DPM urges greater effort to support Lao workers

Labour officials from central to local levels have to redouble their efforts to strengthen the protection of workers’ rights and assist in upholding legal mechanisms that govern their status.

Dr Bounthong Chitmany.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Bounthong Chitmany gave the advice to labour officials during the sector’s recent meeting to review achievements in 2019 and discuss plans going forward. He said labour authorities would need to continue protecting the rights of all workers employed in development projects around the country and improve their living conditions.

The government had many labour policies to protect and promote the rights of migrant workers. It had also initiated a labour and social welfare programme running until 2025 to improve the skills of Lao workers to match market needs so they can be internationally competitive, he added.

The policy focuses on the protection of migrant workers’ rights and implementing a social protection policy which includes a social assistance system. All migrant workers have rights when it comes to negotiating their working conditions, and these DPM urges greater effort to support Lao workers rights can be upheld by strengthening the governing legal mechanisms.

Furthermore, workers had improved employment security with the social protection floor, and social dialogue in Laos was being strengthened by developing a labour force based on economic structure, promoting employment services and self-employment, strengthening workers’ protection, and enhancing industrial relations, Dr Bounthong said.

Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Dr Khampheng Saysompheng, said the ministry was working with development partners to strengthen labour management systems and protect and promote the rights of local workers according to government policies, so they could collectively bargain and obtain a fair share of benefits and provide a measure of security against risks to employment.