Working in Pakistan has become a struggle for many people within the nation. The current economic condition of the country has increased uncertainty about worker rights. The Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF) has been created in order to speak for all employees within the country, regardless of their employment role. Last month, the PWF demanded that the Pakistan government finally implement labor laws that will secure (or at the very least, increase) workers’ rights (especially laborers).
In Pakistan, working conditions are less than favorable. There are no laws to protect employees from working shifts longer than eight hours without overtime pay, employees do not get social security, cannot create unions, and have no statutory right to weekly leave.
Pakistan is currently one of eight countries that have been able to engage in the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (or GSP+) trade agreement as of 2014, with the overall assumption that a massive increase in exports would alleviate some of the perceived stress, and reduce the number of issues surrounding labor and human rights. However, this has unfortunately not been the result for Pakistan’s workers.
Pakistan has reported in the past that over 3 million of its citizens are living under what can be considered conditions of modern slavery, and there are also over 2 million children working as child laborers.
To make matters even worse, a number of regions have completely dissolved any practice of labor inspections. This lack of regulation has made employees vulnerable to the many issues stemming from the fact they have little to no protection as workers. The creation of national and regional labor laws that are actually regulated and documented will hopefully provide more structure and safety for Pakistan’s employees while also abolishing all forms of slavery and the use of underage workers in a number of industries.