Pak to improve labour life in textile supply chains

27 Feb '16
4 min read

The Pakistan Buyers Forum has agreed to collectively work towards improving working conditions in the factories that they work with and influence their supply chains through policy and advocacy and enterprise improvement programmes to promote sector the textile sector's growth through better compliance initiatives, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said in a press release.

The forum reached the agreement at its fifth meeting convened International Finance Corporation (IFC), Netherlands Embassy and the ILO in Lahore.

Policy dialogue on better labour governance, compliance with national labour laws and international labour standards, advisory and training services to improve working conditions for workers in the Pakistani Textile Value Chain were prioritised by the forum as key activities to be implemented in future years.

Representing the conveners of the Pakistan Buyers Forum, Rick Slettenhaar of the Netherlands Embassy complimented the participants on the progress made. He urged the Forum to focus on increasing its footprint in 2016 to attain concrete results, and he expressed the commitment of the conveners to partner with the working groups as part of this effort, the release said.

Key features of the event included a way forward presented by the Buyers for 2016 and a detailed discussion on the three working groups constituted to support policy advocacy and outreach, enterprise improvement and communications. The Communication group also shared progress made in giving shape to the forum's website, developed in collaboration with Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH). The website is planned to be made operational by end of March.

During a briefing session with the Government, diplomatic development partners and other international agencies, Ms Romina Kochius, representing GIZ (German Development Agency), delivered a presentation on the key outcomes of the project on the Implementation of Social Standards in Textile Sector in Punjab. She shared that the success of the project is in the social dialogue approach through which the workers and employers jointly work towards issues of workplace compliance which has ultimately reduced industrial conflicts and increased overall efficiency and productivity.

Caroline Bates, representing Labour standards in global supply chains: A programme for action in Asia and the garment sector, briefed the participants about the Garment Sector Stakeholders Forum (GSSF) jointly facilitated by the ILO and GIZ. She explained that the GSSF provides a platform to stakeholders to generate debate on issues prevailing in the sector including legislative and institutional reforms, enforcement and implementation mechanisms and recommendations to address them.

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