Iraq ILO and EU Launches New Policies On Labour Inspection And OSH: New policies on labour inspection and Occupational Safety and Health were launched in Baghdad on Sunday (November 20) by the Ministries of Labour and Social Affairs of the Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, the European Union (EU) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). The policies will contribute to modernizing the labour inspection system and improve working conditions for workers and their employers, in line with International Labour Standards.
A signing ceremony of the policies took place in the presence of Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Ahmad Al-Asadi, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq Kwestan Mohammed, ILO Country Coordinator in Iraq Maha Kattaa, and EU Delegation to Iraq Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Agne Gleveckaite.
The policies were developed under the framework of the ILO project “Enhancing labour governance, inspection and working conditions in response to COVID-19 ”, supported by the EU. One of the project’s key objectives is to strengthen the labour inspection system and improve Occupational Safety and Health through policy development and capacity building. The project is building the capacities of government staff and social partners on these issues and on fundamental principles and rights at work, to promote compliance with national labour legislations and International Labour Standards.
“The policies focus on labour inspection, working conditions and Occupational Safety and Health in Iraq. They are documents that set the basis for effective implementation, including gaps and shortcomings and ways to address them, for policy makers, officials, employers and workers and those working in the fields of inspection and Occupational and Safety and Health,” said Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Ahmad Al-Asadi. “I would like to extend my appreciation to the International Labour Organization for its effective efforts and to the European Union for its funding and support for our Ministry’s programmes.”
“The ILO project on enhancing labour governance, inspection and working conditions in response to COVID-19, which is funded by the European Union, has given us the opportunity to discuss the gaps in the labour inspection system, follow up on working conditions through an Occupational Safety and Health committee, and the development of policies on Occupational Safety and Health and labour inspection. This has increased our adherence to implement these policies developed in close consultation between the ILO and the government, employers and workers in efforts to reach the desired goals, which is to enhance the inspection system, improve working conditions and work towards increasing the number of inspectors and enhancing their capacities,” said Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Kwestan Mohammed.
The policy on labour inspection provides guidance on the tasks and key principles related to labour inspection. These include legal frameworks related to inspection visits, modern labour inspection systems, reporting, collaboration between stakeholders, and capacity building, among others.
A national profile for Occupational Safety and Health was developed, setting the basis for the application of a solid Occupational Safety and Health management system. It assesses the status of Occupational Safety and Health at the national level, including gaps and shortcomings, and provides recommendations for policymakers, government officials, employers, workers and Occupational Safety and Health practitioners. It describes the legislative framework, enforcement and implementation mechanisms and infrastructure in both Federal Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
“These policies were developed through close consultation with the government, employers’ and workers’ organizations,” said ILO Country Coordinator Maha Kattaa. “They are paramount in enhancing the labour inspection system, protecting workers and promoting their safety at work. We will continue to work closely with our constituents to ensure the proper and effective application of these policies.”
“The new policies on Occupational Safety and Health and on labour inspection are a further step towards improving conditions for workers and their employers in Iraq, in line with International Labour Standards. It is very reassuring to have policies in place, which will contribute to modernizing the labour inspection system and provide guarantees for protection of the workers. It is an important element for the socio-economic development of Iraq,” said EU Delegation to Iraq Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Agne Gleveckaite.
The EU-supported project contributes to the socio-economic development of Iraq through enhancing the application of International Labour Standards and national labour legislation and promoting social dialogue, social justice, and decent work.