COTTON: WWF Pakistan supports Better Cotton “Decent Work” criteria
One important aspect of the Better Cotton Initiative’s (BCI) criteria for Better Cotton is that farmers must promote “Decent Work”, and work with continuous improvements. This is why WWF Pakistan supports various initiatives to help farmers improve health and safety, ensure that there is no child labour, forced labour or discrimination and secure workers’ right to freedom of association.
WWF Pakistan has signed a memorandum of understanding with an International Labour Organization (ILO) project, Combating Abusive Child Labour, in the Sukkur district of Northern Sindh. The plan is to establish a model cotton farming village which is child labour free, and turn three cotton farms into model “Decent Work” work places. Already, non-formal education and literacy centres have been established in the area, providing education facilities for 357 children aged 5-11. In addition, five literacy centres are being established to provide children aged 11-17 with both technical training and formal education.
Another new initiative to support “Decent Work” in Pakistan’s cotton fields is The School Outreach Programme, designed to engage children and teachers in underprivileged schools as part of a well-known WWF programme to promote environmental education. This initiative aims to reach a total of 64,000 students from all age groups over two years and raise their awareness of sustainable cotton cultivation and the related “Decent Work” issues. As part of the programme, students are encouraged to enter a spelling competition based on texts from especially developed story books.
To read more about Better Cotton and the BCI, click here