To highlight the status of core labour rights in the country and track challenges to the implementation of ILO conventions, many of which have already been outlined as constitutional rights, a seminar on "core labour rights and the compliance gap" is being organised by Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) here on Dec 11.
Pakistan is signatory to 35 ILO conventions including eight core labour rights. Out of 185 conventions of the ILO labour code, the ILO has picked out eight conventions and grouped them under four most basic human rights.
These include: The right to organise and engage in collective bargaining (conv 87 and 98); the right to equality at work (conv 100 and 111); the abolition of child labour (conv 135 and 182); and the abolition of forced labour (conv 29 and 105).
The implementation of these conventions in Pakistan, or even the constitutional rights related to labour (article 11, 17, 18, 25 and 37e) is restricted by a number of factors. An environment of weak law implementation, state's failure to uphold the labour agenda as a part of its development architecture, the decline of unionisation, and the absence of socials dialogue have sought to dent any progress on serious realisation of core labour rights. The seminar would focus on the significance of labour rights, especially in an environment when the post 2013 elections government has drawn an economic agenda that is devoid of workers participation.
The seminar would cover following themes:
-- Core labour rights and implementation practices (national and international).
-- The implementations of non compliance.
-- Constitutional reforms and the future of labour rights, and
-- Revisiting the labour charter 2008.
The seminar would also include a discussion session following the presentations. Participants input, especially to update the labour charter, are important for a more meaningful engagement on labour rights in the current environment.