Workshop: National Employment Policy to facilitate job creation and decent work in Iraq
A committee, composed of government officials, social partners and other relevant stakeholders met in Amman to discuss the development of a comprehensive national employment policy for Iraq that will facilitate job creation, decent work and social protection for all workers in the country.
Organised by ILO, the week-long event brought together representatives of various ministries, including His Excellency Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Adel Al-Rikabi. It was also attended by representatives of the General Federation of Iraqi Trade Unions and academics.
"One of our main challenges in Iraq is unemployment and the lack of clear plans to address these challenges," said Minister Al-Rikabi. "It is important to ensure not only the development of a modern policy for employment but also its implementation, based on your visions and ideas."
The event focused on the employment policy-making process; elements of a policy implementation strategy; relevant monitoring and evaluation systems and impact assessment techniques. It examined some of the major challenges facing Iraq and the role of social dialogue in improving labour market conditions and promoting decent work for all.
"The participation from multiple sectoral stakeholders and the dialogue process will be critical to ensuring national ownership of the employment policy. Having the tripartite inter-ministerial committee present with us here today is the right start," said Acting Decent Work Team Director and Senior Employment Policy Specialist at the ILO Regional Office for Arab States, Tariq Haq.
The ILO is providing technical support, including policy advice and capacity building to the Government of Iraq and its social partners across the different phases of the process; from the design and implementation to the monitoring and evaluation of the national policy. It is also working with the Central Statistical Organization and the Kurdistan Statistical Organization on the development of a national Labour Force Survey, the first to be implemented in over a decade.
The survey results will feed into the development of the national employment policy, focusing on the immediate needs of livelihoods and employment creation in addition to the longer- term structural and decent work needs of Iraq's labour market.
"The national employment policy will be based on a clear understanding of the strengths, challenges and needs of Iraq's labour market, to promote employment, especially among women and youth," said ILO Country Coordinator in Iraq, Maha Kattaa. "The national Labour Force Survey will provide the basis to formulating this employment policy."
The development of the national employment policy is part of broader efforts being implemented under the Iraq Decent Work Country Programme, in partnership between the ILO, the Government and social partners. The programme focuses on supporting private sector development and job creation; strengthening social protection and addressing child labour; and strengthening labour governance and social dialogue.