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ILO-Dutch plan to boost labour standard compliance in Pak
09
Jul '15
Courtesy: Netherlands Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan
Courtesy: Netherlands Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan
The Netherlands has signed a three-year agreement with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to support the government of Pakistan in strengthening the country's labour inspections.

This unique partnership aims to support the Pakistani government, workers and employers organizations in developing measures to revitalise the country’s labour Inspection machinery. Such improvements are imperative to keep Pakistan’s textile sector attractive internationally, especially given the advantageous trade conditions offered to Pakistan under Generalised System of Preferences or GSP Plus.

At a press briefing on the project in Islamabad, acting Dutch ambassador Renate Pors said, “I am encouraged to see that the Pakistani authorities are conscious about what is at stake for the economy, for employment and for the rights of its citizens.

The Netherlands is contributing its share through this programme. And as a friend of Pakistan, we ask the Pakistani government, both federal and provincial, to assume its responsibilities, too.”

Ministry of overseas Pakistanis and HRD federal secretary Sikandar Ismail Khan highlighted that “labour inspection is one of the core functions of labour administration system and a key element for enduring the implementation of labour policies, providing feedback and allowing for readjustment of these policies as necessary,” according to media reports.

The ILO said on its website that the new project can be seen as an important component of its overall efforts to support the Pakistani government in their compliance with international labour standards.

Labour inspection is a critical factor in the growth of sustainable enterprises in Pakistan, particularly in the context of the ‘GSP Plus’ status, making Pakistani products have duty free access to the European market, which came into force in January 2014.

Although Pakistan ratified the Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No. 81) in 1953, there has been a strong call among stakeholders to strengthen the effectiveness of labour inspection. There is also a need to ensure the enforcement of legal provisions in the context of the delegation of legislative powers to provinces and jurisdiction in labour-related matters, which has also been expressed by the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) .

The ILO said that following the disastrous 2012 factory fire in Ali Enterprises in Karachi , where 260 women and men lost their lives and more than 1,000 workers lost their jobs, effective labour inspection that looks at occupational safety and health (OSH) in Pakistan is needed. But the ILO acknowledged that the tragedy saw the government, workers and employers come together in the development of the Joint Action Plan on OSH for the Sindh province, which has been implemented since 2013. The government of Pakistan now aims to refine this action plan and replicate it in other provinces. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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