The International Labour Organization (ILO) and Ukraine will continue to work together to promote decent work and improve social protection systems under a new partnership agreement signed on 12 of June 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Press release | Published 12 June 2012
The third “Decent Work Country Programme” of Ukraine for the 2012 – 2015 period promotes decent work as a key to national development and is based on the previous successful cooperation between the ILO and Ukraine.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Ukrainian Vice-Prime-Minister and Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine Serhii Tihipko, the ILO Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Susanne Hoffmann, Head of the Council of the Federation of Employers of Ukraine Dmytro Firtash and Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine Yuriy Kulyk.
The Programme, which was developed with the participation of the Ukrainian government, trade unions and employers’ organization, focuses on three jointly agreed key priorities:
Strengthening social dialogue institutions to improve their participation in labour market governance;
Promoting decent work and enhanced employability of the Ukrainian labour force;
Improving social protection systems.
The results and lessons learnt from implementation of the previous Decent Work Country Programme of Ukraine for 2008-2010 and its assessment have also been taken into account.
More and better jobs are needed
The global financial and economic crisis of 2008 has adversely affected Ukraine. After a significant downturn the economy of Ukraine started to recover in the second half of 2010. GDP grew by 4.2 per cent in 2010 and industrial output by 11.2 per cent. The employment rate increased from 57.7 per cent to 58.5 per cent, while unemployment decreased from 8.8 to 8.1 per cent compared with the previous year. In 2010 the unemployment rate for youth aged 15-24 years in Ukraine was 17.4 per cent and constituted 26 per cent of the total number of unemployed. While the extreme poverty rate declined from 19.9 to 11.2 per cent in the period of 2001-2010, the poverty issue remains serious and requires effective measures to redress it. One in four families can be categorized as poor in Ukraine.
The crisis has directly affected the balance of the social security funds through a fall in contribution revenues and higher spending on benefits, as well as a substantial loss in assets invested by the third-pillar private pension funds. In addition to the pressing challenge of coping with the adverse effects of the global crisis, the Ukrainian social security schemes, in particular the pension scheme, are facing a huge challenge to remain fiscally sustainable in view of anticipated demographic changes.
To address these challenges, the first priority is to strengthen social dialogue institutions so as to improve their participation in labour market governance. This includes creating legal and institutional environment for a functioning social dialogue. ILO assistance will also continue to support employers’ and workers’ organizations extending their membership base by the provision of new and improved services. The ILO will continue to support tripartite actors to take legal and practical measures to apply international labour standards to domestic legislation.
The second priority seeks to promote decent work and enhanced employability of the Ukrainian labour force. The quality of vocational education and training will be improved in order to facilitate youth entrance to the workforce. The ILO will provide technical assistance to improve national capacities to manage migration through a rights-based approach and based on strengthened social dialogue. In recent years, the ILO has been providing technical assistance to the government of Ukraine to enhance gender equality based on introducing national gender equality legislation in full compliance with ILO Conventions № 100 and 111. The ILO will continue providing technical support to build capacity among policy makers and the social partners on how to apply international legal instruments on gender equality in national laws.
The third priority aims to improve social protection systems by strengthening coverage and sustainability of the social security system. Through ILO technical assistance, Ukraine will improve social security coverage for migrant workers by building the capacity of the government of source countries in negotiating, adopting, and implementing multilateral and bilateral social security agreements with major destination countries. The national pension system will improve its long-term sustainability with the help of the ILO while ensuring adequate benefit levels by effectively implementing the new pension system law based on tripartite consensus. The ILO will support Ukraine to develop and implement a national occupational safety and health programme based on the national profiling. The capacity of the tripartite constituents will also be enhanced to develop and effectively implement programmes on HIV/AIDS at selected workplaces. Finally, the labour inspection system will be strengthened and modernized with the ILO’s support.
The new Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) for 2012-2015 is in line with the key priorities of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for 2012-2016 and will contribute towards achievement of its goals. The new DWCP will also make an important contribution to the implementation of the Programme “Ukraine for People” and the Programme of Economic Reforms for 2010-2014 – Prosperous Society, Competitive Economy, Effective State; national development objectives based on the Millennium Development Goals.
The programme will be implemented during a four year period until 2015. The parties confirmed their commitment to cooperate in the programme’s implementation which will be regularly monitored.