The SGRA Project in Thailand

The SGRA (Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network) has entered its 3rd year since inauguration. The project is subsidised by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

The aim of the project is to make sure that the informal workers can support themselves and create mutual aid organisations by utilising the international labour-management network in order to support informal sector workers, low-income earners, women and workers who are not covered by social security systems by way of vocational training and educational seminars. The JILAF implements the project in Thailand, Nepal and Bangladesh.

In Thailand, ‘Life Support Seminars (LSS)’ are organised in 5 areas of 4 districts around Bangkok and Chiang Mai, with the central aim of providing information. LSS provides the information such as the social security systems in Thailand, methods by which to improve family budgets, importance of mutual aid and establishment methods etc.

Commencing this fiscal year’s activities in Thailand, JILAF staff members visited Bangkok and Chiang Mai from 14th- 25th April.

The SGRA project in Thailand has been implemented with the cooperation of ‘Promotion Committee’, ‘Central Working Committee’, ‘Northern Working Committee’ and ‘Enlarged Working Committee’. The ‘Promotion Committee’ is a decision making body that consists of representatives of; the Thai Ministry of Labour, ITUC-TC (the Thai Council of the International Trade Union Confederation), ECOT (the Employers’ Confederation of Thailand), the ILO and the Shikkha Asia Foundation. Central, Northern and Enlarged Working committees’ members are mainly trade union leaders.

During the visit, the 1st Promotion Committee meeting took place, with Central Working Committee members attending as observers. At the meeting, project policy and activities for FY2013 were approved by the members.

In the current fiscal year, the SGRA project in Thailand is scheduled to include life support seminars for about 300 out of the around 500 informal-sector workers who attended seminars in Bangkok and Chiang Mai during the previous two years (known as “network members”), as well as bridging for existing vocational trainings provided by the Thai Ministry of Labour and ECOT. Furthermore, in the second half of the fiscal year, the project intends to establish ‘credit unions’ among the network members. The main implementing body will be the Enlarged Working Committee for the purpose of sustainable implementation of the project.

Schedule

DateContents
04/19Fri1st Northern Working Committee Meeting; courtesy visit to Deputy-Consul of Japan in Chiang Mai
04/20Sat1st Promotion Committee Meeting
04/21SunCourtesy visit to Japanese Ambassador of Japan to Thailand; courtesy visit to Minister of Labour of Thailand

Photos of Participants

1st Promotion Committee Meeting

Members of the Northern Working Committee

Discussion with Minister of Labour of Thailand, Hon. Mr. Padermchai Sasomsap