International Labour Day and World Day for Safety and Health

International Labour Day and World Day for Safety and Health observed in Afghanistan

Event highlights challenging situation faced by both workers and employers across the country and need for Social Justice.

News | Kabul, Afghanistan | 15 May 2023
KABUL, Afghanistan (ILO News) - The International Labour Organization (ILO) and representatives of workers’, employers’ organizations, and the de facto administration in Afghanistan marked International Labour Day and World Day for Safety and Health at Work in Kabul on 1 May 2023. The event honoured the contribution of workers to society and advocated for decent working conditions, fair wages, and social justice in the country.

The participants emphasized the need for improving workers’ living and working conditions and their safety and health at work, especially for women.

ILO senior coordinator, Ramin Behzad echoed the UN Secretary General’s recent call for the reversal all measures that restrict women’s and girls’ rights to work, education and freedom of movement. He highlighted the message of the ILO Director General, Gilbert F. Houngbo, on the need for a Global Coalition for Social Justice. He also elaborated on the labour situation in the country and reiterated the role of social dialogue and tripartism in addressing labour related issues.

In addition, ILO delivered a presentation on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), its related conventions and the work ILO has been doing to promote fundamental principles and rights at work in the country.

Bashir Ahmad Rasikh, the Director of Labour Inspection at de facto Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, said that their ministry had already finished the revision of the labour law and intended to initiate tripartite courtesy meetings to elaborate on the law, which would benefit both workers and employers in the country.

Mohammad Ashraf Samadi, from the National Union of Afghanistan’s Workers and Employees (NUAWE), urged the tripartite constituents to, “carry out practical and tangible work for the country’s economy to enable our youth stay in the country and prevent child labour.”

Also speaking at the event Shirbaz Kaminzada CEO of Afghanistan Chamber of Industries and Mines highlighted how all efforts were being made to promote the economy through industrial activities. Meanwhile Bi Bi Ayesha Aziz, representing the Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry reflected on the need to empower women, especially those who are most vulnerable.

International Labour Day is celebrated around the world on 1 May, commemorating the historic struggles and gains made by workers and the labour movement. This day is especially significant in Afghanistan as workers continue to face unprecedented challenges due to the ongoing humanitarian and socio-economic crisis.