As speakers noted, today, the attention of the entire world community is riveted on the changes that are taking place in Uzbekistan. The country is going through a process of large-scale transformations and reforms in all spheres of life within the framework of the Development Strategy of Uzbekistan for 2017-2021.
“The new reform agenda considers the promotion of decent employment as one of the priority of the state policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan,” said Tanzila Narbaeva. “Within the current employment model, it is difficult to accelerate economic growth by exploiting the “demographic window of opportunity”.
The ILO is supporting the Government of Uzbekistan in the formulation of the first comprehensive National Employment Strategy for the period 2021-2030 which involves a wide array of actors at both central and local levels including the social partners.
“Engaging the ILO in such a strategically significant initiative will not only strengthen national capacities, but also expand access to the knowledge and experience generated by the ILO at the global level,” said Tanzila Narbaeva.
Uzbekistan demonstrated major progress in the eradication of child labour and forced labour in the cotton harvest. Cotton pickers’ wages increased significantly. The systematic recruitment of students, teachers, doctors and nurses did no longer happen. The ILO Third Party Monitoring (TPM) report shows that the Uzbek government did not systematically use child labour or forced labour during the harvest.
“As ILO, we remain committed to assist Uzbekistan in pursuing economic and social reforms, including forced labour related issues,” said Heinz Koller. “Moreover, we look forward to concluding rapidly the new DWCP that will mark a new stage in our partnership, in focusing in particular on sustainable development, especially on ending poverty (SDG 1) and decent work (SDG 8).”
Labour inspection is a vital government function. It is at the core of ensuring and maintaining decent working conditions and the realization of fundamental principles and rights at work. An effective labour inspection system is a necessary part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, thus contributing to fostering social cohesion.
To improve labour law compliance, Uzbekistan has taken a number of positive steps to strengthen the mandate and capacity of the Labour Inspectorate. The ratification by the Republic of Uzbekistan of ILO Conventions No. 81 and No. 129 opens up new opportunities for improving the labour inspection system and supports increasing the capacity of social partners to better comply with OSH standards and labour legislation.
“I would like to thank the ILO for conducting an assessment of the existing legal and institutional frameworks and providing an Overview on the Labour Inspection System in Uzbekistan,” said Nozim Khusanov, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations. “We laid a solid basis for the implementation of further measures on enhancing material, technical and financial incentives for the State Labour Inspectorate.”
The need to improve social protection is at the centre of ILO action. Comprehensive economic, employment and social protection measures in Uzbekistan are gaining even more prominence and urgency in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan noted that “great changes are occurring in the field of social protection of the population. Based on the principle of "social protection for all" and in line with the ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, Uzbekistan is developing a National Strategy for Social Protection.”
“In 2020, the Ministry of Finance was developing a Concept for a National Social Protection Strategy, and significant technical support was provided by the International Labour Organization as part of the implementation of the UN Joint Program on Strengthening Social Protection in Uzbekistan,” said Jamshid Abruev, Deputy Minister of Finance of Uzbekistan. “The Ministry of Finance has been identified as the lead Government agency in developing a national social protection strategy for the next decade.”
Adkham Ikramov, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan, focused his statement on the development of the social sphere, aimed at consistently increasing employment and real incomes of the population. This is confirmed in the President’s address to the Parliament on December 29, 2020, where it was noted that the year 2020, without exaggeration, became a turning point in the field of social protection for our country.
The new reform agenda considers the promotion of decent employment as one of the priority of the state policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan."Tanzila Narbaeva, Chairperson of the Uzbek Senate
We look forward to concluding rapidly the new DWCP that will mark a new stage in our partnership, in focusing in particular on sustainable development, especially on ending poverty (SDG 1) and decent work (SDG 8)."Heinz Koller, ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia