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Punjab Home Based Workers Act awaiting enactment from the Punjab Assembly
Home Based Workers demand to pass the law soon in Punjab

Representatives of home based workers from different areas of Lahore and from different government departments met in a consultation “Rights of Home-Based Worker and Need for Legal Protection”  on Tuesday 20th October 2020 organized by Labour Education Foundation  on the occasion of International home-based worker day. A large number of home based workers, Civil Society Organisations, government representative attended this consultation. There are 20 million home-based workers (HBWs) in Pakistan where more than 71% (two-third) are women. Most of them are piece-rate workers, involved in manufacturing and post-manufacturing tasks, such as garment stitching, embroidery, knitting, carpet weaving and handlooms, woodwork, shoe making and other handicrafts, bangle making, fruit and vegetable processing and packaging, etc. Some of the time their work is linked with international brands through the factories producing for such brands.
The Home-Based Worker Union members Shazia Gafoor, Asia Waheed, Aqsa, Sumera, Kaneez Kousar shared that they
are poorly remunerated and the situation of occupational health and safety is alarming. Additionally, women get paid less than their male counterparts for the same amount of work. They do not have access to government social protection mechanism that is provided to workers in the formal sector of the economy. Such a dismal situation prevails simply because of the absence of law for home based workers in Punjab which results in not recognising them as workers. The representative of government including Mazhar Abbas from Human Rights and Minority Affair, Gulam Abbas- Assistant Director Punjab Treaty Implementation Cell, Muhammad Najeeb from Women Development Department shared the initiative of Punjab government for HBWs. The representative of NGOs sector Um-e-Laila and trade union leader Rana Hassan also spoke on this consultation. At the end of the consultation, Khalid Mahmood director Labour Education Foundation highlighted that the bill is approved by the Punjab Cabinet and is awaiting to be sent to the Standing Committee on Labour right now but the chairman of labour standing committee is still to be appointed by the Punjab Assembly. Home based workers and other stakeholders strongly demanded that the legal process of passing of the bill from Punjab Assembly should be completed immediately. At the end of consultation HBW gave themselves a standing ovation to recognize their contribution in the economy.



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