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Home » Karachi

Delay in law implementation affects 5mn home-based workers in Sindh

August 8, 2019

Karachi:A consultative meeting of stakeholders on Sindh Home-based Workers Act here expressed concern over inordinate delay in notification of rules for the Act and demanded early implementation of the law to benefit more than 5 million home-based workers of the province.

The consultative meeting was held at a local hotel by Home-based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF), moderated by their central general secretary Zehra Khan. She said that though the SHBWs Act has already been passed by the Sindh assembly, but it is yet to be implemented as its rules are not still notified. She said a sub-committee was formed in September last year which has floated several suggestions and recommendations in this regard and a draft is also finalized. She said this consultation is held to discuss the draft of recommendations and send it to the concerned quarter so that this hallmark law could be implemented as early as possible.

Gulfam Nabi Memon, consultant on labor affairs, gave a detailed presentation on the draft recommendations. He said the SHBW’s Act is the first law of its nature in whole South Asia. He said no neighboring country has such a comprehensive law for home-based workers. He said HBWWF and Sindh Labor Department, besides other stakeholders have played a great role in making the SHBW’s Act a reality. He said soon Sindh Labor Directorate would start registration of the home-based workers.

Syed Muhammad Mustaqeem of Employers’ Federation Pakistan (EFP) said that the employers are ready to play their due role in this regard. He said that in past the EFP had extended all-out support for the cause of the home-based workers and in future also it would continue to do so.

Syed Ali Ashraf Naqvi of Sindh Labor and Human Rights Departments said that all lacunas in the Act should be removed and far-reaching recommendations should be floated to notify befitting rules for the Act so as to ensure its early implementation. He said it takes a lot of time to finalize things as many departments are involved in it. He, however, extended all-out cooperation on behalf of his department. He said that now as the Supreme Court of Pakistan has given the definition of ‘government’ a lot of corrections would be made in the draft.

Nasir Mansoor, deputy general secretary National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) said it is necessary to work for the universalization of workers-related matters, as without it the desired outcomes could not be achieved.

Karamat Ali of Pakistan Institute of Labor Education and Research (PILER) said it is true that this is the first law of its sort in South Asia but it is sad that this law is yet to be implemented as its rules are not notified despite the passage of a long time. He said action should be taken against those who are responsible for this inordinate delay. He said after submitting the recommendations they should be approved within two weeks.

Karamat Ali said the rules should be made and notified when the laws are being passed. He said the registration process of home-based workers should be made simple. He suggested that mobile vans should be used by the concerned departments to register home-based workers near their doorsteps. He said the home-based workers are the workers who are least visible and thus redoubled efforts should be made for their registration. He said all social security departments and entities should play their due role so as the neglected sector of home-based workers could also get their due rights.

Habibuddin Junaidi of People Labor Bureau said that the most important thing for any law is its implementation. He said that bureaucracy is responsible for delaying implementation of laws including the SHBW’s Act. He suggested that all stakeholders should work seriously and sincerely to materialize the due rights of workers. Aftab Alam and Kamran Hassan Khan of SESSI, Shaheen Naz, Saeeda Khatoon and others also spoke.

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