Lahore:“Employers are Committed to Promote Socially Responsible Labour Practices Through Social Dialogue and Eliminate Child Labour Through Sustainable Efforts”. This was stated by Ismail Suttar, President Employers Federation of Pakistan in his presidential address at the tripartite plus meeting to promote social dialogue on socially responsible labour practices organized by Employers Federation of Pakistan in collaboration with International Labour Organization at Hotel Four Points by Sheraton, Lahore.
Zaigham Abbas, Director Labour, Lahore Division, Shahid from labour department, Ahmad Haseeb, Director EOBI, Ms. Tehmina Asad, Labour Economist, Fasihul Karim Siddiqi, advisor EFP and Syed Nazar Ali, director EFP board also addressed the event.
The participants actively took part in the dialogue and made presentations reflecting the perspective of employers and workers and governments on these important issues. Major (R)Abid Iftikhar from Ali Murtaza Associates, Arshad Mahmood from Labour Department, Ms. Fatima Farooq of PWF and Major Khawaja Javed Akhtar from Forward Group elaborated on the tripartite perspective.
Ismail Suttar, EFP president said that the global competitiveness reminds enterprises to adopt socially responsible labour practices and demands them to take concrete measures to sustain the efforts already made in the soccer ball industry and other sectors to eliminate child labour and forced labour. Suttar commented and added that the most important challenge was to replicate these efforts in the lower tiers of the supply chain.
Earlier, Zahoor Awan, General Secretary PWF in his remarks emphasized that compliance with national and international standards was a national necessity for the growth of industry and business in Pakistan. The joint efforts made by the employers and workers to eliminate child labour from the soccer ball industry is the result of intensive efforts of more than a decade. It was necessary now to take measures to sustain them and to strive hard to ensure that the lower tiers of the supply chain are also declared labour free.
Khawaja Javed Akhtar, MD, Forward Gear Sialkot in his keynote speech gave a bird’s eye view of the efforts made by soccer ball industry in Sialkot and particularly by Forward group in elimination of child labour and forced labour and steps taken to sustain these efforts. He said that the initiatives taken by the soccer ball industry can be replicated in the lower tiers of the supply chain.
Muzammil Habib Shaikh, Project Coordinator, ILO in his remarks explained the major initiatives taken in the MNED Project and said that ILO is committed to work with tripartite stakeholders to address the issues of child labour and forced labour on a sustainable basis.
He emphasized that the brands, multinational and national enterprises, employers and worker’s organizations and the government have to work together closely to continue the social dialogue and find long-term solutions which can sustain the positive results achieved in eliminating child labour.
A focused group discussion also took place in which the participants representing Employers, Workers and Government discussed measures to be taken by the sports goods industry to sustain their efforts in elimination of child labour besides discussing measures needed to replicate the successful efforts in the lower tiers of Supply Chain and other sectors and ways and means to promote social dialogues to achieve decent work at the work place.