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October 21, 2020

Call for immediately enforcing Sindh Home-Based Workers Act 2018

Karachi

October 21, 2020

Labour leaders on Tuesday applauded expressed concerns over the non-implementation of Sindh Home-Based Workers Act, 2018 despite the passage of two years since it was passed by the Sindh government.

They said while the Sindh government deserved praise for becoming the country’s first province to recognising the home-based workers as legal workers and passing an act to provide social and legal protection in 2018, it was a matter of concern that the act was yet to be practically implemented.

The Home-Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) held a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday to mark the passing of 20 years of the Kathmandu Declaration. The declaration for the rights of South Asian home-based workers was adopted by representatives of South Asian governments, United Nations agencies, non-governmental organisations and trade unions in a conference arranged by the United Nations Development Fund for Women and Women in Informal Employment: Globalising and Organising in October 2000.

HBWWF’s general secretary Zahra Khan, National Labour Council’s convenor Karamat Ali, National Trade Union Federation leader Nasir Mansoor, Peoples Labour Bureau Sindh President Habibuddin Junaidi and other leaders spoke to the press conference.

They said the Kathmandu Declaration on the home-based workers was passed 20 years ago but yet more than a 100 million home-based workers in the world were still deprived of their legal identity and rights. They said 80 per cent of these workers were women.

As per an estimate, over 18 million people in Pakistan lost their jobs, the majority of them were women, but the government failed to give them any relief “due to the cruel IMF policies ruling Pakistan”, they said. They added that over 17 per cent of Pakistan’s national economy was non-formal and 12 million workers from this sector had been rendered jobless.

Thanking the Sindh government for passing the Home-Based Workers Act and forming its rules, they demanded of it to make home-based councils and register home-based workers to practically implement the act.

They said all home-based workers should be registered with the institutions of social security and pension and demanded that the federation and other provinces should also make laws for their home-based workers similar to Sindh so that over 12 million home-based workers of Pakistan could get their legal identity and due rights.