SGRA Project in Nepal (January-February)

JILAF held a national workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal, on February 2 for the SGRA (Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network) project, which is also being implemented in Bangladesh and Thailand. Seventy-eight people attended the workshop, including Nepalese government, labour, and management personnel involved in the project.

The purpose of the national workshop was to look back on the project in the current fiscal 2013 and discuss on an activity policy for the next fiscal 2014. National workshops were also held in the other countries implementing the SGRA project (in Bangladesh on January 23 and in Thailand on January 26). A meeting of government, labour, and management representatives of these three countries is scheduled to be held in Kathmandu on March 1 to share information concerning the achievements and challenges of the project in the three countries, so that we can consider the further development of the project and its future extension to other countries.

At the beginning of the workshop, Secretary Suresh Man Shrestha of the Nepalese Ministry of Labour and Employment addressed the participants. Expressing appreciation for the SGRA project, he described the present situation and issues of the informal-sector economy in Nepal and overseas migrant labour and the government’s recognition of these problems. In addition, Mr. Shuichi Sakakibara, Minister-Counselor of the Embassy of Japan in Nepal, also expressed appreciation for JILAF’s varied cooperation with Nepal and remarked, “As well as the SGRA project, JILAF’s efforts towards the establishing of sound industrial relations are raising hopes in Nepal, and the Japanese Embassy in this country intends to cooperate as much as possible.”

Next, Mr. Ayodhya Prasad Yadav, vice president of the Nepal Trade Union Congress (NTUC), reported on the achievements and challenges of the SGRA project in the current fiscal year, and JILAF Field Project Director Mr. Ryo Saito presented a draft activity policy for fiscal 2014, which was then discussed by the participants.

The participants made many comments and requests concerning such matters as nationwide development of the project; types of work subject to bridging to vocational training programs implemented by the government, employers’ organizations, and others and the scale of this bridging; the sustainability of the SGRA project toward improving and upgrading the lives of informal-sector workers; and the importance of setting long-term goals. After JILAF had given its replies on these issues, the draft fiscal 2014 activity plan, which includes an expansion of the project to the Morang district in the southeast of Nepal, was confirmed and unanimously adopted.

The workshop ended with concluding remarks by JILAF Executive Director Hisashige Danno and NTUC President Khila Nath Dahal and the participants vowing to work together to further develop and strengthen the project in the coming fiscal year.

Schedule

DateContents
02/01Sat5th Central Promotion Committee meeting
02/02SunNational workshop

Photos of Participants

Scene of the workshop

NTUC President Khila Nath Dahal

Explanation of the fiscal 2014 activity policy draft

Products made in the sewing vocational training

Products made in the knitting vocational training

JILAF Executive Director Danno delivers some concluding remarks.