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Bigirimana briefs the country on the status of Labour and employment

Government to create ‘Green Jobs’ for Youth, Women

Government has been recommended for adhring to labour laws and ethics at International Labour Conference in Geneva. This was revealed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social

Development Pius Bigirimana during a press briefing at the Ministry of Thursday.

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He also told journalists on Thursday that green jobs will be created to support young people with startups seeking to reduce environmental degradation and protecting the eco-system.

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Making reference to the ongoing Youth Livelihood Project from which at least 100,000 young people have benefited and 7,000 jobs created,

Bigirimana said the ‘green jobs’ project will equally be successful.

The majority of the beneficiaries of the two year program are engaged in agricultural projects followed by trade and services.

“On the issue of absence of land to carry out activities such as tree planting, he said; “It is true that some youths don’t own land yet but they can rent out land and use it for these projects. This is what most beneficiaries of the Youth Livelihood project did.”

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Similarly, government will roll out the Women Entrepreneurship Program for which Shs 40Bn was allocated in the 2016/17 financial year budget. Below is the full statement:

PRESS BRIEF ON THE 105TH INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE HELD ON THE 30THMAY –11TH JUNE 2016, IN GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The 105th International labourConference washeld in Geneva,Switzerland from the 30thMay –11th June 2016.The International Labour Conference brings together governments’, workers’ and employer’s delegates of the ILO member States. Often called an International Parliament of Labour, the Conference establishes and adopts international labour standards and is a forum for discussion of key social and labour questions. The International Labour Conference is the highest decision making body for ILO.

It also adopts the Organization’s budget and elects the Governing Body.

Each Member State is represented by a delegation consisting of two government delegates, an employer delegate, a worker delegate, and their respective advisers. Every delegate has the same rights, and all can express themselves freely and vote as they wish.

This year the Uganda Delegation was led by Hon Wilson MuruliMukasa, former Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development deputized by the Permanent Secretary (Mr. Pius Bigirimana) as the Alternate Head of Delegation. The delegation comprised of Government Officials, representatives of Employers and representatives of Workers.

2.0. KEY ISSUES DISCUSSED AT THE 105TH SESSION OF THE INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE

2.1 Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations.

Uganda has ratifies all the ILO Core Conventions and domesticated them through the enactment of the Employment Act, Labour Unions Act, Labour Disputes (Arbitration and Settlement) Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Workers Compensation Act.

Further, Uganda has reactivated the Industrial Court which has so far handled over six hundred cases. The Minimum Wages Advisory Board was appointed and is undertaking studies on the minimum wage for Uganda; the board has so far submitted four reports to the Minister. In accordance with Sections 21 and 22 of the Employment Act no. 6 of 2006, a Tripartite Labour Advisory Board has been appointed. Its main function is to advise the Minister on any matter falling under the Act or any other matters affecting employment and industrial relations as may from time to time be referred to the Board by the Minister.

Consequent to the above and other measures taken by Government, Uganda was not included among the Member countries required to defend themselves before the Committee on Application of Standards. Uganda was commended by Mr. Guy Ryder, the Director General of ILO for the numerous positive achievements registered.

2.2 Employment and Decent work for peace, security and disaster resilience

The International Labour Conference, 2016, noted that, the expansion of the world economy has been too weak to close the significant employment and social gaps that have emerged since the beginning of the global crisis in 2008. Around 197 million people were unemployed in the world in 2015, and the projections are for a further increase in global unemployment by more than 3 million people over the next two years.

Since 2007, more than 76 million jobs have been lost and this jobs gap is set to widen further mainly due to a continuous decline in the labour force in developed countries and rising unemployment in emerging economies.

Unemployment is a recipe for disruption of peace, insecurity and social disaster.The Government of Uganda registered her complements to the ILO for its support towards the realization of decent work globally and Uganda in particular. As a country, Uganda is committed to economic growth with employment creation, promotion of green jobs,and enhancement of Labour productivity and protection of workers’ rights. In that regard, the following achievements have been registered:

  1. Implementation of the Youth Livelihood programme;
  2. Development of the Women Entrepreneurship Programme;
  3. Rehabilitation of Youth Training Centers country-wide;
  4. Roll out of the Green Jobs and Fair Market Programme
  5. Implementation of the Decent Work Country Programme;
  6. Registration of work places under the Occupational Safety and Health Act;
  7. Implementation of the National Employment Policy;
  8. Implementation of the National Action Plan on the Worst Forms of Child Labour;
  9. Development of the National Programme of Action on Employment;
  10. The development of the Youth Employment Action Plan; and
  11. The development of the National Social Security Policy for Uganda among others.

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2.3 Decent work in Global Supply Chains (GSCs)

The term “global supply chains” refers to the cross-border organization of the activities required to produce goods or services and bring them to consumers through inputs and various phases of development, production and delivery. This definition includes foreign direct investment (FDI) by multinational enterprises (MNEs) in whollyowned subsidiaries or in joint ventures in which the MNE has direct responsibility for the employment relationship.

It also includes the increasingly predominant model of international sourcing where the engagement of lead firms is defined by the terms and conditions of contractual or sometimes tacit arrangements with their suppliers and subcontracted firms for specific goods, inputs and services.

Many countries have attracted FDI and global supply chain sourcing, which has created employment allowing millions of people to move from jobs based mainly on low-productivity subsistence agriculture into jobs in mines, plantations, manufacturing or services.

Some countries have also capitalized on MNEs and lead firms to transfer

Knowledge, skills and technology to local workers, public institutions and private firms.

Global supply chains have become a common way of organizing investment, production and trade in the global economy. In many countries, particularly developing countries, they have created employment and opportunities for economic and social development.

The dynamics of production and employment relations within the global economy, including in some global supply chains, can have negative implications for working conditions.

In order to promote decent work in global supply chains, the Government of Ugandahas fostered environments that are friendly to production, investment, transportation, communication, and trade. This is in addition to ensuring macroeconomic stability, access to finance, and the overall ease of doing business.

Actualisation of Decent Work calls for a concerted effort. Accordingly, I call the Social Partners (workers and employers) to continue supporting Government in promoting decent work under global supply chains including conducting workers education, protection of worker’s rights, Strengthening regional and international cooperation among workers in supply chains through global Union Federations, Encouraging Regional and International Collective Bargaining Framework Agreements, Maintaining common and equitable terms and conditions of service across firms and borders, Promoting compliance with local and international standards, Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour by ensuring that our children are not engaged in hazardous work, Enhancement of OSH Compliance through provision of a safe working environment, Gender mainstreaming in global supply chains to address issues of women unemployment, Prioritization of apprenticeship and youth employment to address youth unemployment, and Promotion of green jobs to protect the environment.

5.0 Way forward

In line with the ILC recommendations, in order to promote decent employment, the Government of Uganda will:

  1. Strengthen the Industrial Court to enable it execute its mandate;
  2. Intensify Labour and OSH inspections;
  3. Continue with registration of work places,
  4. Conduct specialized training for Labour and OSH Inspectors;
  5. Develop the Labour productivity Policy for Uganda;
  6. Establish the National Productivity Center;
  7. Review the existing Labour Laws; and
  8. Review the Second Decent Work Country Programme.

The Ministry reaffirms the commitment of the Government of the Republic of Uganda to the ILO objectives of defending social justice and promoting fair globalization in the transformation of the world of work.

Thank you.

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