THE International Labour Organisation (ILO) this week signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with government, workers and employer representatives at Thaba Bosiu Cultural Village in Maseru.
The MoU, was signed on the first visit of ILO’s Director General Africa, Guy Ryder to Lesotho on Monday. The MoU is meant to extend the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) to align it with the country’s long-term plans.
Speaking at the signing ceremony this week, acting Minister of Labour and Employment Joang Molapo said the event was a momentous occasion in the history of both the ministry and the country.
“The DWCP is supposed to be extended so that the third DWCP`s period of implementation can be aligned to the second phase of the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP II),” Mr Molapo said.
“This will ensure that the implementation of DWCP has political will which will be translated into proper allocation of resources.”
He indicated that the four pillars of the project namely employment promotion, social protection, social dialogue and rights at work are reflected in the NSDP II, “to show the role that decent work and enforcement of labour standards plays in economic development”.
The programme focuses on formulating policies and adopting strategies that target decent work in rural areas to ensure strategies/policies reach out to those vulnerable to discrimination and exclusion and other decent work deficits in rural areas.
It is implemented through engagement of government, workers and employers. It is therefore a responsibility of all of stakeholders to promote decent work. The first DWCP was implemented from 2006 to 2009 while the second was implemented from 2012 to 2017.
The DCWP is ILO’s vehicle for support to member countries based on the national development frameworks – the NSDP and within the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for Lesotho.
For his part, Mr Ryder said the extension of the programme would give the ILO the opportunity to look back at the progress made in the past two installments.
He also pledged the ILO’s support to Lesotho for the implementation of the programme to ensure that it becomes a success.
Meanwhile, some of the lessons from the past instalments of the programme include non-alignment to some global or international, regional and national plans, which Lesotho has signed or adopted to be part of the development plan.
There also no clear expected outcomes, lack of financial resources and support from both public and private sectors.
In his three-day visit, Mr Ryder is believed to have met with King Letsie III, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, his deputy Monyane Moleleki, ministers of labour and foreign affairs and workers and employers’ representatives.
The stakeholders are expected to come up with evidence-based activities which is reliable, timely and sex and age-disaggregated labour statistics.
The decent work programme is also expected to align to international, regional and local strategic plans and goals that Lesotho subscribes to. It is guided by four strategic objectives or pillars namely: fundamental principles of rights at work, social dialogue, social security and employment creation.