ILO needs to broaden its horizon to increase its coverage, effectiveness: Korean Envoy


Islamabad: H.E. Ms. Kang Kyung-Wha, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and government’s special representative for labor issues, Republic of Korea, called on the Advisor to PM on Overseas Pakistanis Mr. Ayub Afridi Ms. Wha asked for Pakistani support in the upcoming elections of Director General International Labor Organization and assured her closest assistance to Pakistan, especially to non-western women, if selected as leader of the ILO. She said that the ILO needs to broaden its horizon to increase its coverage and effectiveness. As regards Pakistani labor, she said that Pakistanis are excellent workers as reviewed by Korean employers and the illegal stay ratio of Pakistanis in Korea is very low as compared to other countries. She stated that the quota for Pakistani immigrants has increased over the years; a 16% increase from 2021 to 2022 alone, and Korea will look at further increasing it by opening diverse employment sectors. The Advisor, in response to Ms. Wha, said that opening sectors like Construction, agriculture, etc., will be beneficial to both counties. He further said that both countries can also cooperate in the education sector. Pakistan has already sent teachers to the Middle East and can also send them to Korea. The introduction of new pre-departure training facilities will ensure easy assimilation of Pakistani workers in Korea. Furthermore, Pakistani students are facing student visa issues in Korea; their scholarships and admissions get canceled and this increases their hurdles in higher education. Ms. Wha said that Korean construction companies realize the efficiency and experience of Pakistani construction workers and we would want them to work for us. These companies understand the need to hire construction workers from Pakistan and other countries are also making a similar request. Hence, the government will look forward to the Pakistani embassy in Seoul playing an active role and taking up the case with the Korean labor ministry She concluded that the government is looking to relax entry rules as soon as the new Covid variant -omicron subsides. She was hopeful that student visas will be issued quickly in the future. She promised to actively take up the case of pre-departure training and look into the certification of technical training institutions in Pakistan.


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