ILO continues to promote International Labour Standards in Afghanistan

Workshop brings together ILO constituents as efforts continue to improve labour standards in the country despite crisis situation.

Press release | 02 March 2023
Representatives of Afghanistan’s trade unions, employers’ organizations and the de facto government at the ILO's training workshop in Kabul.
KABUL, Afghanistan (ILO news) - Representatives of Afghanistan’s trade unions, employers’ organizations and the de facto government have gained deeper understanding of International Labour Standards (ILS) following a two-day training workshop held by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Kabul.

Taking place 7-8 February 2023, the workshop saw 35 participants - both female and male – learn about labour standards with the aim of building capacity to improve labour rights and working conditions in the country.

Dr Ramin Behzad, ILO Senior Coordinator for Afghanistan highlighted the importance of the event.

“Despite challenging labour market conditions in Afghanistan, it is vital that we continue to engage with our constituents to improve labour standards in the country. We strongly recognize the commitment of the participants in this training to support this goal,” he said.

The training covered a wide range of topics including the need for social justice, the benefits of International Labour Standards as well as ILO conventions and protocols ratified by Afghanistan. The event provided the opportunity for discussions and highlighted the importance of continued dialogue to work for social justice, improve labour standards and combat child labour.

The participants reflected on how restrictions on women’s employment were driving up child labour pressures. With women the sole bread-winner in numerous households, children are increasingly having to go out to work to make up the lost income and help meet household costs.

“I now understand about different ILO conventions and labour standards. The event also encouraged me to share the information with my fellow women across the Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Investment as I found it quite relevant and useful,” said Fazila Aziz, from Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI).

The training also looked at the obligations of member states, as well as how the ILO supervisory system works.

“I call on the de-facto authorities to observe international labour standards in Afghanistan,” said Mohammad Nadershah Hanafi, National Union of Afghanistan Workers & Employees (NUAWE).

Participants recognized the need for more and better collaboration on labour standards. At the end of the workshop, a number of ILO conventions translated into local languages were handed over to participants. The importance of events such as this to build common ground and mutual understanding was also noted.

“The workshop revived and resumed dialogue among the constituents who have had less contact over the past year,” said Mohammad Ashraf Samad, from NUAWE.

These feelings were echoed by Bashir Ahamd Rasikh, the Director of Labor Inspection at De facto Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA).

“The resumption of this kind of tripartite dialogue is beneficial for all constituents as the handouts and presentations were helpful. We hope to have further practical workshops on ILS report writing and more opportunities for constituents to work together in the future.” Representatives of Afghanistan’s trade unions, employers’ organizations and the de facto government