Provinces finalize Action Plans against Child Labour & Bonded Labour and agree to improve reporting on ILO Conventions
Islamabad (ILO News): All provincial labour departments agreed on action plans to revise labour legislations regarding child and bonded labour and subsequent actions. Moreover, the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Provincial Labour Departments have also agreed in action plans to improve reporting on ILO Conventions. These action plans are spread over three months to two years. The action plans also include steps to strength the capacity of labour inspection, awareness creation, and improved reporting for policy actions, and computerization of labour inspection system. This was agreed in a four day workshop organised by the International Labour Organization, and was partially funded by the Canadian International Development Agency, in a local hotel in Islamabad from May 29 to June 1, 2013. ILO’s senior technical experts for the ILO headquarters provided technical assistance in this workshop Representatives of provincial governments, Employers and Workers from four provinces in the workshop elaborated on various provincial labour laws including draft Prevention and Elimination of Child Labour (PEC A), bonded labour abolition act, provincial Industrial Relations Act and few other labour laws. Importantly, steps were agreed for the establishment of reporting units at federal and provincial level, for the submission of reports on ratified ILO conventions for ILO’s Supervisory Bodies. The workshop was facilitated by the International Labour Organization, and this initiative was a result of request for assistance to the ILO by federal and provincial governments of Pakistan in reviewing prioritized labour laws. The methodology adopted consists of completely interactive presentations by teams from provincial labour departments and Ministry of Human Resource Development. Extensive group work resulted in bringing out the ground realities and issues in implementation of laws in provincial contexts. During the inaugural session, Chief Guest, Mr Abdul Khaliq (Additional Secretary ‘In Charge’, Ministry of Human Resource Development) highlighted role of International Labour Organization for the industrial environment of Pakistan. He said that in context of 18th amendment, the enactment and enforcement of labour laws lies with provincial governments and federal government has the coordination role for reporting against Pakistan’s obligations including against the ratified ILO Conventions. He assured that the federal government will play its coordination role to make the reporting on labour standards even better without which the international community might never know the progress and challenges of implementation in Pakistani context. He specially highlighted the ministries close coordination with the employer’s and workers’ organisation to promote Decent Work in Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, Ms Margaret Reade Rounds, Officer in Charge, ILO office for Pakistan, appreciated high interest of tripartite partners and reassured that the International Labour Standards are at the heart of International Labour Organization as it assists workers, employers and governments in the application and implementation of standards. She informed that it is the Ministry of Human Resource Development, provincial departments of labour, employers and workers who have requested ILO for assistance in review of labour laws in Pakistan. Mr Khawaja Nouman, President, Employers Federation of Pakistan, thanked ILO for arranging participation from all provincial governments to interact with one another. Presenting the employers perspective he stressed on the importance of impartial and independent analysis in the reports by Government of Pakistan and on the need of communicating the contents to the social partners in line with Convention 144 (tripartite convention). Mr Zahoor Awan, General Secretary, Pakistan Workers Federation, commended ILO for arranging second phase of labour law review and consultation to improve reporting on ratified ILO conventions. He highlighted the importance of reporting on ILS in line with national legislation and stressed on implementation of the laws at the district level. The workshop concluded the clear and time bound action plans for each of the province on the child labour, bonded labour and to improve the reporting on the ratified ILO conventions.
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