ILO to convene session on Wednesday on Pakistan’s request Invites PM Khan to address on post-coronavirus scenario for workers

July 5, 2020

ISLAMABAD, : International Labour Organization (ILO) has agreed to Pakistan’s request to convene a special session of its member states on July 8 to evolve strategy for well-being of labourers in the post-coronavirus scenario and invited Prime Minister Imran Khan to address on this occasion. The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OP&HRD) said this on Sunday in a statement. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on OP&HRD Sayed Zulfikar Abbbas Bukhari forwarded the request to the ILO on the occasion of World Labour Day for holding a session of its member states on urgent basis to discuss impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on labourers and workers across the world. “The Prime Minister has accepted the ILO request and will deliver a keynote address at the international forum on July 8,” the OP&HRD ministry said. The government, at the forum, would underline the need for taking immediate steps for workers and labourers, it said. The member states would launch discussion on new action plan for the workforce and labourers. In a letter, forwarded to ILO Director General Guy Ryder, the SAPM highlighted the issues faced by the workers in Pakistan and across the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic. He called for initiating a global dialogue to develop a way forward which could help minimize impact of the global pandemic on the labour class. Highlighting the issues of Pakistan in the midst of coronavirus, he said it was not his country alone where the coronavirus posed a great challenge to the labourers. All the developing economies in the region and world faced the similar challenges, he added. He said: “This is an emergency situation for governments around the world, and on the occasion of Labour Day 2020, it is most important that there is start of a global dialogue leading to a global recovery.” “To enable a strategic dialogue to discuss ‘The Future of Work in a Post-COVID World’ for all workers, especially those in the developing world, I urge you to call a special virtual session with representation from all ILO member countries, agencies, enterprises, organisations, groups/individuals to establish a way forward in a world emerging from a global crisis,” he maintained. The SAPM also informed the director general about the major concerns of his ministry regarding the Pakistani labourers. He pointed out that a quarter of population in Pakistan lived below the poverty line and another portion of the society was prone to fell into the extreme poverty due to the virus impacts on economy. “This alone leads us far behind from achieving the ILO 2030 agenda,” he warned.

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