TOBA TEK SINGH-Human rights organisations demanded that the government should ratify Convention 177 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and recognise the home-based labourers as workers.
At a home-based workers’ convention held by the Youth for Human Rights Pakistan (YHR) and the Peaceful and Active Centre For Humanity (PEACH) at Gojra, speakers said that the home-based workers should be registered with Employees Old-Age Benefits and social security institutions and policy be announced immediately.
PEACH chairperson Arooj Mushtaq stated that Pakistan’s economy has been shifting from the formal to non-formal sector rapidly, as a result, more than 90 percent of labour force was deprived of basic rights that should have been given to them as per the Constitution and, labour laws and different international labour conventions and standards.
Presently, she said, there are more than 70,000 home-based women workers in the Toba Tek Singh district. about 30,000 of them are working in different sectors across Gojra tehsil like footwear, embroidery, traditional clothes making, brick kilns, textiles, garments, dairy farming and agriculture, she also claimed. She explained that the number of women workers in the informal sector was rising with every passing day and there were at least 16 million women workers in Pakistan who were not recognised as workers under the labour laws, though they had been playing an important role in the textile, garments, leather, sports goods and other important industrial sectors.
YHR chief Umair Ahmad said that the contract labour system should be ended and for permanent nature of work, workers’ formal recruitment system should be made mandatory for industrialists while the right of electing their labour unions and CBAs should also be ensured.
Sharoon Gill and Mujtaba Subhani said the problems of home-based workers, most of them women, go neglected as this informal sector was being exploited at all levels. The participants passed some resolutions and presented demands that all the workers of the informal sector be accepted as workers under the labour laws.
Updated On: November 21, 2016