The EU GSP Plus Status for Pakistan and Child Labour: Compliances and Compulsions
Presenter: Mr. Karamat Ali, Executive Director, PILER
Keeping in line with its tradition of imparting quality education with professional and critical insight into the mechanization and issues of European Union and its associated issues, Area Study Center for Europe organized a heart to heart talk by Mr. Karamat Ali, Executive Director PILER (Pakistan Institution of Lab our Education and Research).
Having been an eminent activist on labour and development for the last four decades, Mr. Karamat Ali shared his expert views on the abysmal state of labour in Pakistan and ensuing threats to the retention of Pakistan’s GSP plus status in EU. This specification grants the signatory states a preferential status in trade with EU, ensuring partial or complete exemption in certain trade tariffs.
Mr. Karamat pointed out the deficiencies in labour rights and particularly the growing child labour industry in the state, which in the retrospect may jeopardize the GSP plus status.
It was stated that poverty and illiteracy, coupled with absence of concrete state policies, have engendered an alarming growth in out of school children in Pakistan. The lukewarm actions of concerned authorities regarding prevention of child lab our is openly violating local and international human right conventions. The present or argued that unless poverty is eradicated or reduced in a third world state like Pakistan, forced and voluntary child labour will persist. It is a necessity than a choice. Some members of audience also questioned the over emphasis of EU on ending child lab our without addressing the root cause. Individual responsibility in prevention of child labour was highly emphasized in the session, particularly by means of spreading awareness on the issue.
The session ended amicably with vote of thanks and refreshments.
Coverage: Dawn Newspaper