Eliminating child labour and forced labour in the cotton, textile and garment value chains: an integrated approach

The project seeks to promote enhanced legislation and policies, to address the basic needs and rights of children engaged or at risk of child labour, and of victims of forced labour, while adopting an integrated area based approach, embedded in a value chain approach including cooperation with local industry and international buyers.

At a glance

Partners
Federal Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development; Ministry of National Food Security and Research; Provincial Labour and Agriculture Departments; employers’ and workers’ organizations; UN Agencies; civil society organisations; Pakistan Buyers’ Forum; cooperatives and media
Implementing agencies
ILO and FAO
Target beneficiaries
Children and their families working at any level of the cotton, garment and textile production chains; victims of forced labour and workers at risk of forced labour; relevant federal and provincial ministries and governmental departments; employers’ and workers’ organizations; enterprises, and media.
Geographical focus
- Nationwide in Pakistan - with a focus on cotton producing districts of Sindh and Punjab provinces.
- At the global level, the project also covers Burkina Faso, Mali and Peru in addition to Pakistan.

Project Objectives

Pakistan is the fourth leading producer of cotton in the world with a significant growth potential1-2. The textile industry contributes nearly one-fourth of industrial value-added and provides employment to about 40% of industrial labour force3. Textile products constitutes 62% of the national exports and the sector contributes 8.5% towards national GDP4

Child labour and forced labour are both present in the supply chain across the globe including in Pakistan where cotton production processes are labour intensive and/or dominated by small-holder farms or by tenancy and sharecropping. Child labour is also a particular issue for certain parts of the textile-garment industry because most of the producers requires low-skilled labour and short time delivery. In the cotton, textile and garment value chains, there are indicators of forced labour, such as bonded labour, withholding wages, restriction of movement, excessive overtime, abusive working and living conditions involving also adolescent labourers.

This project aims at contributing to the elimination of all forms of child labour and forced labour in the cotton, textile and garment value chains. It seeks to promote enhanced national legislation and policies, to address the basic needs and rights of children engaged or at risk of child labour, and victims of forced labour. The project combines integrated area-based and value chain approaches to cooperate with governments, social partners, local farmers, communities industries, and international buyers.

Main Activities

  • Map the cotton, textile and garment value chains with focus on child labour and forced labour and other fundamental principles and rights at work;
  • Collect qualitative and quantitative data on the prevalence of child labour and forced labour in the cotton, textile and garment value chains;
  • Review the policy, legal and regulatory framework at federal and provincial levels in line with the International Labour Standards, to identify gaps and provide concrete recommendations through tripartite frameworks;
  • Strengthen the institutional capacity of the country through their formal compliance mechanisms for the elimination of child labour and forced labour in the supply chain;
  • Strengthen the capacity of employers’ and workers’ organizations in eliminating child labour and forced labour and cotton, textile and garment production workers to exercise their right to freedom of association and other fundamental rights at work;
  • Develop proposals for the mainstreaming of child labour and forced labour issues into existing policies and social programmes and validate them by key stakeholders.
  • Develop gender-responsive community-based multi-stakeholder monitoring and remedial mechanisms to combat child labour and forced labour;
  • Support due diligence initiatives and grievance mechanisms concerning child labour and forced labour along the value chain;
  • Strengthen livelihoods of vulnerable families and good agricultural practices that are emphatic on not engaging children in child labour and on identifying alternative practices;
  • Raise awareness on child labour and forced labour in cotton, textile and garment value chains;
  • Develop model youth and women employment schemes and their supporting functions;
  • Improve children’s access to education in cotton production areas.

Project Outcomes

  • Legislation, regulations, policies and programmes at the federal and provincial levels are strengthened to combat child labour and forced labour in the cotton, textile and garment sector
  • Local governments, public services providers, and other relevant stakeholders take effective action to stop child labour and forced labour in target cotton growing districts and communities and garment/textiles factories.


 1 - http://www.finance.gov.pk/survey_1617.html
 2 - https://www.ilo.org/ipec/Informationresources/WCMS_IPEC_PUB_29655/lang--en/index.htm
 3 - http://www.finance.gov.pk/survey_1617.html