An online discussion of international best practices for establishment of the institution of the Commissioner for Protection of Entrepreneurs’ Rights (Business Ombudsman) in Turkmenistan took place on Tuesday, May 4th.
The meeting was hosted by Safe Migration in Central Asia project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
In line with the government of Turkmenistan’s intention to strengthen the country’s private sector, the establishment of a business ombudsman institution is a positive step towards resolving labor disputes in the private sector in accordance with international human rights standards.
The current online forum entitled “Preventing Human Trafficking in the Business Sector” has raised the awareness of representatives of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Turkmenistan, the Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman in Turkmenistan and other state bodies on various issues related to protection of labor and human rights in the private sector.
The discussions were attended by the US Ambassador to Turkmenistan Matthew Klimow and Human Rights Ombudsman in Turkmenistan Yazdursun Gurbannazarova.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Klimow said: “We appreciate Turkmenistan’s work to achieve Sustainable Development Goal # 8 and its objectives: Promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.”
“Protection of people working for us is in our hands. They want a good job, where they are treated with respect, dignity and fairness”, the ambassador added, promising to follow the progress in this project, which affects thousands of people.
Participants in the webinar learned about best practices that successful companies apply in accordance with the principles of protecting human rights and recommendations of the National Institute for Human Rights.
Earlier, the issues of the business ombudsman’s activities and the best practices of models for the establishment of similar institutions in other countries were discussed by the staff of the Ombudsman of Turkmenistan with international experts and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
The establishment of an independent human rights body on business issues will contribute to the development of public institutions focused on protecting the rights and legitimate interests of entrepreneurs, strengthening the potential of the business community, formation and implementation of state policy in the relevant area.
The Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan unites more than 30 thousand business representatives operating in almost all sectors of the economy, of which 4,776 are women. In 2020, 1,504 entrepreneurs were admitted to membership, including 294 women, 2,205 jobs were created in the private sector.