The progress and prosperity of any nation depend upon the physical contribution of workers. The pace of development goes rapidly with remarkable achievements if the concerns of this driving force are addressed practically. Social dialogue on occupational health and safety is key to institutionalize labors’ agenda that eventually leads to the overall prosperity of both workers and the nation. Social dialogue has been introduced with the motive of providing social security and a better working environment for the workers. Social security is the protection given to the members who are mired in social and economic problems. The right to healthy, secured and decent life is one of the most fundamental human rights. This system protects the workers at a time when they are unable to make a living. Under the social security system, even the weakest member of the workforce has an opportunity for a decent livelihood and can feel financially secured.
The existing labor acts and regulations in Nepal have some provisions for social security for government employees; however, the informal economy workers are excluded from the formal system of social protection. Whereas the need for broad-based social protection is increasing day by day not only for wage laborers but also for the self-employed, the poor marginalized and socially excluded groups. With globalization and privatization gaining increasing prominence, social protection has become the need of the hour. To uplift the living standards of workers through social security provisions, long term planning and vision of a comprehensive social security system have become more important.
With the purpose of promoting trade union movement to ensure complete social security in Nepal, ITUC-NAC has been rigorously holding regular consultation and dialogue with stakeholders such as political parties, employers, government bodies, etc. Following the guidelines of ITUC-NAC, the major trade union confederations have been jointly demanding and pressing the government and the concerned parties for the ratification and implementation of the ILO conventions with effective social dialogue. The continuous initiation of social dialogue powered by the technical and financial support of LO/FTF Council has resulted in some visible changes in implementing basic schemes of social security in some sectors of both formal and informal economies. ITUC-NAC further plans to intensify right-based social dialogue in the coming days to establish a democratic market in Nepal.