With an aim to improve the application of labour laws in Pakistan and ensure stability of the country’s exports to the global market, the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has designed an ILO-ILS Textile programme.
According to PTEA Chairman and Vice Chairman Sheikh Ilyas Mahmood, the programme has been set up in a way to further the agenda of ILO in Pakistan. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed between the two bodies this month.
The primary purpose is to improve adherence to national laws and international labour standards in Pakistani textile factories and develop buyers’ confidence that standards in these factories are being publicly under watch.
In addition, an effective coordination mechanism between textile industries, related workers’ organisations and labour departments on ILS compliance and reporting can be established through this programme.
However, maintaining this GSP-Plus status, which Pakistan was granted at the start of this year, depends on how well the government implements and reports on the country’s application of 27 UN Conventions including eight ILO fundamental conventions.
Pakistan has approved 34 ILO Conventions (out of 189) including all eight fundamental conventions on Forced and Child Labour, Discrimination and Freedom of Association but in recent past, the textile industry has seen some hindrance in its international exports due to lack of compliance with labour laws.
As the global image of Pakistan in terms of labour law compliance is not positive, it hurts the confidence of international buyers. The government has taken up working on this programme to improve its textile industries’ competitiveness in the global market.
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