ILO, Flanders to promote decent work in Malawi’s tea plantations

The project focuses on empowering women and ending violence at work, promoting freedom of association and collective bargaining, as well as improving access to water and sanitation.

Press release | 23 April 2018
LILONGWE, Malawi (ILO News) – With the financial support of the Government of Flanders, the ILO has launched a new project to promote sustainable livelihoods and decent work on tea plantations in Malawi’s Thyolo district.

The project will strengthen the capacities of Malawi’s government, employers and workers to tackle decent work deficits in selected tea estates of the country. It will ultimately benefit thousands of tea plantation workers and their employers by improving productivity and working conditions. It will also contribute to knowledge transfer and policy advice on the promotion of productive employment and decent work in the plantations sector in different countries.

“Thanks to the important contribution of the Government of Flanders, this initiative will improve access to decent work and enhance workers’ skills and productivity in the important tea growing sector of Malawi. It also pays special attention to vulnerable groups who are subject to decent work deficits and discrimination, like women, young workers and smallholders”, explained Alette van Leur, Director of the ILO Sectoral Policies Department.

The ILO will join forces with other development actors, including Oxfam and Fairtrade International to ensure scaling up and long-term sustainability of the project in rural Malawi.

Joseph Mwandidya, Secretary for Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development of Malawi, expressed his appreciation for the work of the ILO in the country, and commended the Government of Flanders’ support.

The project is scheduled to be launched jointly by the ILO, the Government of Malawi and the Representation of Flanders in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe on 9 May 2018.

The intervention is financed through the ILO/Flanders Trust Fund, a funding mechanism established in 2001, which has so far contributed to the ILO’s development cooperation programme with nearly US$ 9 million. The Trust Fund builds on the solid cooperation with the Government of Flanders, which dates back to 1991.