ILO and partners discuss progress made in promoting labour governance, inspection and working condition in Iraq

A closing event for the European-Union funded project highlighted activities, impact and lessons learnt in efforts to promote sustainable socio-economic development in Iraq.

Article | 28 September 2023
Baghdad, Iraq (ILO News) The ILO and partners implementing a European Union funded project in Iraq to enhance labour governance, inspection and working conditions met in Baghdad on Thursday (September 28) to discuss progress made in the project’s activities and some of the lessons learnt along the way.

The event marked the end of the two-and-a-half-year project, which was implemented closely with tripartite constituents, namely the Ministries of Labour and Social Affairs in Federal Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and employer and worker organizations.

It brought together representatives from the Council of Ministers, the Ministries of Labour and Social Affairs, Agriculture, Planning, Education and Higher Education, as well as workers’ and employers’ organizations, farmers’ associations, civil society organizations, parliament, as well as representatives from banks in Iraq, and universities.

Participants examined various interventions that were undertaken during the project’s life-cycle, which addressed some of the pressing issues facing Iraq’s labour market.
In line with national priorities and the Decent Work Country Programme for Iraq, the project has worked closely with tripartite constituents to enhance the labour inspection system and improve Occupational Safety and Health in line with International Labour Standards.

This led to the development of policies, programmes and profiles on labour inspection and Occupational Safety and Health, as well as capacity building activities for labour inspectors, officials and various stakeholders to ensure they are better placed to respond to the emerging and changing needs of the labour market, including its working environment. 
Click on the photo-gallery and view some of the key activities implemented under the programme

A new training centre was established at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Baghdad to build the capacity of labour and social security inspectors and other professionals from across governorates on the principles and functions of labour inspection, occupational health and safety and social security.

In addition, the project supplied the National Centre for Occupational Safety and Health (NCOSH) with portable tools and equipment for monitoring workplace environmental hazards during inspection visits, allowing the centre to expand its services and enhance its role in preventing and inspecting occupational accidents and illnesses more effectively.

Farm-level interventions

With an emphasis on the agricultural sector, the project has introduced and adapted several of ILO’s global packages that promote business development and entrepreneurship, such as “GETAhead”, which is a global training package that seeks to develop entrepreneurial skills, particularly among women of low income; as well as Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB), one of ILO’s flagship business management training programmes.

It has also introduced ILO’s Think.Coop and Start.Coop global learning tools, designed to promote cooperative development in various sectors, as well as career guidance and employment service tools to job-seekers and youth.

Hundreds of workers, farm owners, cooperative members, union members and community leaders were trained on Decent Work Principles, including Occupational Safety and Health and International Labour Standards.

These field-level interventions have reached over 6,000 individuals, building their capacities in various areas and professions.

The project has incorporated a significant number of Training of Trainers programmes to enhance the level of sustainability and facilitate the implementation of future capacity building activities.

Farm-level interventions were carried out with a number of local implementing partners, including The Swedish Development Aid Organization (SWEDO), Al-Meameen Humanitarian Foundation (MHF), Peace and Freedom Organization (PFO), Lotus Cultural Women's League and Al Khair.

We learnt about workers' rights and how to protect ourselves while working. We learnt how to develop our relationship with each other and also how to work well together.” Salwa Muhammad Nuri, farm worker and participant of training on labour rights and decent work, Duhok

I work in date molasses, dates stuffed with walnuts. I make date pastries. This work supports my livelihood. It is a small business and I work based on demand. The training programmes were successful. They trained us on issues related to date palms.” Najla Ahmed Salih, small business owner and participant of GetAhead Training Programme, Basra

The cooperative movement means if I have a business, let’s say in greenhouse farming, and I do not have sufficient knowledge in this regard, I can go to the cooperative members and benefit from their knowledge. In return they can benefit from me in other ways. ” Qasim Abdulwahid Qasim, palm farm owner and participant of training on cooperative development, Basra

We learnt that we must protect the health and safety of our workers who work under our supervision, for example, by providing them with safety gloves, protective hats and boots.” Youssef Mohammad Amin, farm owner and participant of training on labour rights and decent work, Duhok

They realised that I was capable of becoming a trainer because I proved myself and I was able to work on myself with their support. Now, I work as a trainer for youth, helping young people write their CVs and search for jobs.” Entzar Hassan, participant of ILO Training of Trainers on career guidance, Basra

We love farming. Through the training, we learnt about marketing and ways to improve our products.” Munaim Tuaimaa Laftah, farmer and participant of Start and Improve Your Business, Basra