the labour market including green jobs, business packages in rural areas, women’s empowerment and youth employment, effective use of human resources (labour migrants), development of TVET and should be based on the real situation and potentials of the country. She emphasized that a new NES should also consider different risks and scenarios the country may face taking into account the challenges due to the crisis at the regional and global levels.

Ms. Olga Koulaeva noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has led not only to health related problems for people but impacted the labour markets, led to a reduction of employment, reduction of remittances, worsened conditions of the labour migrants globally. Ms. Koulaeva appreciated the MoL for the past fruitful cooperation, as well as for the trust in  the ILO to provide technical support in the development of such an important National Employment Strategy. She noted that the ILO generated a large  number and variety of tools and methodologies, as well as experiences, to be used in the process of development of such documents based on the ILO International Labour Standards. She also recalled  recent experiences of the ILO in developing  NES in the countries of the subregion like Georgia, Armenia and Uzbekistan. However, Tajikistan will be the first country where NES will be developed in a challenging situation due to COVID-19. Ms. Koulaeva proposed that a new NES should be developed in strong connection of employment with social protection component providing income insurance for the people during potential crisis situations. She mentioned that the ILO has started the process of compilation of policy measures/actions taken by different countries in the world as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, so an initial compilation document could be shared with the MoL of Tajikistan and  be used as a tool while considering country policy measures. It was highlighted by Ms. Koulaeva that prior to the development of the next NES there is a need for comprehensive assessment of the current situation of the labour market and the macro-economy situation in close consultations with Employers and Workers Organizations of the country.

Mr. Mikhail Pouchkin, Senior Employment Specialist of ILO DWT/CO in Moscow, highly appreciated the initiative of the Ministry of labour of development of the Tajikistan National Employment Strategy and noted that the document will serve as a response to the current crisis as well. He fully shared the aspects proposed by the Minister as key components of the new NES and added that the issue of informal employment should also be in the center of the strategy.  Ensuring that Social Dialogue is in place  for the entire process of NES development is crucial. Mr. Pouchkin also stressed the importance of development of the NES according to the International labour standards, particularly the ILO Convention No. 122 Employment Policy  and others.

Ms. Jasmina Papa, Senior Social Protection Specialist of the ILO DWT/CO in Moscow expressed her gratitude  for the cooperation with the MoL and engagement of the specialist of the MoL during the Assessment Based National Dialog on Social Protection (ABND). She noted that the results of interagency collaboration within ABND clearly showed the importance of integration of social protection into the strategic employment-related documents and programmes. She mentioned that specialized services will be needed for some of disadvantaged groups, for example, for persons with disabilities, so NES needs to take this into account and establish links with social protection and the education sector to implement specialized services and promote  employment of PwDs. Similarly, people living in poverty and receiving targeted social assistance may need additional support to improve their employability. She stressed that coordinated approach to employment and social protection policy would also contribute to promotion of culture of social insurance and thus enable transition from informality to formality. Single window service can be introduced to coordinate the delivery of programmes on the regional and local levels and it can be done through IT systems that incorporate information from the social protection and employment services and through the use of case management incorporating  the job seekers needs assessment method, noted Ms. Papa.

Both sides have agreed to start the process of development of National Employment Strategy of Tajikistan with an assessment of the Labour Market Development Strategy-2020, including major labour market trends, the latest labour market data available, key labour market indicators and trends disaggregated by sex and age (youth) and disability at soonest time.