KABUL – The U.S. Department of Labor has funded a three-year project to strengthen labor law and administration in Afghanistan. The program was launched by the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MOLSAMD) and the International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations agency dealing with work and work-related issues. The project is aligned closely with MOLSAMD and Afghan private sector priorities.
In welcoming the new project, Amena Afzali, the Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled said: “The project will contribute to build a modern system of labor administration strengthening our capacity to provide services to workers and employers across Afghanistan.” The United States Embassy Labor Officer stated, “This project brings the expertise and experience of both the ILO and the U.S. Department of Labor into partnership with the Ministry on an important aspect of Afghanistan’s long-term social and economic development.”
The project will first review Afghanistan’s labor laws and regulations with the aim of creating a legal framework that supports the promotion of productivity and workers’ rights, and which complies with ILO standards and the principles of the ILO Conventions Afghanistan has ratified. Our long term goal is that Afghanistan’s Labor Code should provide comprehensive protection in line with the ILO’s core international labor standards, while encouraging the creation of private sector jobs.
These include freedom from forced and child labor, non-discrimination, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. The project will also review, reform and strengthen the capacity of the MOLSAMD to provide services to workers and employers, with a special focus on improving labor law application.
The 2010 Kabul Conference identified good governance, the rule of law and human rights as the foundations of a strategy for achieving a stable, prosperous Afghanistan. In addition the national priorities defined by the Human Resource Development Cluster, (a coalition of five key Afghan Government ministries including the MOLSAMD) include facilitating decent work through skills development and market-friendly labor regulation, to maximize employment opportunities for all. (PR)