International labour standards

New report evaluates Pakistan’s compliance with GSP+ labour standards obligations

The report charts progress, identifies gaps in compliance indicators and provides practical recommendations for improvement.

Press release | Islamabad, Pakistan | 29 September 2023
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (ILO News) – A national report on the General Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) and compliance with fundamental labour standards was launched today by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (MOPHRD) with support from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the European Union (EU).

The launch of the report was followed by tripartite discussion with representatives of government, employers’ and workers’ organizations on progress made on compliance with GSP+ conditionalities related to labour standards, key challenges and the way forward.

The event was organized under the umbrella of ILO’s International Labour and Environmental Standards Application in Pakistan’s Small and Medium Enterprises Project, funded by the European Union Delegation to Pakistan.

The report serves as a tool to identify compliance gaps and offer recommendations for policy, administrative, and institutional reforms to create a strong enabling environment in Pakistan. This environment can broaden market access and unlock Pakistan’s economic potential through diversification.

Speaking at the occasion, Jawad Sohrab Malik, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Labour and Human Resource Development said, “While we acknowledge the challenges on our path, we are resolute in our commitment to overcoming them. Pakistan is on a journey to becoming an ethical and responsive global partner, and the GSP+ scheme is a critical part of that journey to which we remain fully committed.”

“Pakistan has indeed made noteworthy efforts to meet GSP+ obligations and it is imperative that all stakeholders join forces to ensure the successful implementation of the required reforms. This is essential for translating policy commitments into tangible results,” said Geir Tonstol, Country Director for ILO in Pakistan.

Tonstol stated that the ILO, through its Decent Work Country Programme for Pakistan, remains committed to providing technical assistance to the Government in undertaking the required reforms to meet GSP+ conditionalities.

Dr Stephen Langrell, Head of Rural Development and Economic Cooperation at the EU delegation to Pakistan said, “Pakistan has come a long way with regards to GSP+ and its obligations to implement the various 27 international conventions, however, inspection and monitoring remain important components to ensure such compliance and continued momentum now, and into the future.”

The GSP+ is a special incentive arrangement made available by the European Union for sustainable development and good governance that supports vulnerable developing countries. Countries granted GSP+ status must ratify and comply with 27 international conventions on human rights, labour rights, environmental protection and climate change, and good governance. Pakistan has ratified core international conventions on human rights, labour standards, environmental protection, and good governance. This has enabled Pakistan to export goods to the European Union while benefiting from reduced or zero import duties.


For further information please contact:

Muhammad Numan
Communication Officer
ILO Country Office for Pakistan
Mobile: +92 303 5000041