The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), an alliance of regional trade confederations that advocates for labour rights around the world, ranked Pakistan alongside the US among countries where systematic violations of rights of workers are reported.
Pakistan was given a score of 4 along with countries like United States, Kuwait, Bahrain on The Global Rights Index: The World’s Worst Countries for Workers.
The report ranked countries on a scale of 1-5 (1 being best and 5 worst) on the basis of standards of fundamental rights at work, in particular the right to freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike.
The workers in countries with the rating of 4 have reported systematic violations. The government and, or companies are engaged in serious efforts to crush the collective voice of workers putting fundamental rights under continuous threat.
The report put Central African Republic, Libya, Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine as the worst country to work. In countries with a score of 5+ on the Index, workers were reported to have no guarantee of rights due to the breakdown of the rule of law.
The situation in India and Bangladesh was worse than Pakistan with both countries scoring 5 on the index.
While the legislation in countries with a rating of 5 may spell out certain rights workers but workers have effectively no access to these rights and are therefore exposed to autocratic regimes and unfair labour practices.
Other prominent countries with the rating of 5 include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, China, and turkey.
The report further pointed out that in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, where the work force is primarily comprised of migrants, workers are often kept in deploring conditions. “In countries such as Qatar or Saudi Arabia, the exclusion of migrant workers from collective labour rights means that effectively more than 90 per cent of the workforce is unable to have access to their rights leading to forced labour practices in both countries supported by archaic sponsorship laws.”