Decent work

Stakeholders validate evaluation of ILO interventions to promote decent work for vulnerable segments of society

Participants in the validation event heard testimonials from stakeholders how the project has brought change in their lives.

Press release | Islamabad, Pakistan | 31 October 2023
During the stakeholders workshop in Pakistan. © ILO
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) convened a stakeholders workshop to validate the evaluation of the project “Promotion of Decent Work Opportunities for the Economic Empowerment of Vulnerable Segments of Society project”. The project has been implemented in Punjab, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces since 2019. Participants heard that the project has significantly improved the lives of vulnerable populations. One of its key achievements was the support provided for the development of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Social Protection Policy in 2022. This policy was designed to enhance the quality and adequacy of social protection coverage, ultimately fostering a more secure and equitable environment for vulnerable populations.

Hosted at the ILO in Islamabad, the event brought together representatives from the Government, employers’ and workers' organizations, and development partners.

Funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), the project played a pivotal role in enabling the registration of the first-ever trade union in Balochistan’s brick kiln sector, empowering workers by establishing a vital platform for collective bargaining to address labour-related concerns.

Through the project, the ILO has been able to actively support the Government of Pakistan’s commitment to environmental conservation and reduced carbon emissions. The adoption of the so-called zig-zag technique not only improved occupational safety and health for brick kiln workers but also, notably, enhanced their productivity.

“ILO is thankful to the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation for their generous support and also recognizes the dedication of constituents and partners in promoting the cause of decent work,” said Geir Tonstol, Director of ILO’s Country Office for Pakistan.

He further said that this project has seen a remarkable journey, advocating for decent work opportunities, especially within the challenging sector of brick kilns, which is home to some of the most vulnerable segments of our society. “The project addressed rampant decent work deficits by promoting social protection, environmental sustainability, and crucially, by engaging with public entities to enhance dialogue on issues of investment, skills, and job creation,” he added.

Francesco Zatta, Country Director of AICS, welcomed the contribution of the more environmentally friendly technology promoted in brick kilns. “AICS strongly supports Pakistan in ensuring environmental protection and mitigating the effects of climate change. The project’s component of providing an effective one-window operation for social protection is also praiseworthy, especially in documenting workers and their family members and allowing them to benefit from social protection schemes,” he added.

Speaking at the occasion, Azhar Iqbal Malik, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development noted that the Ministry was committed to promoting decent work and economic empowerment as a means to enhancing the well-being and livelihoods of vulnerable segments of society. “We understand that when people have access to quality jobs, they not only experience improved living standards but also enjoy enhanced dignity and self-respect,” he added.

Group photo from the stakeholders workshop in Pakistan. © ILO

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