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ILO launches plan to promote workers safety in Pakistan
Oct '13
In response to the Baldia Town Factory Fire in Karachi, Department of Labour, Government of Sindh, Employers Federation of Pakistan (EFP) and Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF) with the technical support of ILO, validated and officially launched a Joint Action Plan to promote workplace safety and health in Karachi.

The JAP is framed around three main areas of intervention; (i) Occupational Safety and Health - Legislation and OSH issues (ii) Labour Inspection - Role of Labour Inspection to promote safe work and (iii) Work Injury Insurance Scheme – Existing Social Protection Practices.

The JAP also clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders. It was put together by a Joint Action Plan Working Group with representation from ILO’s constituents including Government, Employers, Workers Organizations and other stakeholders including buyer community, donors, civil society and media.

Country Director ILO, Mr Francesco d’ Ovidio in his statement said that there is an urgent need for a joint high level steering committee to come together and develop an operational framework to implement the joint action plan. Human and Financial resources must be allocated to ensure that the implementation is effective and results oriented.

While narrating his tragic story of becoming a victim of the inferno, Zohaib shared that the skills training that he has been a part of is a unique experience in which he was sensitized on workers’ rights, equality, decent work and how maintaining OSH and adhering to standard operating procedures of OSH increases workers performance and productivity.

After the psycho-social trauma Zohaib and his family faced, Zohaib decided to put a bold face to his problem and joined the training course run by ILO at Pakistan Ready Made Garments Technical Training Institute (PRGTTI) on Quality Control and Assurance.

After 3 months of training, Zohaib got an alternate employment and is being paid a decent income in which he is now looking after the house and at the same time pursuing his graduation. Zohaib says he wants to be a ray of hope for all such youth who is disenfranchised and has no counseling.

The Sindh Labour Department will develop an OSH Policy to clearly define parameters of safe and healthy workplaces told Mr Wasim Ahmed Ursani, Secretary, Sindh Labour Department. It is important to ensure a clear course of action on OSH in which roles are clearly distributed and responsibilities he added. He took a stern stance on implementation of labour laws and assured full implementation of the Joint Action Plan with letter and spirit.

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