Social dialogue achievements from the Nepal ICT sector
The UNI Asia and Pacific Organisation is delighted to highlight the recent achievements reported by UNI affiliate, the UNITES Nepal.
The UNITES Nepal, together with the UNI Nepal Liaison Council's support and UNI Apro Regional Secretary Rajendra Kumar Acharya as the chief guest, successfully held a social dialogue forum on 16 December 2021; with the theme of "Improving Employment Situation in pandemic: Together we can."
Key attendees were the employers and workers from the ICT sector, the Ministry of Information, Communication & Technologies (MOICT) Nepal, ICTS experts, representatives from the other national trade union federations.
The discussions extensively covered concerns over the employment situation faced by the sector during the pandemic. Topics included enhancing the employment and social security of ICT workers through the appropriate development of relevant laws; improving the use of technology and its acceptability by people in the field of health and insurance; and more broadly on the development of a digital framework that can address economic, social and environmental concerns.
The forum is justifiably a success. All the participants agreed that the event brought together all relevant stakeholders to discuss prevailing issues of mutual concern. The government representative agreed to take back the forum outcome for consideration when drafting ICTS policies.
According to Khushal Regmi, President of UNITES Nepal, the successful event is a testament to the persevering efforts of his team, which remained highly committed to improving the working conditions in the ICT sector despite the pandemic posing all sorts of challenges.
Over the two years, instead of big meetings and forums, they adapted to the situation by holding frequent small talks and discussions with target dialogue partners.
These continuous efforts paid off when the Federation of Computers Association Nepal (CAN Federation) became convinced of the merits of developing deeper relations with UNITES Nepal and signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 19 August 2021.
The MOU committed both parties to cooperate through joint activities to address gender-based violence at the workplace in line with the new ILO Convention 190 and all forms of harassment, including cyber and sexual harassment.
The UNI Apro Regional Secretary Rajendra Acharya and the UNI Apro ICTS Director, Kun Wardana, congratulated UNITES Nepal for their achievements. They said, "Social dialogue is a key driver to develop good labour management relations leading to improved working conditions, and achieving good results from social dialogue often takes time and patience. The efforts of UNITES Nepal hearten us, and we look forward to the fruits of their work in the coming year."