International labour standards in Nepal

A worker in a plastic factory in Biratnagar
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Nepal has recently promulgated a Constitution through the Constituent Assembly on 20 April 2015 which encompasses the fundamental rights of workers as per the International Labour Standards.

Major rights included into the Constitution are right to employment and social security, right to form trade unions and right for collective bargaining. Similarly, the government, in consent of Workers’ and Employers’ Organizations, has drafted new labour and social security bills that comply with minimum labour standards, and are underway of parliamentary process for promulgation. These bills, once passed through the legislature-parliament and promulgated, will be applicable to entire workforce in Nepal thereby ensuring their fundamental rights.

Promotion of labour standards is at the forefront of the Decent Work Country Programme for Nepal. The ILO’s close partnership with the tripartite constituents has led to the ratification of 11 Conventions, including seven of the eight fundamental Conventions. The ratification of the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87) is currently under active consideration.

In addition to immediate ratification of Convention on Freedom of Association (No. 87), the trade unions have prioritized ratification of ILO Conventions on Social Protection (No. 102), Domestic Workers (No. 189) and Labour Inspection (No. 81) in a gradual basis. Similarly the employers’ organizations are advocating for the ratification of ILO Conventions on Employment Policy (No. 122) and Termination of Employment (No. 158). All these ILO Conventions are of prime importance in promoting fundamental principles and rights at work in Nepal.

The ILO Country Office for Nepal has been providing both technical and financial assistance to the tripartite constituents to promote and implement international labour standards and enhancing their capacity for applying them into the world of work.