SGRA Project in Laos (April)

Group photo of participants in the 1st Enlarged Working Committee meeting

JILAF visited Vientiane from April 21 (Sunday) to 24 (Wednesday) on the occasion of the fiscal 2019 start in Laos of the SGRA project (Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network), which JILAF is implementing with grants from the Japanese government (Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare). Discussions focused on annual plans and specific activities based on the fiscal 2018 project policy.

In Laos, the SGRA project is being conducted in various regions by the Central Promotion Committee (PC), the main policymaking body consisting of representatives of the government, labour, and management in Laos (the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Lao Federation of Trade Unions [LFTU], and Lao Chamber of Commerce and Industry), as well as the International Labour Organization (ILO), and, as bodies promoting activities on the ground, the Metropolitan Working Committee, Southern Working Committee, Southernmost Working Committee, and Northern Working Committee.

At the first meetings in fiscal 2019 of the Central Promotion Committee and Enlarged Working Committee, held during JILAF’s visit, the participants looked back on the achievements of the project and issues in fiscal 2018 and carried out intensive consideration and discussions of annual plans and specific activities based on the project policy confirmed at the 3rd Central Promotion Committee meeting, the final one of fiscal 2018, held on January 29, 2019. Specific activities and other matters were confirmed toward further development of the project in fiscal 2019. In the current fiscal year, efforts in Laos will focus on (1) the implementation of activities to improve and uplift the livelihood of informal-sector workers in Vientiane, Savannakhet, Champasak, and Oudomxay; (2) a follow-up of existing network members (including the understanding of outcome results); and (3) activities by each regional committee to disseminate know-how in neighboring provinces.

Furthermore, during the Enlarged Working Committee meeting, the participants split up by region to compile action plans for the current fiscal year, which they then announced to the whole meeting, with JILAF offering pertinent comments on them.

Aside from these meetings, in the morning of April 22 the JILAF delegation inspected a workplace of tuk-tuk drivers (three-wheeled motorbike taxis), who are network members in Vientiane, and conducted a questionnaire survey to gauge their present situation. One network member commented that because their income was unstable, they wanted to take park in the current activities to improve their vocational skills, such as repair work and English-language education.

Schedule

DateContents
04/22MonInspection of network members’ workplace; 1st Central Promotion Committee meeting
04/23Tue1st Enlarged Working Committee meeting

Photos of Participants

Scene of the 1st Central Promotion Committee meeting

Opening ceremony of the 1st Enlarged Working Committee meeting

Participants look back on fiscal 2018 at the1st EWC meeting.

Explanation of fiscal 2019 policy at the 1st EWC meeting

Compilation of action plans at the 1st EWC meeting

Presentation of an action plan at the 1st EWC meeting

Presentation of an action plan at the 1st EWC meeting

Interviews

Group photo of tuk-tuk drivers