Awareness raising seminars on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (FPRW) for cotton growing communities in Mirpur Khas

Under the ILO-INDITEX PPP, two community level awareness raising seminars benefited 153 participants (cotton growing communities and local key stakeholders) to strengthen their understanding onFundamental Principles and Rights at Work (FPRW) and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in the cotton supply chain.

Press release | Mirpur Khas, Sindh Province, Pakistan | 23 September 2019
MIRPUR KHAS (ILO News): The ILO Project on “Promoting Fundamental Principles & Rights at Work (FPRW) in the Cotton Supply Chain”, funded by INDITEX, organized two awareness raising seminars on the FPRW in Mirpur Khas on 17-18 September 2019.

The participants (65 female and 88 male) representing cotton farm workers and their children, Department of Labour (DoL) - Sindh, small landlords and their association, Employers’ Federation of Pakistan(EFP) and local civil society were sensitized on the FPRW. Mr Usman Aslam, Sustainability Manager, INDITEX, also attended both the seminars.

Mr Syed Ali Ashraf Naqvi, Joint Director-Department of Labour (DoL) Sindh, Mr Muhammad Zubair, Assistant Director Mirpur Khas, Mr Satram Das Additional, Director Agriculture Extension, Dr. Dildar Loghari, President, Hari Association Sindh, representative from EFP Mr Moula Buksh, President-Small Land Lord Association, the ILO and national experts interacted with the participants to raise awareness and improve understanding of the FPRW.

To enhance inclusive and pro-active participation and with due respect to cultural sensitivity, the sessions for men and women were organized separately. Furthermore, visual aids (pictures, animation) were used to enhance the learning process. The seminars were conducted bilingually using Urdu and Sindhi.

The participants were fully sensitized and informed about their constitutional and legislative rights on and remedies available within the national laws and relevant regulating institutions related to child labour, forced labour, discrimination, freedom of association, collective bargaining and occupational safety & health. Also, information about existing channels to secure legal, social and economic support were discussed. The participants were also briefed about the ILO, its mandate and tripartism.

The participants raised a number of social, economic and cultural challenges that they face including bonded labor, child labor, child education, unemployment, low wages, holidays, overtime, termination, discrimination and poverty and discussed possible solutions.

In response to the requests for support to register the union and cooperatives of venerable group of cotton pickers/workers, the DoL Sindh and the EFP representatives offered their full cooperation and assistance. Additionally, the DoL assured support for accessing the existing social protection floor.

During the seminars, a social dialogue amongst partners on FPRW was also arranged. At the end, the participants expressed their commitment to share the learnings of this seminar with their families, relatives and neighboring communities.