Kuwait and ILO sign the country’s first Decent Work Programme

The ILO and tripartite partners sign the Programme into force at a ceremony in Kuwait City.

News | 09 December 2018

Kuwait (ILO News) - The International Labor Organization, Kuwait's Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour, the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the President of the Kuwait Trade Union Federation have signed the first Kuwait Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) into force.

The signature is a consolidation of joint efforts to implement an integrated programme of decent work in the State of Kuwait. The programme was signed by HE Minister of Social Affairs and Labour and Minister of State for Economic Affairs Hind Al-Subaih, ILO Regional Director for Arab States Ruba Jaradat, President Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ali Thonayan Al-Ghanim, and President of the Kuwait Trade Union Federation Salem Shabeeb Al-Ajmi.

The event took place during a ceremony held on December 9 at the United Nations office in Kuwait City. The signing ceremony was attended by heads of government departments and agencies, employer representatives, trade unionists, ambassadors and representatives of UN agencies.

The Kuwait DWCP builds upon the main achievements of the ILO’s work with its partners in recent years and the current momentum which places employment and workers’ rights high on the national agenda. As such, it ensures a holistic, coherent and integrated ILO response to the decent work challenges faced by Kuwait.

The Programme is firmly aligned with the Kuwait Vision 2035, as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the United Nations Framework for Kuwait.

The first draft of the document was developed based on a consultations with tripartite constituents during a technical and programmatic mission in January 2018, followed by a tripartite workshop aimed at reaching agreement on needs and priorities for the development of a DWCP in Kuwait.

The DWCP will be implemented in close partnership between the ILO and its constituents in Kuwait. It focuses on three priorities identified by the Kuwaiti Government and worker and employer representatives: enhancing the skills of women and men foreign workers, improving the governance of foreign labour, and strengthening social dialogue and tripartism.

Work on the three priority areas will adhere to international labour standards and to the principles of gender equality and non-discrimination, social dialogue, and environmental sustainability.

The ILO has supported its tripartite partners in Kuwait to realize a number of achievements in recent year. These include introducing the first minimum wage for domestic workers in the Arab States region, and introducing Law No. 68 to regulate domestic work and Law No. 69 to establish a publicly co-owned company to organize recruitment of domestic workers. Kuwait created the Public Authority of Manpower, which has trained hundreds of participants in more than 20 labour- and employment-related subject areas.

Kuwait has been an ILO member state since 1961 and has ratified 19 ILO Conventions including seven of eight Fundamental Conventions. Kuwait is a major donor to the ILO Regional Office for the Arab States.