Labor Laws in Pakistan

By Calla Hummel, eHow Contributor updated: July 14, 2010

1. A 1992 study estimated that 90% of carpet-industry workers are children. Pakistan inherited the basis of its labor laws from British India prior to the 1947 partition that made Pakistan a sovereign country. A series of domestic decisions and advances in international labor standards have elaborated on and reformed the country’s laws since its independence. Pakistani law provides considerable protections for workers on paper--workdays and weeks capped at international standards, paid leave, specific laws prohibiting forced or child labor--but labor violations abound. Caught between business interests that would prefer a blind eye and scarce government resources, law-enforcement officials have difficulty enforcing labor laws.

Work Week
2. According to the Factories Act of 1934, no adult (defined as over 18 years of age) can be required or permitted to work in any business for more than 9 hours a day or 48 hours a week, unless the factory is seasonal, in which case the limit is 10 hours a day and 50 hours a week. Young people (between the ages of 15 and 18) cannot work more than 7 hours a day or 42 hours a week. The Factories Act also sets out provisions for paid leave, applicable to workers who have been employed at the same business for more than a year.

Hiring and Dismissal
3. The Constitution of Pakistan protects the right of every individual to freely choose their work and freedom of association. Employers must present possible employees with a written contract stating the terms of employment, including wages, benefits and term. The employer must pay one month’s wages in severance to legally end a contract with a permanent employee, unless the reason for dismissal is misconduct.

The Netherlands) The year 2010 is 10 years after the coming into force of ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL). The 1991 Employment of Children Act outlines safety measures and limitations on the employment of minors. the Department of Labor estimates that anywhere between 2 million and 19 million children work illegally in Pakistan. the most widely-ratified international labour convention.ehow. After a 1988 Supreme Court decision. and the Constitution prohibits employing children in factories. Pakistan passed the Bonded Labor Abolition Act in is organizing a global conference on child labour to be held in The Hague (The Netherlands) on 10 and 11 May 2010. which abolished the bonded debt system (known as “peshgi. all of these practices exist in contemporary Pakistan.000 rupees for convicted violators. in close collaboration with the ILO (and in cooperation with UNICEF and the World Bank).” where a creditor advanced money to an individual who then had to work off the debt) that had perpetuated forced labor for decades.N. forced labor and human trafficking. However. the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. The http://www. (For example. Pakistani law defines a “child” as anyone under 15 years of age. such as firework manufacturing. . Pakistan’s Constitution prohibits slavery. While the global movement has achieved much progress in reducing the incidence of child labour. efforts must be stepped up if we are to deliver the commitment of a world free of the worst forms of child labour by 2016. and it is 6 years ahead of the global target of eliminating the WFCL.Bonded Labor 4. Rights of the Child and an International Labor Organization convention on minimum ages in industry. However. Child Labor 5. though a minimum of 15 is imposed for railways and mines. despite a penalty of two to five years and a fine of 50. The legal age for working in most areas is 14. Read more: Labor Laws in Pakistan | eHow. bonded debt continues in many parts of Pakistan. children cannot work overtime or in industries hazardous to their health. mines or any hazardous occupation. In order to meet that challenge. unfortunately.) Pakistan signed the U.html#ixzz19IREHEGd Towards a world without child labour – Mapping the road to 2016 (10-11 May 2010.

The impact of the crisis on child labour. employers’ organizations. Child labour is not a phenomenon that can be dealt with in isolation. This conference aims to mainstream the issue of child labour into the development debate. * Some 150 million work full time. to deliver the commitment to take immediate and effective measures to end the worst forms of child labour as a matter of urgency. workers’ organizations. helping us evaluate progress to date. NGOs and other parties to showcase their good practices and lessons learnt in the fight against the worst forms of child labour. and the opportunities that the recovery process may provide will also be discussed at the conference. tripartite action and a ‘focus on Africa’ . The conference will also provide opportunities for countries. UNICEF and the World Bank (through UCW)) on child labour and development. involving a wide array of prominent global actors involved in the broader development field.will offer even more occasions for all participants to discuss the challenges and opportunities at hand and to learn from each other’s experience. 32% in Africa and 7% in Latin America. 138 and 182. pointing out areas in which we have succeeded and signalling areas where more work is especially needed. The global economic crisis threatens progress made on the elimination of child labour. The event will feature the launching of the ILO Global Report for 2010 (on child labour). The conference will also feature a discussion of an interagency report (by the ILO. Based on empirical research. financing needs. and the policy and programmatic priorities for addressing it in the years up to 2016. it is both a cause and consequence of poverty and low levels of social welfare. * 70% work in dangerous environment. .The conference objectives are: • • • to achieve rapidly universal ratification of ILO Conventions Nos. policy integration. the report will discuss the impact of child labour from a national development perspective. * Some 61% of them live in Asia. * 70% of them work in agricultuer. Five thematic sessions on political awareness. and to agree on significantly intensified efforts to reach the 2016 goal laid down in the Global Action Plan. The report presents new global statistics and an analysis of child labour trends. • Some 350 Million childran between the ages of 5 and 14 work either full time or part time. all year round. every day.

