Participants at a conference on Saturday agreed that the basis of all laws related to labour should be according to the ILO conventions and UN Covenant on Economic and Social Rights.
The two-day conference on “Labour Rights as Citizen Rights: Realising Constitutional Reforms” concluded in Islamabad. The conference was organised by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, Sungi Development Foundation and Muttahida Labour Federation.
The purpose of the conference was to share labourers’ concerns and initiate a debate on issues related to labour in the backdrop of the 18th Amendment, which has set the grounds for provincial autonomy.
The conference highlighted key issues including structures of labour policy and legislation, regulations and mechanisms to ensure compliance of labour laws and the future of social security and welfare bodies.
Participants supported devolution and called for efforts to ensure implementation of the constitutional reforms.
Representatives of workers involved in informal sector highlighted the insecure and compromised state of working conditions in fisheries, agriculture, domestic and power looms sectors. They said that state’s neglect of workers in informal sector has left over 70 per cent of workers out of the ambit of labour laws.
One of the participants said that the labour courts need reforms. There is a need to increase the number of labour courts and cases should be disposed off in three months time period.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2011.