Uzbekistan: Better Work Feasibility Study results discussed with ILO constituents

A mission of Better Work Programme visited Tashkent from 17 to 21 October 2022 to present results of the feasibility study conducted in 2022 and to hold consultations with the ILO constituents – government, employers’ and workers’ organizations.

News | 22 October 2022
According to the study, Uzbekistan meets many of the criteria for  Better Work Programme* but there are still some serious barriers to establishing a full Better Work Programme in the short term. These include commercial constraints – Uzbekistan does not yet supply Better Work business partners – and issues related to the governance of the labour market which affect the long-term sustainability of Better Work Programme.

The feasibility study also proposes commencing a Better Work programme in Uzbekistan, following the implementation by the Government and the social partners in the next 18-24 months of 5 measures meant to enable achieve the desired shared impacts on decent work and equitable economic growth in the industry in Uzbekistan.

During the presentation of the feasibility study results on 18 October 2022, Uzbekistan’s national constituents agreed to pursue relevant actions to overcome constraints that may negatively impact the enabling environment for a full-fledged Better Work Programme in the country. The parties have agreed to use the next 18-24 months to collectively address these issues. These include:
  1. Make changes to the labour law to allow for unannounced inspections of textile and garment factories for all relevant actors- Better Work, Labour inspectors etc.
  2. Address gaps in national legislation to allow for the registration and establishment of independent trade Unions that can freely operate according to the International labour standards addressing Freedom of Association (FoA).
  3. The establishment and practice of functioning labour-management committees at the enterprise level.
  4. Creating a culture of compliance and business competiveness that will attract international brands (European and North American) to start to source cotton, textiles and finished garments in Uzbekistan.
  5. Explore the possibility of making participation in the Better Work Program mandatory for exports to the European market and linked to the GSP+ trade incentives.

* As a partnership between the UN’s International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, Better Work brings diverse groups together – governments, global brands, factory owners, and unions and workers – to improve working conditions in the garment industry and make the sector more competitive.