International Labour Organization (ILO) organized a review meeting with its 29 partners under UNNATI-Inclusive Growth Programme to take stock of the progress being made with respect to promoting responsible business practices, including implementation of labour rights and good corporate governance.

Kathmandu, March – Organizations of trade unions, employers, commodity associations, and NGOs, cooperatives and media houses stressed the need to persevere for creating an enabling environment for business that stimulates employment and decent work opportunities.

The call was made while sharing field level experience of implementing the ILO implemented UNNATI- Inclusive Growth Programme in Nepal supported by the Government of Denmark and ILO to promote responsible business practices, including labour rights and good corporate governance.

UNNATI Programme is implemented in Ilam, Panchthar, Dhankuta, Sankhuwasabha, Tehrathum, Taplejung and Bhojpur to promote sustainable and inclusive growth to reduce poverty and raise the living standards of the people through value chains in orthodox tea, ginger, dairy and cardamom.

National Programme Coordinator of ILO/UNNATI, Nabin Kumar Karna said collective effort made by so many implementing partners to promote responsible business practices in eastern hilly districts should have fostered an understanding that rights and responsible business practices go together for economic development.

“Your presentation on how people are becoming aware of the need to improve working and living conditions for workers and using meetings and dialogue platforms to help resolve work-related issues in orthodox tea, ginger, dairy and cardamom is an achievement,” he remarked.

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The three day review meeting organized from 6-8 March 2018 was a useful forum for ILO and ACF grantees to look back at the results, lessons learnt, challenges and recommendations based on the implementation of 239 advocacy related events within a period of four month.

These included knowledge sharing events on new Labour Law, Social Security Act, Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, UN Global Compact Principles, equal pay for similar type of work, business planning training to farmers and entrepreneurs and series of capacity building programmes.

Shakuntala Shrestha, project coordinator of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) said, “The review meeting and orientation on measurement of outcome indicators was a big learning opportunity for us. There is an increased realization that practicing responsible business in four value chains would enhance productivity and profits for workers as well as business entrepreneurs.”

Project Coordinator of Central Tea Cooperative Federation (CTCF) CTCF Rabin Rai noted, “The meeting was a collective reflection of our initiatives to establish a responsible business culture in four value chains. We feel inspired and encouraged to produce results to benefit the farmers, worker and entrepreneurs in four value chains will develop a strategic plan to position ourselves as a strong entity in the orthodox tea sector.”