Published 25 January 2016
Stora Enso and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) are working together to learn new ways to promote decent work globally and to combat child labour in Pakistan.
Working with credible organisations is an important way for Stora Enso to address challenging social circumstances. In supporting labour rights, we have had the privilege to partner with the ILO, a tripartite UN organisation that collaborates with workers’ and employers’ organisations, governments, and companies to promote decent work.
Decent work is carried out in conditions of security, dignity, freedom and equity. To the ILO, it is about creating jobs and providing adequate living wages, guaranteeing rights at work, promoting safe work, and encouraging dialogue between employers and unions. Stora Enso is already committed to respecting labour rights, but we also want to know if there are areas where we can improve.
Employers bringing positive change
Public-private partnerships with companies are a way for the ILO to share resources such as expertise, skills, and technology. The ILO selects partner companies based on their respect for the ILO’s principles and values, including equality, decent work, tripartism, cooperation, and accountability.
“Employers have a unique role in assuring respect for labour rights in supply chains, and in bringing about positive change,” says Benjamin Smith, Senior Officer for Corporative Social Responsibility in ILO’s Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch. “During our discussions with Stora Enso, we became convinced of its good will to combat child labour and other labour right violations in its supply chain and surrounding communities.”
A global partnership with a focus on Pakistan
The partnership has two components. In the global one, the ILO will help us to align our policies and practices with international labour standards and to improve our understanding of labour rights.
The Pakistani component will tackle the root causes of child labour in Pakistan, and support us in combatting it in Bulleh Shah Packaging’s supply chains. While we cannot guarantee that there will never be child labour in BSP’s supply chains, this partnership will help us combat the issue together.
“Stora Enso and Bulleh Shah Packaging are expected to build their capacity to address decent work deficits in their value chain,” Benjamin Smith says. “They have the potential to become a role model for other sectors and private companies in Pakistan.”
In addition to setting an example for others in Pakistan, the goal is to create community intervention models that could be shared with other companies globally through the ILO’s Child Labour Platform.
“The partnership is a real learning opportunity for both parties,” says Benjamin Smith. “We are very pleased to collaborate with Stora Enso to promote better opportunities for workers and their families, in Pakistan and globally.