Launch of Pakistan’s Decent Work Country Program (DWCP, 2016-2020) and signing on project on International Labour and Environment Standards (ILES) funded by EU

On the occasion of the launch of Pakistan’s Decent Work Country Program (DWCP, 2016-2020) and signing of project on International Labour and Environment Standards (ILES) funded by EU

Press release | Islamabad, Pakistan | 22 September 2016
ISLAMABAD (ILO News): Ms Tomoko Nishimoto, ILO’s Assistant Director-General and Regional Director of for Asia and the Pacific launched the Pakistan’s third Decent Work Country Program (DWCP-III for 2016-2020). The DWCP is an expression of the joint aspirations of ILO's tripartite constituents in Pakistan i.e. the Government of Pakistan, employers’ and workers' organizations and covers a 5-year period i.e. 2016-2020. It is aligned to the country’s Vision 2025, National economic policies, provincial development plans, the One UN Programme as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The DWCP-III has the following four priorities:
  • Promoting decent work in rural economies
  • Promoting job creation for youth and vulnerable groups
  • Promoting compliance with International Labour Standards through social dialogue
  • Social protection extended
Pakistan’s DWCP was developed through a consultative process that included a wide range of stakeholders i.e. various Ministries and Provincial Departments as well as academia, media . It seeks to make progressive changes in the world of work through the implementation of normative actions.

At the same occasion, ILO and EU signed on a 6-year project “International Labour and Environment Standards (ILES) in Pakistan” implementation agreement. This €11.6 million project is expected to be implemented by ILO and WWF to promote the enforcement, implementation and compliance with Labour & Environmental Standards by public and private sector institutions and organisations in Pakistan. The programme objectives are two fold, i.e.,:
  1. to assist public sector institutions (Federal and provincial) to improve the enforcement of existing legislation and compliance with ILES in Pakistan, as well as define new laws where necessary and
  2. to assist the textile and leather sectors’ small and medium enterprises to institutionalise the implementation ILES legislation through their active engagement.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms Ingrid Christensen, Country Director, ILO CO for Pakistan appreciated the joint efforts of the tripartite constituents in the preparation of DWCP-III and expressed ILO’s commitment to support the country in implementation of this Programme. She also thanked European Union for their generous support towards the promotion of compliance with Labour Standards in Pakistan.

H.E. Mr Jean-Francois Cautain, Ambassador of the European Union said that in Pakistan, the EU has worked with ILO in different projects. Is currently working on a GSP+ monitoring and reporting project and with the signature of ILES it will support International Labour and Environmental Standards (ILES) to promote the enforcement, implementation and compliance by public and private sector institutions and organizations with international labour and environmental standards.

Representative from the Government of Pakistan, Ms Atifa Raffat, Joint Secretary for Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development, stated that the Government of Pakistan realizes the importance of promoting Decent Work in the country and all out efforts are being made to ensure compliance with all ILO Conventions ratified by Pakistan.

Mr Zahoor Awan representing Pakistan Workers’ Federation, emphasized on deepening the social dialogue at the existing Federal and Provincial levels and reaching out to the workers through organized platforms for better awareness and affirmative actions. He reiterated that in workplaces where ‘Trade Unions’ exist, the working conditions are far better than the ones having no trade unions.

In a statement delivered by Mr Khwaja Muhammad Nauman on behalf of the Employers Organizations, welcomed the Decent Work Country Programme and assured full support from Employers in its implementation.

Chief Guest of the occasion Ms Tomoko Nishimoto, Assistant Director General/Regional Director for Asia & the Pacific reaffirmed ILO’s commitment to support the tripartite constituents efforts in addressing decent work deficits” and work closely with partners in development. She reiterated the alignment of Decent Work Country Programme with the global Agenda-2030 (Sustainable Development Goals) and emphasized on translating global goals into national priorities through national planning and implementation system. The also highlighted the principle of leaving no one behind.

The priorities of Pakistan’s third DWCP pave the way for the realisation of “decent work” as provided for under articles 25 and 27 of the Constitution of Pakistan which promotes equality at work. The DWCP also seeks to promote the design of carefully designed employment and income policies that are gender responsive, ensure social inclusion, improve existing working conditions, support quality job creation and ensure the provision of a social protection floor.