SGRA International Symposium

An international symposium was held in Bangkok on February 23–24 to discuss achievements and challenges of the project on supporting informal-sector workers. The project, called “SGRA” or Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network, has been implemented in Thailand, Nepal, and Bangladesh since 2011. Eighty people were present in the symposium, including government, labour, and management representatives from the three SGRA countries, as well as people concerned.

In the opening of the symposium, the representatives of the Thai government, the Employers’ Confederation of Thailand (ECOT), and the Japanese government addressed their speeches. “Based on achievements and challenges of the last fiscal year, the SGRA project has been steadily developing in this fiscal year in conformity with the needs of informal-sector workers in each country.” said Mr. Yoshihiro Senoo, General Counselor of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare stated, representing the Japanese government. The leaders of the trade unions concerned then reported on the conditions of informal-sector workers in their countries, and explained expected roles of labour, management and government for the project’s development in the next fiscal year.

After those speeches, Dr. Thomas Kring, Chief Technical Advisor at the South Asian subregional office of the International Labour Organization (ILO), gave an explanation on “Way out of Informality”, known as the ‘SA Project, which is the ILO’s project to assist informal-sector workers in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, and expressed the ILO’s expectation for the SGRA project.

On the second day of the symposium, with reference to achievements and challenges in this fiscal year, a plenary session on the SGRA project were conducted and action plans as a whole for the project as well as for each country in fiscal 2013 were discussed. The participants gave many opinions, and the symposium stressed the importance of sustainability of the project and the setting of long-term targets in order to improve the lives of informal-sector workers and adopted the national action policies and the specific project plans, emphasising their determination to put the practical knowledge obtained in the symposium into action in the coming fiscal year.

Brother Hisashige Danno, Executive Director of the JILAF closed the symposium by making a strong call for firm ties among the governments, labour, and management in the countries concerned in order to further develop the SGRA project, and requested the national delegations make even more strenuous efforts in the future.


02/23SatInternational symposium (Day 1)
02/24SunInternational symposium (Day 2)

Photos of the Participants

First day of the symposium

Second day of the symposium