Japan International Labour Foundation reaches out to hundreds of informal workers in South East Asia using ILO’s orientation and learning tools on cooperatives

The ILO’s Our.COOP tools provide an opportunity to train informal workers on the values of collaboration through cooperatives.

Actualité | 27 janvier 2023
Japan International Labour Foundation (JILAF) has been strengthening cooperatives and promoting the rights and livelihoods of informal workers through ILO’s cooperative orientation and learning tools. Since August 2022, JILAF has organized 14 workshops using the ILO’s Our.COOP tools with hundreds of informal economy workers across Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal and Thailand. Participants to these workshops came from different sectors, including tuk-tuk drivers, farmers, agricultural sector workers and workers from indigenous groups, with three-fourths of them being women.

In October, a workshop titled “Think.COOP for diaspora female workers in the fishery sector” was held in Thailand for migrant Muslim women from Myanmar who lacked access to the local fish market due to their migrant status. The ILO’s Think.COOP training tool was used to discuss the problems they faced and to provide them with ways to address these issues by getting together. Through the collaboration of JILAF and the ILO, these workshops have strengthened collective action among informal workers and their communities, through cooperatives.

JILAF is a Japanese foundation originated from the, the Japanese national trade union center (JTUC-Rengo). Its programme on Supporting Grass Roots Activities(SGRA) has adopted the ILO’s Our.COOP training tools for capacity building of cooperatives, credit unions and self-help groups in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal and Thailand. JILAF and the ILO will continue this partnership to support the formation of more cooperatives in Asia and the Pacific region.