The ILO and the Government of Pakistan have signed the MoU for the implementation of the ILO-IFC flagship programme, Better Work. The signing ceremony was presided over by Adviser to the Prime Minister on OPHRD, Mr. Muhammad Ayub Afridi.
“We hope that launching Better Work Pakistan will pave the way for enhanced sourcing of Pakistan’s products, particularly textiles by leading buying houses in the world, and the programme will also help leverage existing trade preferential schemes such as EU’s GSP Plus and US GSP,” said Mr. Ayub Afridi.
Funding has been provided by the Government of Pakistan, the European Union and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The programme’s goal is to improve working conditions and business competitiveness in apparel supply chains, to ensure inclusive and sustainable development in Pakistan. In doing so, efforts will be employed to strengthen the regulatory frameworks to facilitate sound and productive labour relations, including through alignment of the provincial and national labour laws with ILO Conventions, particularly the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and capacity building of social partners, who are pivotal for effective implementation of a Better Work Programme.
“Integrating Pakistan with a compliant and sustainable global value chain is one of the major targets of the present Government,” said Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor to the PM on Commerce and Investment. “By supporting Better Work, the Government has provided the foundation to help Pakistan’s garment and textile industry to improve management and reporting of social compliance as per international standards. I would like to motivate the export industry of Pakistan to utilize the technical assistance provided by ILO for creating improved social environment in their factories and establish sustainable trade linkages with international brands.”
In addition to Better Work’s factory-facing interventions, the stakeholders have agreed to focus on areas including improving the enabling environment for freedom of association and collective bargaining, improving dispute resolution mechanisms, and building capacity of constituents with the aim of promoting more inclusive social dialogue.