Lao PDR celebrates ILO Centenary and 55th anniversary of Lao’s membership
22 February 2020
Gathered for a two-day event organized in Vientiane Capital on 16-17 November 2019 was the President of the National Assembly of the Lao PDR, Mme. Pany Yathotou, the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Ministry, Dr. Khampheng Saysompheng; Mme. Baykham Kattiya, Vice Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Ms. Aly Vongnorbountham, Vice President of the Lao Federation of Trade Unions, Ms. Valy Vetsaphong, Vice President of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Mr. Jan Delbaere, the United National Resident Coordinator a.i., who reaffirmed their commitment and full support to promoting social justice and decent work in Lao PDR. The event was also attended by more than 1,000 people, including from development partners, private sectors, education institutions, and media.
Since Lao PDR joined the ILO on 23 January 1964, the ILO has been working with the Government, workers’ and employers’ organizations to support Lao PDR in promoting decent work for all. Currently, the Lao tripartite organizations are implementing the 2nd Decent Work Country Programme for 2017-2021, contributing to the implementation of the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan.
The two-day event held in 2019 included a health walk from Patuxay Monument to Vientiane Centre for the opening of the labour counselling fair. At the counselling fair, the public will have opportunities to get first hand counselling and advice on labour related legislations, employment opportunities, skills development, safe migration, and social protection related matters.
Addressing the event, the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Dr. Khampheng Saysompheng highlighted that Lao PDR has already ratified 10 International Labour Conventions. “In 55 years of ILO membership, Lao PDR has addressed key labour issues to advance social justice and promote decent work for Lao workers”. Several labour related legislations are in place, especially the Labour Law, the Law on Social Security, and relevant regulations to protect and promote the right of workers and employers including strengthening the national social protection system, he added.
The Director of the ILO Country Office for Lao PDR, Mr. Graeme Buckley, noted that as the ILO is entering its 2nd centenary, the ILO member states have adopted the “Centenary Declaration on the Future of Work”, a call for a human centered agenda to address the challenges caused by unprecedented transformational change in the world of work. The Declaration was also endorsed by the 74th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York last September.
Mr. Buckley expressed his hope to see more and more Lao people having increased access to better jobs and decent work with safe working conditions, adequate wages, and protection under the labour standards through effective law enforcement and joint actions by the ILO’s tripartite constituents. He also drew attention to the need for increased social protection for all people, including children, women, people with disabilities, and older persons, particularly those in the informal and rural economy. Social protection is crucial to inclusive and sustainable growth and safeguards people from a variety of vulnerabilities and risks including in relation to health and natural disasters.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the United Nations agency for the world of work. Devoted to advancing social justice, it promotes a Decent Work Agenda based on four strategic pillars: rights at work, decent employment opportunities, social protection and social dialogue.
It is the only public international organisation which is tripartite, where workers and employers enjoy equal rights with governments in representation and decision making. Together they set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes upholding decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity for all.
Created in 1919 as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, the ILO became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946. It received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969 and today is recognized as the world’s authority on the world of work, offering over 100 years of knowledge, experience and achievements.
In Lao People Democratic Republic, the tripartite constituents are represented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, the Lao Federation of Trade Unions, and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
For more information please contact:
Bounta Haykham, Director of Cooperation Division, Department of Planning and Cooperation, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare
Khemphone Phaokhamkeo, ILO National Coordinator for Lao PDR
Tel: (856 20) 5662 1760