Nepal Launched Decent Work Country Program

A milestone towards social justice: Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) for Nepal has been launched

Dec. 26, 2023, 7:50 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: VOL. 17, No. 10, December.29,2023 (Poush,13. 2080) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

Reflecting the shared ambition of ILO, government, workers, and employers of Nepal, the Programme aims to improve access to decent work and better opportunities for more people in Nepal.

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The International Labour Organization (ILO), the Government of Nepal, the employers’ and the workers’ organizations jointly launched the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) for Nepal, 2023-2027, amidst a special event graced by Mr. Kewal Prasad Bhandari, Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security and the UN Resident Coordinator for Nepal Ms. Hanaa Singer-Hamdy.

The DWCP for Nepal, built on the pillars of Jobs, Rights, and Partners, outlines a comprehensive plan for the next five years. It is a collaborative effort reflecting the dedication of ILO and its constituents to realize decent work for all in Nepal. The programme envisions creating employment opportunities, fostering sustainable enterprises, and enhancing social security. It places a strong emphasis on International Labour Standards, focusing on fundamental principles and rights at work, and commits to strengthening government, employers', and workers' organizations to facilitate effective social dialogue.

ILO Country Director, Numan Özcan In his address, the ILO County Director, Numan Özcan, emphasized that the DWCP is not just a plan; it's a reflection of the shared ambition of ILO, and government, workers, and employers. He added “the DWCP is a compass guiding us to create opportunities for productive work, ensuring fair income, workplace security, and social protection. Let’s work together to make Decent Work a reality for every person in this beautiful country”. He also reiterated ILO’s invitation to the government, employers, and trade unions to join the Global Coalition for Social Justice, an initiative aimed at addressing social justice deficits worldwide.

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UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Hanaa Singer-Hamdy The Guest of Honour of the event, the UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Hanaa Singer- Hamdy highlighted that if Nepal is to achieve the SDG targets and have a smooth and sustainable graduation from LDC, we need to work together to effectively create more and better jobs in Nepal. She added that she is very optimistic that the implementation of DWCP will focus on the opportunities for jobs, social security, equal opportunity for all gender and races. She also emphasized on putting a resilient policy to be benefited from the imminent graduation of Nepal from the least developed countries.

Kewal Prasad Bhandari, Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security In his remarks, Mr. Kewal Prasad Bhandari, Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, while emphasizing the importance of DWCP for Nepal, he called for a strong commitment from all the partners and stakeholders for the effective and successful implementation of the DWCP. He added “to achieve the 2030 Agenda of SDGs, it is imperative that DWCP must be implemented effectively”.

Chandra Prasad Dhakal, President, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Chandra Prasad Dhakal, President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), said that Nepal is currently facing economic turbulence and that we have the possibility of graduation from a least developed country and all its possible challenges ahead of us. He added “the new DWCP at this critical point represents both our vision for overcoming existing challenges, and our hope for a better future”.

Binod Shrestha, President, Joint Trade Union Coordination Centre. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Binod Shrestha, President of the Joint Trade Union Coordination Centre (JTUCC), stated that the implementation of labour-related laws, regulations, international labour standards, proved to be inadequate, resulting in workers being deprived of their fundamental labour rights. He added “despite the establishment of a contribution-based social security system, a significant number of employers, including contractual employees within government institutions, have yet to implement it. It is imperative that we take on the responsibility of bringing all workers into the social security system during the upcoming DWCP period”.

The launch highlighted the vision of creating a labour market with decent jobs, ensuring workplace safety, fair income, social protection, and promoting a work culture that respects the rights and dignity of every individual. Further, it underscored the responsibility of every organization, institution, and individual in the labour market to contribute to the creation of decent jobs.

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The signed Memorandum of Understanding.

During the event, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the implementation of the DWCP was signed by the Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security Mr. Kewal Prasad Bhandari, President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Mr. Chandra Prasad Dhakal, President of the Joint Trade Union Coordination Centre (JTUCC) Mr. Binod Shrestha, and the ILO Country Director for Nepal Mr. Numan Özcan, which marked the official launch of the DWCP.

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