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August 7, 2019

Call for framing rules to enforce Sindh Home-Based Workers Act 2018


August 7, 2019

A sub-committee on the Sindh Home-Based Workers Act 2018 resolved on Tuesday that the rules of the law should be finalised within 15 days as the delay amounted to government’s indifference towards the workers.

The consultative meeting of the 14-member committee and other stakeholders was held at a hotel in Karachi by the provincial labour department and the Home-based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF).

HBWWF general secretary Zehra Khan said that although the law was passed a year ago, it was yet to be implemented as its rules were not still notified. She said a sub-committee was formed in September last year which had floated several suggestions and recommendations in this regard and a draft was also finalised.

Khan further said that this consultation was 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.

Labour affairs consultant Gulfam Nabi Memon said the SHBW Act was the first law of its nature in whole of the South Asia. He said no neighbouring country had such a comprehensive law for home-based workers.

He said HBWWF and Sindh labour department; besides, other stakeholders had played a great role in making the SHBW’s Act a reality. He said that soon the Sindh Labour Directorate would start registration of the home-based workers.

Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research’s director Karamat Ali 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 were responsible for this inordinate delay. He said that after submitting the recommendations they should be approved within two weeks.

The Sindh labour and human rights department’s Syed Ali Ashraf Naqvi said that all lacunas in the act should be removed and far-reaching recommendations floated to notify befitting rules for the act so as to ensure its early implementation.

He said it took a lot of time to finalise things as many departments were involved in it. He, however, extended all-out cooperation on behalf of his department. He said now as the Supreme Court of Pakistan had given the definition of ‘government’, a lot of corrections would be made in the draft.

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

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