The Elimination of Child Labour and Promotion of Decent Work in the Stora Enso Value Chain, with a Focus on Pakistan

In order to strengthen its global policy and efforts to promote decent work and progressively eliminate child labour in its value chain in Pakistan, Stora Enso (SE) entered a public-private partnership agreement with the ILO.

Child labour is a critically serious problem, with tremendous impacts on the children and the families and beyond on the national economy, security and national competitiveness. Recent global estimates show that of the 168 million child labourers worldwide, almost 78 million are in the Asia and Pacific region.

In Pakistan, recent estimates indicates that almost 2.5 million children aged 10 to 14 years are in employment (13 per cent of all children), and 33 per cent of the 15-17 years age group are employed. In the packaging and recycling sector in particular, children working in wheat straw collection face excessive hours, prolonged exposure to the sun, allergies, low levels of hygiene and work-related injuries such as back pain and abdominal problems, which pose serious problems to their health and future personal development.

The response

Stora Enso (SE) is a leading paper, biomaterials, wood products and packaging company with its head offices in Finland and Sweden, and with Bulleh Shah Packaging (BSP) as its joint venture and agricultural and recycling product supplier. To strengthen its global policy and efforts to promote decent work and progressively eliminate child labour in its value chain in Pakistan, SE entered a public-private partnership agreement with the ILO.

The agreement has global and local components. The global component will focus on aligning policy and practice with international labour standards and increasing the company’s knowledge of child labour and other labour rights. The local component aims to promote decent work and to combat child labour in the value chain of BSP, SE’s joint venture in Pakistan.


The following results are expected in the first stage of implementation:

At global level, in order to increase Stora Enso’s capacity to effectively align global policy and practice with relevant international labour standards, the ILO will first identify and review Stora Enso’s relevant internal policies. Then Stora Enso and the ILO will jointly determine whether further complementary research would be required. Should complementary research be deemed necessary, relevant documents to review would include all reference material aimed at guiding the actions of the social partners to eliminate child labour and forced labour. The ILO will then create and deliver a training programme for both management and workers’ representatives, drawing on the findings of the research and geared toward the strengthening and implementation of a robust management system that is aligned with fundamental international labour standards.

The ILO also proposes to establish a Joint tripartite ILO-SE-BSP Committee to review the strategy and implementation of the PPP. The Joint Tripartite Committee will meet once a year or as needed. It will examine emerging learning and opportunities from the PPP.

In order to increase Stora Enso’s knowledge base of the effect on the use of child labour and other FPRW violations of socio-economic and legislative context of countries in which it operates, two activities are proposed. The first is to conduct high-level desk reviews of selected countries and sub-sectors in which Stora Enso operates. The second activity is in-depth research into labour rights and socio-economic conditions in selected sub-sectors in the Stora Enso supply chain.

At local level, the first stage is the Situation Analysis and Orientation Phase

a. Baseline Study to identify decent work deficits in BSP Value Chain
A comprehensive study will be designed and implemented in consultation with the social partners to assess the decent work deficits in the entire value chain of BSP in Pakistan and to do a precise mapping of the value chain. ILO will provide technical support to design and carry out the study to help SE and BSP determine their respective responsibilities in line with the applicable ILO standards.

b. Orientation and sensitization of BSP Management on dividends of decent work
In parallel with the study, a series of orientation sessions would be prepared and implemented for all relevant management of BSP, and trainers of trainers, on the relation between decent work and increased productivity, sustainability of enterprises and enhanced reputation. These sessions would also enable ILO to receive feedback from BSP management and workers’ representatives on their perspective on supporting decent workplaces.

c. Pilot intervention
Drawing on the findings of the baseline study, ILO will implement pilot interventions in selected communities to support the progressive elimination of child labour. These interventions likely only reach a part of the communities in the SE and BSP supply chain affected by child labour and other decent work deficits. However, beginning direct action in selected communities will enable the project to test and develop models for evidence-based interventions that can then be replicated and improved. This will also be key for establishing alliances, particularly with local and national government, that will be critical to the success and sustainability of this and any future interventions.

d. Develop a proposal for a medium-term technical support programme
ILO technical specialists, in consultation with SE and BSP management and the social partners, will develop a technical cooperation project to support BSP in mainstreaming principles of decent work in its value chain. The design process, done in conjunction with the Joint Tripartite Committee, will take 2 months to complete and will spell out a clear roadmap for future interventions.


ILO is the UN agency with the mandate for the world of work. It has a tripartite structure and a strong technical expertise on the subjects of Child Labour, Labour Administration, Labour Inspection and other dimensions of Decent Work. The ILO also supports member States and its constituents in the application of international conventions. It has technical expertise at various levels which supports its interventions at country levels. The global knowledge base and experience of implementation in various countries gives it an edge in providing sound technical assistance to national counterparts.

ILO is the leading agency in Pakistan to bring together Government, Workers and Employers to one platform and provide technical advice and services to improve compliance with labour standards. The current proposed project would benefit from ILO’s long experience in establishing partnerships and implementing several sustainable projects to tackle child labour in supply chains in Pakistan.