Trade for Decent Work Project

The project aims at improving the application of the ILO Conventions on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work under the framework of EU special incentive arrangement for Sustainable Development and Good Governance (GSP+)


European Union (EU) granted a special incentive arrangement for Sustainable Development and Good Governance (GSP+) to Pakistan in January 2014. The GSP+ has offered Pakistan a preferential tariff regime with nearly zero duties on exports of two-thirds of all product categories to the European markets. GSP+ was granted for ten years with its continuity conditioned to effective implementation and compliance and reporting obligations of 27 UN Conventions, including the eight Core Labour Standards (CLS). The European Union reviews Pakistan’s related progress every two years.

The last biennial review (2018-19) reported a keen interest in maintaining Pakistan’s GSP+ status for its economic and trade benefits. The report also reaffirmed that the Government is interested in the GSP+ arrangement as an incentive for sustainable development and good governance.

Following Pakistan's entry into GSP+ in 2014, the DG Trade and DG DEVCO (EU) assisted GSP+ beneficiary countries, including Pakistan. Vital technical assistance and capacity-building support were provided to the tripartite constituents and other stakeholders to ameliorate the compliance and reporting of the CLSs. The reflection of ILS in labour legislation increased, ILS reporting increased, and social dialogue strengthened on contemporary labour market issues. Furthermore, the analytical and evidence-based work was advanced, and spadework was completed towards improving the labour dispute resolution system.

The Trade for Decent Work (T4DW) project now caters to the tripartite constituents' emerging needs.

The T4DW operates within a framework including a Global Facility providing global initiatives in the area of ILS and support to emerging needs arising in partner countries; and a Country-focused facility supporting each year a number of target countries.

Pakistan's T4DW component formally started in January 2021. Earlier in 2020, the ILO Country Office for Pakistan received funding to support the transition between the DG Trade project and the regular entry of Pakistan into the T4DW. The details of the predecessor project can be accessed here

Strategic linkages:
  • The project contributes to DWCP-III (2016-22), Priority 3 Strengthening Compliance with International Labour Standards (ILS) through Social Dialogue’.
  • It supports the ILO Programme & Budget (2020-21) Outcome 2 International Labour Standards and authoritative and effective supervision.
  • It also contributes to UNSDF/ OP-III (2018-2022) Outcome 2 Decent Work. It thus eventually complements SDG targets 8.7, 8.8 and 8.A
Beneficiaries / stakeholders:
The project will work with the Federal Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (MoOP&HRD), Federal Judicial Academy (FJA) and relevant training institutions, Provincial Departments of Labour in particular the Government of Baluchistan, Workers and Employers Organizations as well as other line Government departments. The project will also support the social dialogue institutions i.e. Provincial and Federal Tripartite Consultation Committees.

Sectors Covered: All

Overall Goal:
The project aims to build on the outcomes of the DG-Trade project towards sustaining strengthened national capacities to improve ILS compliance and reporting

Specific Objective:
Respect and demand for fundamental principles and rights at work (FPRW) is increased through the better implementation and enforcement of ILS compliant labour laws, policies and practices.


  • Tripartite constituents and legislators have enhanced capacity to advance the policy and legislative development work in Baluchistan
  • Sustainable capacity development programmes launched for the labour judiciary
  • Effective labour dispute resolution mechanism through capacity development of judicial academic institution (s).
  • Model law on forced labour developed
  • Improved legislative framework on the forced labour
  • Tripartite constituents supported for protection and promotion of Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining (FACB)
  • Needs assessment of the labour inspection system (in cooperation with Better Work).

Project management

The project has established an innovative approach with an overall coordination based in Geneva (NORMES) and a Steering Committee - consisting of broad cross-cutting representation from both organizations (ILO and EU) - meeting biannually. At the country level the project is managed by the project team with the programming and administrative support from the Country Office and technical assistance from the Decent Work Technical Support Team for South Asia (DWT) and NORMES.