Promoting and Advancing International Labor Rights in Pakistan

The problem

Pakistan’s textile and garment industry is the backbone of the economy and remains the primary engine for economic growth in the country, critical for both employment and export earnings but the industry faces an endemic and systemic problem with labor rights violations. Workers, particularly women, face abusive and unsafe working conditions. Most workers in the informal industry do not have access to formal trade unions and workers who do have limited options to advance their rights because of the strength and power of private corporations.


As part of this project, GRC has set up legal aid clinics and women’s cafes across Pakistan, tasked with documenting and investigating labour rights complaints from garment factories in Lahore, Karachi and Faisalabad. The paralegals employed under this project have been provided with training by GRC on proper documentation and investigation techniques and provided with a bilingual (English and Urdu) investigative Documentation and Monitoring Tool, MyVox. MyVox constitutes the first centralized repository for recording labour rights violations in Pakistan. The app therefore exists within a broader framework aimed at achieving meaningful and durable improvements to workers’ labour rights.

How we tackled this

To address this critical need, since 2022, GRC has been working in partnership with civil society organizations and trade unions in Pakistan to strengthen accountability for labour rights abuses in Pakistan’s garment sector. The overall goal of this project is to provide a cohesive strategy to CSOs and WOs to promote worker organization, to identify, document, and monitor labour rights violations, and achieve remediation for workers by engaging with national authorities and international buyers. The project provides community outreach to workers, particularly women, providing training on workers’ rights and creating safe spaces for women to report rights violations. Beneficiaries will be supported by local paralegals trained in documentation and monitoring, who will hold open legal aid clinics. The hand-held Documentation and Monitoring Tool will embed critical knowledge and support the collection of evidence.

At a glance

Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), Labour Behind the Label (LBL), Pakistan Institute of Labor Education and Research (PILER), National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), Labor Education Foundation (LEF), Home-Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF)
Funder Confidential
Sector Garment
Country Pakistan
Duration 2 years
Years 2022-2024