Aug 11

Past Event

GSP Plus and its Implications for Pakistan

August 11, 2015

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM



Background Note:

Pakistan was awarded GSP plus status in 2014. Pakistan’s textile industry can earn profits of more than One trillion Rupees, per year. The duty-free privileges could attract many local and foreign investors to Pakistan. But the GSP+ necessitates addressing and implementing of 27 UN Conventions, including: the issues of governance and labor laws/ rights, gender rights and equality, protection of the environment, human rights, and climate change. Majority of these conventions relates to a large number of workers in informal sector, and particularly women workers that comprise more than half of the labor force of this sector. However, the existing set of labor laws in Pakistan applicable to the workers in the formal economy almost ignores majority of informal men and women workers in the country. The labor laws of Pakistan, such as; Payment of Wages Act, 1936,West Pakistan Shops and Establishment Act, 1969, Industrial Relations Ordinance, 1969 and Maternity Benefits Ordinance and Employers Old Age Benefit Act, 1973 also do not provide any protection to informal workers.

The women workers of informal sector, despite the ILO Convention 177 on Home Work (1996), UN convention CEDAW, the Kathmandu Declaration (2000) , SAARC Charter of Demands and various other agreements, remain unidentified, invisible, unrecognized, discriminated, voiceless and denied their rights as workers. A promising legislation the Women Empowerment Package 2012 included the women workers of informal sector of economy and a Policy for them was put to table for legislation but has yet to become the law.

The Legislation on the National Policy for home-based workers could strengthen the implementation on the 27 UN Conventions, a pre-condition of continuation of GSP plus. In this regard, the EU has devised a monitoring mechanism and it is expected of the beneficiary countries to fully cooperate in providing information, whereby the EU would gauge the satisfactory implementation of these Conventions, failing which, the country could face withdrawal of GSP Plus status. How to avoid such an eventuality?

This roundtable will deliberate to seek ways to make Government of the Pakistan deliver on its promises on 27 UN Conventions. It will also discuss various measures taken by various public authorities in the country to achieve the purposes of GSP+.

For More Information

Venue: Rt. Rev. Alexander John Malik Public Policy Seminar room E-002
RSVP: Rhymer Roy,