ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan will deliver a keynote address at a special session of International Labour Organization, to be held on request of Pakistan on Wednesday, to evolve strategy for well-being of labourers in the post-coronavirus scenario.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development 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 COVID-19 pandemic on labourers and workers across the world. The government, at the forum, would underline the need for taking immediate steps for workers and labourers.

The member states would launch discussion on new action plan for the workforce and labourers

ILO to convene special session on Pakistan’s request. Earlier, the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OP&HRD) Sunday said the International Labour Organization (ILO), on Pakistan’s request, had agreed 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.

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.

According to the ministry, the ILO had invited Prime Minister Imran Khan to address its member states on this occasion. “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 wrote on its twitter.

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 specially 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.

Ministry starts implementation of expelled expat workers’ re-employment action plan

The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OP&HRD) has started implementation of the action plan for re-employment of the overseas Pakistani workers, who had been expelled by their foreign employees in the wake of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The ousted skilled workers would be provided technical and financial assistance under the Kamyab Jawan and Ehsaas programmes, while Technical and Vocational institutions of the country would also be engaged in that regard, an OP&HRD Ministry official told APP.

He said the ministry had recently launched a portal to document the overseas workers, who had lost their jobs abroad due to the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 across the world.

“Around 40,000 expelled workers have registered themselves with the portal, indicating that the initiative receives overwhelming response from the skilled overseas workers,”  he noted.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on OP&HRD Sayed Zulifkar Abbas Bukkhari, in a statement, said it was imperative to create job opportunities for the skilled workers, returning to the country after losing jobs in their host countries.

Efforts were afoot to offer financial assistance to such workers under the Ehsaas Programme, he said, adding,“We realize the problems of the returning workers in the trying times.”

He said special initiatives were being taken to facilitate Pakistani labourers and jobless, following the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“The safe repatriation and provision of livelihood to the Pakistani manpower is among the top priorities of the government,” he said, hinting at reintegration of such workers in the society.