The Trade Union Co-financing Programme 2021 – 2030

In addition to FNV’s contribution and to financial support from several partnerships, Mondiaal FNV receives funds from the Trade Union Co-financing Programme (TUCP). This is a Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs programme, and its aim is to strengthen trade unions in low- and middle-income countries. At the moment, Mondiaal FNV is receiving TUCP support for the period from 2021 to 2030. Below is a brief overview of what we are doing with this.

Mondiaal FNV supports trade union partners in low- and middle-income countries, enabling them to take on their role as a social partner in negotiations and in dialogue with employers and governments, and to commit themselves to achieving decent conditions for workers, which include freedom, equity, security, dignity, and a fair and liveable income. In this way, we work on employment, fundamental rights for workers, social security, and social dialogue.

We have three thematic spearheads:

Social dialogue

Workers in many countries lack organised, structured dialogues with employers and the government. We help trade unions to establish and develop these dialogues at the central, regional, and local level.

Value chains

The rights of employees are increasingly determined by international chains and by multinationals. Together with others, Mondiaal FNV exerts pressure on these entities in order to improve rights and working conditions in the production chain.


Equal treatment and positions for women and LGBTI people can almost never be taken for granted. We help our partners stand up for equal rights and proportional representation, especially in sectors where many women work, including in the informal sector.

We focus on five specific sectors:


In low- and middle-income countries, construction is a large sector, employing many migrant workers. These workers have few rights.


Dutch companies active in the floriculture industry often have the flowers grown outside the Netherlands: in Africa for example. Women here in particular have low-paid, monotonous jobs, with little control over working conditions, working hours, health, and safety. We fight for, among other things, a decent living wage, safe and healthy working conditions, and better representation.

Fruit and vegetables

This is another sector in which many women are employed, and where they are often victims of sexual harassment. Labour migration and informal work are also common in this sector. We pursue the possibility of decent work being implemented here through establishing social dialogues and by influencing purchasing organisations and supermarket chains.

Palm oil

Palm oil often comes from large plantations where working conditions are poor, and trade union rights are frequently violated. In addition, forests are often destroyed through the illegal cutting down of trees, and land is grabbed in order to establish more plantations. We combat this by strengthening local trade unions and exerting pressure on the chain of production.


Dutch companies have seed-breeding facilities in low- and middle-income countries, and workers there are engaged in insecure, low-paid, and heavy work. We help to increase the extent to which farm workers and smallholder farmers are organised, and to encourage companies and industry associations to practise corporate social responsibility.

We employ five different strategies:

Alliance building

We encourage alliance building at the local, national, and international level. At the local level, for example, this results in a stronger position with regard to a company, while nationally this can mean better legislation. The ILO convention against violence and harassment in the workplace is a result of international alliance building.

Capacity strengthening and training

Standing up for your rights requires skills that are not always fully developed. By helping unions with this, through training for example, we enable them to have a stronger position at the negotiating table, which makes it possible for them to agree on, among other things, better working conditions. Good financial management and a strong organisation are also part of capacity building.

Lobbying, advocacy, and campaigning

Effective lobbying is not only of considerable importance in national and international value chains but also if you want to get something done at the level of your own government. Mondiaal FNV helps partners to become better at this, and also to identify lobbying opportunities and make relevant contacts. We also lobby and act as brokers for partners, both nationally and internationally.

Research and knowledge

Knowledge and expertise are a prerequisite in order to have a strong position in a social dialogue with employers, or when lobbying in the global value chain. Mondiaal FNV helps its partners with, among other things, research, training, expert meetings, and e-learning in order for them to deepen their knowledge.


In the current TUCP, there is an even greater emphasis on equal rights for women and LGBTI people. In each programme, we take equal rights for women and LGBTI people into consideration. For instance, partners are provided with a checklist of possible steps and goals. In addition, we have a separate gender programme that is geared to achieve even more results.

More reading

For a comprehensive summary of the Mondiaal FNV VMP programme: download the pdf

Read more about the programmes:

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