Civil society calls for amending labour laws to comply with ILO conventions

Published: March 13, 2018
Justice (retd) Majida Razvi presided over the session. PHOTO: FILE

Justice (retd) Majida Razvi presided over the session. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Civil society and labour leaders urged on Monday legislators of the Sindh Assembly to review and amend all the labour laws passed by the current assembly to make them compliant with the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The labour leaders and civil society activists were speaking at a session with the MPAs organised by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler). The legislators were also asked to evolve a coordinated strategy for the implementation of laws related to labour and human rights.

Justice (retd) Majida Razvi, chairperson of the Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC), presided over the meeting, which was attended by MPAs belonging to almost all political parties in the provincial assembly. The MPAs included Kulsoom Chandio, Saeed Khan Nizamani, Ameer Hyder Sheerazi, Diwan Chand Chawla, Saira Shahliani, Waqar Hussain Shah, Rana Ansar and Haji Shafi Muhammad Jamote.

Justice (retd) Razvi said people were suffering in Sindh because they had to consume contaminated water. She also pointed out the lack of healthcare facilities and access to justice as two major issues faced by the people.

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Piler Executive Director Karamat Ali said the Sindh Assembly had made record legislation on labour issues. However, he added that non-implementation of such laws was still a matter of concern.

All 27 international conventions pertaining to human rights, labour rights, environmental protection and good governance need to be implemented, Ali said. He asked the legislators to make the already passed laws compliant with ILO standards.

He also appreciated the Sindh government for issuing the first-ever labour policy and holding the provincial Tripartite Labour Conference. A European Union review report especially mentioned the tripartite conference, Ali said.

Pakistan Muslim League – Functional MPA Muhammad Rafiq Banbhan raised the issue of agricultural workers’ plight. Agricultural workers were not getting the same facilities that industrial workers were enjoying, he said. He called for the provision of social security and old age benefits to agricultural workers.

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