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Pakistan - serious violations of labour rights
Forced labour, child labour, discrimination and violations of trade union rights - all common practices in Pakistan

childlabourUITBB Executive Committee member, brother Pirzada Imtiaz Syed has sent a recent report published by the GFTU & APFUTU on core labour standards in Pakistan, which reveals serious violations of fundamental workers’ rights including a high degree of prevalence of forced labour and poverty.
Both local suppliers and multinational enterprises make extensive use of anti-union practices including lock-outs, dismissals, unfavourable work assignments and eviction of union members in order to curtail union membership and activities. Employers often use contract labour to weaken bargaining power in Pakistan.
Many children are victims of the worst forms of child labour, mainly in brick kiln, carpet industries, agriculture, bangles industries, fisheries, local industries, and domestic servitude as well as, unfortunately, prostitution. They often have to carry too heavy loads, work long hours and handle pesticides and other dangerous substances. A survey found that 500 000 working children between the ages of 5 and 14 in brick kiln, agriculture, carpet industries, bangles industries, workshops, tea stalls perform unpaid work. Girls are often employed as domestic servants where they work long hours and are vulnerable to sexual and physical abuse.

pakistanchildlabour_unicefThe report also reveals that women, disabled persons and other vulnerable groups face discrimination in various aspects of employment, including in hiring and remuneration. The laws do not effectively protect migrant workers, ethnic groups, indigenous and stateless people from forced labour and human trafficking. In practice, forced labour and human trafficking are rife. One study found that 57 per cent of the Afghan migrant workers are working in conditions of forced labour. The children of Afghan migrants are working as paper pickers. Usually, the workers are recruited under false promises or required to pay high recruitment fees or travel expenses which binds the victims until repayment.
Regarding trade union rights and labour law, the government refuses to talk with registered trade unions on trade unions rights. Political groups create their own labour wing which is abused by the politicians. ILO and other international organizations are not taking any step to ensure the implementation of these basic rights. Following the earthquake in 2005 and the floods in 2010 & 2011 the country is poverty stricken, 31millions Pakistani out of a total population of 210 million are helpless, most of whom don’t have jobs nor do they enjoy other rights. The Pakistan trade unions face numerous problems faced with a capitalist system that wishes to do away with trade union and labour rights. In fact, local and foreign capitalists in Pakistan push the government to ban trade unions in Pakistan.