NHRCM, EU and ILO: Further progress on labour rights in SMEs good for employment quality, export and productivity

With the support of the EU and the ILO, the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia (NHRCM) conducted a research study on labour rights in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Mongolia. On 6 December 2017, the NHRCM invites high-level representatives of the government, the ILO and the EU to discuss research findings and recommended actions.

Press release | 06 December 2017
In 2017, the NHRCM carried out a study to examine employment practices in 78 registered SMEs in the trade and services and wool/cashmere manufacturing sectors in Ulaanbaatar, Erdenet and Darkhan. It collected information from 1,639 participants, including workers, employers and experts, as well as document analysis. The study creates a baseline for future research on employment in Mongolia’s SMEs.

Mongolia stands to benefit from realizing fundamental principles and rights at work in SMEs and tackling practices that the study brings to the fore. Some of these practices have already been discussed in the tripartite review of the Labour Law. Notable findings include the hiring of job apprentices, verification of workers’ ages, use of employment contracts, payment of wages, and organization of workers and employers.

Ensuring the protection of labour rights in Mongolia is important for the national economy, as it promotes sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. It also encourages greater exportation of goods and services to global markets, and trade with foreign partners, who place increasing importance on corporate social responsibility and ethical trade in global supply chains. The EU-ILO-NHRCM partnership for this study is within the framework of the EU’s action to support GSP+ beneficiary countries to effectively implement international labour standards and comply with their reporting obligations.

Mr J Byambadorj, Chairman of the NHRCM, explained, “This study is an important part of our mandate to promote and protect human rights and freedoms. It examines breaches of labour rights and recommends improvements to advance respect for the fundamental principles and rights at work in SMEs in Mongolia.”

Mr Marco Ferri, Chargé d'Affaires of the Delegation of the EU to Mongolia, said, “This high-level meeting will enable representatives of the Government, workers, employers, other key labour market actors and the Delegation of the EU to Mongolia to raise awareness of the importance of labour rights in SMEs and foster commitment for future action.”

“Further improvement of labour rights is a key element of a strategy to strengthen the competitiveness of SMEs, enhance their position in global supply chains and diversify Mongolia’s economy,” stated Mr Tim De Meyer, Director of the ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia. He thanked the EU and the NHRCM for their continued strategic support.

For more information click here and PDF version of the report in Mongolian.