South-South and Triangular Cooperation for strengthening workplace injury compensation system in Pakistan

On Monday, 16th July 2018, ILO Country Office in Islamabad organised a one-day Consultation gathering National Social Security Institutions, relevant Departments and Organisations, and four provincial ESSI representatives to discuss the challenges and develop the province-specific strategy to reform Pakistan Social Security System.

Pakistan policy-makers have been keen to strengthen the provincial employment injury insurance compensation system in the aftermath of the 2012 factory fire of Ali Enterprises in Baldia Karachi. This is key to Pakistan’s competitiveness in various sectors, such as in the on for textile and garments, and in the context of Pakistan keen interest to meet international standards as in the case of the MNE Declaration.  Compared to other Asian countries, Pakistani Employees Social Security Institutions (ESSI) provide work injury insurance presents one of the most advanced legislation in conformity with the minimum requirements of Convention 121 on Employment Injury Benefits.  ESSIs face still numerous challenges in promoting compliance to fully cover all workers of all economic sectors, to deliver quality and timely health benefits, and adequate cash benefits to replace loss of income The main hindrances root in the limited resources available to invest into the human and IT capacity and good governance management systems for ESSI’s.

In accordance with ILO’s Outcome 4 of Promoting Sustainable Enterprises and the Country Programme Outcome in Pakistan (PAK-224), ILO commits to assist the development of Pakistani ESSIs through its German-financed technical assistance programme on EII in Sindh and beyond and for a south-south and triangular cooperation programme, targeting the four provinces: Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Baluchistan. ILO is providing a comprehensive set of activities in the short-term to boost knowledge sharing activities are strongly emphasised  to learn more on best practices to enforce compliance, to modernise Contribution collection, to learn how to deliver better quality and timely health Benefits, to strengthen tripartite governance; and advocacy communication.

Against this backdrop, a consultation on knowledge sharing and insights into developing a roadmap to support provincial reforms in the Social Security Institutions in Pakistan, responsible for work injury insurance, was successfully hosted by ILO Country Office Islamabad in July 16th, 2018. In this meeting, Heads of all four ESSIs gathered to: (1). review their existing contribution collection and registration systems taking into account the overall social security and other welfare schemes and the needs of formal and informal sector workers; (2) share some of their practical experiences, governance and implementation challenges; (3) identify areas to develop a roadmap for upgrading respective ESSIs. The Consultation also involved Departments of Labour along with Ministry of OP&HRD, Employers Federation of Pakistan (EFP), Pakistan Workers’ Federation (PWF), and technical experts. Following this Consultation, a peer learning South-South study trip to visit Social Security Institutions in Malaysia and Thailand will take place in September 2018 for further exchanges of knowledge and good practices to address capacity gaps in Pakistani ESSIs.

The programme will not only contribute to on-going efforts to build an action plan for reforms of the four Pakistan’s provincial ESSIs, but also strengthen South-South Development Cooperation among countries in the region.

This Project is supported by the South-South and Triangular Cooperation Facility of the Partnership and Field Support Department (PARDEV) and the Global Programme on Employment Injury Insurance and Protection of the ILO.