LISA launched for better Labour Management


United States Ambassador Michele J. Sison speaks during launch of LISA while Donglin Li, Country Director for ILO in Sri Lanka and the Maldives and Pearl Weerasinghe, Commissioner General of Labour, looks on.

by Maheen Senanayake

Coined LISA, the Labour Inspection System Application, was launched at a ceremony held at the Cinnamon lakeside in the presence of distinguished guests in Colombo last Friday.

Speaking to the Sunday Island "This is the future", said, Gamini Lokuge, Minister of Labour and Labour Relations, chief guest at the ceremony. adding "We now can plan our activities better. All matters including cases for the day are available online and accessible to both the Department of Labour and the Ministry. So we know in advance what the case is, who the case officer is and have all other relevant information at hand."

A US funded project, LISA benefitted from United States Ambassador Michele J. Sison’s announcement of a $1.4 million grant on April 5 to launch a Labour Rights System in Sri Lanka. Partnering with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Labour and Labour Relations, this grant will establish an Integrated Labour Administration System, which will automate and improve labour case management by linking the Sri Lankan Department of Labour and Labour Commissioner’s Office to the Regional Labor Inspectors.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Ambassador Sison said, "The U.S. government supports these efforts because it is clear that respecting the rights of workers leads to positive, long-term economic success." Ambassador Sison added, "In the United States, we have a deep-seated belief that labour rights are human rights."

Several international organizations have been advocating the importance of Labour administration and labour inspection is an important and intrinsic component of the government’s economic and social initiatives. This was very much in line with the 2008 ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization which reaffirmed the need to "strengthen the ILO’s capacity to assist its Members’ efforts to reach the ILO objectives in the context of globalization and of promoting social dialogue and tripartism as the most appropriate methods for (among others) ... making labour law and institutions effective, including in respect of the recognition of the employment relationship, the promotion of good industrial relations and the building of effective labour inspection systems."

Mr. Donglin Li, Country Director for ILO in Sri Lanka and the Maldives was also among the guests that also included Commissioner General of Labour, Mrs. Pearl Weerasinghe.

Mr Wasantha Deshapriya , Director ICTA welcoming the guests said "LISA will further make the government’s efforts to increase efficiency a reality."

The U.S. Department of Labour, through its Bureau of International Labour Affairs, provides grants around the world to ensure that all workers are treated fairly and are able to share in the benefits of the global economy. In Sri Lanka, the labour inspection system is part of a larger project that aims to build stronger employee and employer organizations, review and amend labour laws to comply with international standards, improve the institutions and processes for better labour-management relations, and improve the ability of the government-employer-employee relationship to resolve and prevent labour disputes. The project is being implemented by the ILO, in partnership with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Labour and Labour Relations and Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka.

International Standards for Labour Inspection have existed for many years. These include the Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81) and the Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969 (No. 129). Other Conventions include provisions on Labour Inspection such as the Convention concerning Occupational Safety and Health and the Working Environment, 1981 (No. 155), the Convention concerning the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health, 2006 (No. 187) and the Convention concerning the Inspection of Seafarers’ Working and Living Conditions, 1996 (No. 178) which recognizes the need for Labour Inspection for Mariners.

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