ILO and Lebanon sign agreement to redouble efforts to promote Decent Work

The first Lebanon Decent Work Country Programme will govern ILO support to Lebanon’s workers, employers and the Government.

Press release | 03 April 2017
Beirut, Lebanon (ILO News) – The ILO and its tripartite partners in Lebanon signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to institute the first Lebanon Decent Work Country Programme. The Programme will see an increase of cooperation between the ILO and the country’s workers, employers and Government to create more and better jobs, strengthen labour rights and improve working conditions in Lebanon.

The MoU was signed at a ceremony on 2 April in the Lebanese capital Beirut by ILO Regional Director for Arab States Ruba Jaradat, Lebanon’s Minister of Labour Mohammad Kabbara, President of the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers Bechara Asmar, and President of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists Fady Gemayel.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, on an official visit to Lebanon, oversaw the signing ceremony.

ILO Regional Director for Arab States Jaradat said the signing ceremony was the culmination of many months of collaborative work, and the outcome would help Lebanon respond to some of the challenges it faces.

“We have been working with our partners in Lebanon to develop the Decent Work Programme and have achieved a closer partnership with the government, workers and employers through this joint effort. This gives us a better opportunity to support the development agenda in Lebanon and help the country respond to the refugee crisis,” Jaradat said.

Although the ILO has headquartered its Regional Office for Arab States in Beirut since 1971, and has a long history of promoting decent work in the country and of fruitful cooperation with its Lebanese social partners, the new Programme lays out a structured four-year framework for strengthening cooperation and further developing national capacity to mainstream decent work in social and economic policies.

“Lebanon remains committed to respecting and safeguarding the rights of local and migrant workers,” said Minister of Labour Kabbara.

“We call upon all to facilitate the speedy implementation of this Programme, and we call upon the international community and the ILO to continue their efforts of support and cooperation, towards achieving the higher aim of creating Decent Work for all," Kabbara said.

The priorities under the Lebanon Decent Work Country Programme 2017-2020 are:
  • Strengthening policy coherence with a focus on labour administration and labour inspection systems
  • Improving conditions of Decent Work for all working men and women in Lebanon
  • Enhancing productive employment opportunities with focus on Lebanese youth
  • Improving the provision of social security and instituting a minimum level of social protection
  • Improving governance and regulation of labour migration
The ILO will continue to work with the Government of Lebanon and workers' and employers' organizations to achieve these objectives by collaborating in areas including employment promotion, rights at work, social protection, social dialogue, pay equity, youth employment, labour inspection and child labour.

In recent years, the ILO has also responded to the Syria refugee crisis in Lebanon through enhancing institutional capacity and coordination to combat unacceptable forms of work, as well as improving access to employment opportunities and livelihoods among refugees and in host communities. The ILO is also working with government institutions and international agencies on ways of improving the identification, protection and referral of working Syrian refugee children.