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‘Better Work Program’ to Help Improve Pak Compliance to Labour Welfare: ILO

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FAISALABAD– Country Director International Labour Organization Ingrid Christensen has said ‘Better Work Program’ (BWP) will help improve Pakistan’s compliance and exhibit its commitment to improve labour welfare.

Enlightening the core aspects of Better Work Program during a consultative session at Pakistan Textile Exporters Association on Thursday, she said that BWP is successfully running by ILO and IFC in 8 countries benefiting 2.5 million workforce as 1700 factories & 150 international brands are linked with this program. 

This program includes a comprehensive framework on improving industrial relations through training and compliance with International labour standards including occupational safety and health, nature of employment, discrimination and other forms of labour practices as well as strengthening employers’ and workers’ organizations in textile industry, she said.

Emphasizing the importance of ratifying and implementing International Labour Standards for the business community, she elaborated the situation of working conditions in terms of employment, child labour, informality of work and wages.

Addressing the session, Joint Secretary Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development Atika Riffat highlighted the recent interventions carried out by Federal and Provincial Governments to improve working conditions in the country and elaborated various ILO Conventions which are ratified.

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She identified a number of avenues where the Textile Industries in Pakistan in collaboration with ILO, can bring improvements in the work practices thus enabling more exports to Europe.

Earlier, Group Leader Pakistan Textile Exporters Association Khurram Mukhtar appreciated the concerted efforts of the Government to pave the way for enhanced sourcing of Pakistani products by leading international buyers by initiating ILO’s Better Work Program in Pakistan.

Foreign trade has a lot of attached responsibilities as the international buyers are increasingly getting sensitive about ethical sourcing and international compliance.

BWP should be aimed to improve working conditions in textile industry and make the sector more competitive by enabling collaboration between Government, global brands, factory owners and workers.

PTEA Chairman Sohail Pasha said that Pakistani textile Industry has seen some setbacks in its international exports due to lack of compliance with International Labour Standards which includes the withdrawal of Walt Disney Corporation from Pakistan as it dropped Pakistan from its list of ‘Permitted Sourcing Countries’  and stopped sourcing on account of low WGI ranking.

This elimination lead a sizable business loss and put adverse implication on textile exports as an estimated direct loss of export orders was 150 to 200 million dollars per year; whereas  job loss was approximately over 25,000 persons.

Vice Chairman PTEA Haris Yousaf extended full support for success of BWP in Pakistan.– PRESS RELEASE