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April 11, 2021

‘Peasants, rural workers unprotected due to non-implementation of laws’

National

April 11, 2021

KARACHI: The rights of peasants and rural workers in the province are vulnerable and unprotected due to the non-implementation of the existing laws, speakers told a seminar jointly organised by the Hari Welfare Association (HWA) and the Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC).

SHRC Chairperson Justice (retd) Majida Rizvi said that the major issues are little awareness of the laws regarding the rights of peasants and rural workers, and no accountability of the officials of the relevant departments over the implementation of the laws.

She said that a monitoring mechanism needs to be developed within the Sindh Human Rights Commission, and each department concerned should submit a mandatory annual progress report on the implementation of the laws to the commission, which will provide annual or regular recommendations to the relevant departments.

Member Provincial Assembly Ghulam Qadir Chandio, who is also the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, said that the Sindh government strives to protect the rights of peasants and labourers.

“Sindh has many laws about labourers, peasants, women, children and other vulnerable segments of our society. Now it’s time to ensure the implementation of the laws so that all human rights can be protected.”

Hari Welfare Association President Akram Ali Khaskheli said that peasants across the province are not registered as peasants by the revenue department in accordance with the Sindh

Tenancy Act of 1950, so when landlords violate their rights, they cannot claim their share and other rights.

He lamented that even though the police free scores of peasants from the custody of landlords every day on the orders of the courts, they do not register FIRs against the landlords, arrest them and hold them accountable.

He said that peasants are vulnerable and powerless, and that they cannot dare to file police complaints against influential landlords, so the police should do so themselves in accordance with Section 491 of the Criminal Procedure Code of 1898.

He also said that the conditions of rural workers in Sindh are deplorable, and that they are deprived of decent work conditions, with minimum wage being the major problem. But social security is absent in the context of rural workers, he added.