ILO integrates international labour standards in national judicial decisions

ILO and Egyptian Government join forces to support legal aid offices.

Press release | 17 December 2023

Cairo (ILO News), Under the Auspices of the Egyptian Minister of Justice, H.E. Counsellor Omar Marawan and within the framework of the “Advancing the Decent Work Agenda in North Africa” (ADWA’) project, funded by the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the ILO Cairo Office celebrated the results achieved in its cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Labour by organizing a “Launching Event of the Judicial Bench Book on International Labour Standards (ILS) and Legal Aid Offices’’.

The event marked the accomplishment of a judicial bench book that aims to promote ILS integration in national judicial decisions, and the launching of the cooperation to support legal aid offices that will enhance access to justice for all workers.

In his opening remarks on behalf of ILO Cairo Director, Mr. Coen Kompier, ILS Senior Specialist, confirmed that the organization accords great importance to its cooperation with the Egyptian judiciary. He added that this partnership had led to the achievement of significant results such as: the institutionalization of ILS within the national training curriculum, and the capacity building of around 1500 judges benefiting from the various activities, which resulted in several judicial verdicts on discrimination, minimum wages, and freedom of association with direct reference to relevant ILS.

From his side, Counsellor Muhammad Omar Al-Ansari, Assistant Minister of Justice for the National Centre for Judicial Studies, explained that the partnership between the ILO and the National Centre for Judicial Studies had started since 2014 to support the role of the judiciary in implementing the labour law, and its contribution to ensure the application of ILS at the national level. This led to the improvement of a decent work environment for all, in freedom, equity, security, and dignity.

Meanwhile, Judge Ahmed Khairy, Assistant Minister of Justice for Specialized Court Affairs, highlighted that the cooperation between the ILO and the Ministry of Justice to support the legal aid offices and ensure their presence at the national level, reflects the beginning of a new phase of partnership built on the results achieved. According to the current cooperation frameworks and the role played by the Ministry of Justice through similar projects, such as legal assistance in family courts, the specialized courts sector has the needed capacities to ensure access to justice for all workers in a way that ensures the principles of human rights and international labour standards.

In the speech she delivered on behalf of Mr. Hassan Shehata, the Minister of Labour, Ms. Manal Othman, Head of the Central Administration for the Office of the Minister of Labour, expressed her appreciation to the judges’ efforts to achieve justice and support the building of the new republic, which is based on establishing the pillars of justice and law. She conveyed the Minister of Labour appreciation for the fruitful and constructive cooperation between the two ministries and the ILO. She also stressed on the Egyptian State eagerness to enhance compliance with ILS, ensure the fulfilment of international obligations ratified by Egypt, and ensure that labour legislations and their applications are compatible with ratified international labour conventions.

The event was attended by around 180 participants from different level of Egyptian courts, Ministry of Justice institutional staff and representatives from the Ministry of Labour.