* Child Labour is lso common in developed countries. more than 2. it is necessary to eliminate child labor now.000 in sweatshops. 730 million new workers will have joined the adult workforce. and affect the world’s economy currently. and manual labor jobs may also see vacancies due to the fact the new workers are already crippled. contributing members to the world’s economy later. . uneducated. they will play a role in shaping the world when they grow up. While child laborers may not have much of an effect now on the world’s economy. an. How Does Child Labor Affect the World's Economy? The effect of child labor on the world’s economy will not be evident so much now. in hazardous circumstances. child labor’s effects will become more noticeable. While child laborers do make items that are exported to other countries. however. This will likely render them crippled. By the year 2020. many child laborers to not work in the export sector. by defination. where child labor is most common. For Example. most importantly. 90% from developing countries. and not even have made any impact on the world’s future. RIGHT OR WRONG. Entrusting the world to uneducated and crippled people has never been desirable. in the United States. In order to have educated. so the overall economic effect is negligible. som 50-60 million are between 5 and 11 yearsand work. healthy. unhealthy.30. These new former child laborers who are now formal workers will almost certainly affect the world’s economy – in a bad way – because job positions that require an education may go unfilled. considering their age and vulnerability. This is a key reason why we should try to solve child labor now. PERCEPTIONS THAT GLOBALIZATION LEADS TO EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN ARE BECOMING AN IMPORTANT PROBLEM FOR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS. Many child laborers will have died before reaching the age of 18. Later.* Of the 350 million childrean concerned. before the economic effects start to show up. Some of these new workers who will be the new builders of the world’s society will have been child laborers growing up. as later.000 Childrean work in agricultuer and 13.

slavery.S. Beyond defining work as a means of survival. in legal work and illegal occupations such as bonded labor. most developed countries had passed laws against child labor. greater productivity and consequently higher wages (reducing the need to send children to work instead of school) and higher school attendance (reducing the supply of child labor). Companies in the spotlight include respected multi-national corporations as well as many other lesser-known businesses. Child labor had declined in developed countries in any case. about 120 million of them fulltime. and those criticisms have undermined the legitimacy of further trade and financial liberalization. International firms are part of this economy not only if they hire children. Unless business responses alleviate the worst forms of child labor. indirectly. trade unions and others to help find new solutions to end exploitative work for children and to help them get the education and training they need to become productive adults. "child labor" meant more than only children in industry. defining what work is appropriate for children and what (if anything) to do about inappropriate work involves more complex judgments--especially for firms doing business in the global economy. Companies-including multinationals such as Nike. at least in industry. however. Child labor re-emerged as a public concern in the 1980s and 1990s. social workers. This time. "Child labor" is now understood to mean children working in both the formal and informal economic sectors. but also if they buy goods or services from children or from companies that make such purchases. to nongovernmental organizations. more commonly. Child labor has been a concern of the formal. That poses a new question: What kind of "child labor" should be of concern to international business? . and prostitution. These include the increasing sophistication of technology in the workplace (reducing the demand for lowskilled workers). due to a combination of several factors. agriculture and in homes. especially child workers. Children have worked for as long as families have needed all hands to pitch in. trade unions. By the end of World War II. the legitimacy of continued trade and financial liberalization will continue to be undermined by perceptions that liberalization disproportionately hurts children. Ikea and the Brazilian subsidiaries of U. but the vast majority work in informal enterprises.Child labor is linked to global business directly and. International business has come under increased pressure from social activists. cause-driven investors. [2] This time. The International Labor Organization estimates that around the world 250 million children between the ages of five and fourteen work. Critics blame increased trade and financial flows for increased child labor. and European automobile manufacturers--have responded with a range of initiatives. worry was expressed across a broad spectrum of opinion--from United Nations agencies. industrial economy since the beginning of the Industrial Age. however. Wal-Mart. and the news media--that "globalization" was increasing the incidence of child labor. [1] Some of these children work in factories and other workplaces in the formal economy. soldiering. educators.

The next section presents examples of industries and firms that have been accused of using. child labor. manufacturing. both in the formal and informal economic sectors. The balance of this paper explores the business economics of child labor in four parts. International Business and Child Labor: Three Dimensions Business' role in the economy of child labor has at least three dimensions. they operate within a global system of commerce. procurement and trade that--in part--does.From the disparate groups mentioned above has emerged a global campaign to eradicate child labor. or benefiting from. This linkage between child labor and trade makes child labor at least an indirect concern for many businesses. Even if firms do not themselves employ children. The three dimensions are: . The first part outlines three dimensions of business links--direct and indirect--to child labor. This section will draw from the previous discussions to assess trade and child labor. The second part discusses the basic question that must be answered before any further discussion begins: What is child labor? Defining the difference between all child work and "child labor" is key to any assessment of the scope of the problem as well as appropriate responses. and how some have responded to the criticism. The paper then discusses the basic economics of child labor and some of the ways in which economic theory fails to account for the actual political economy of child labor. One of the best-known parts of this campaign involves an effort to ban from international trade goods made by children. A conclusion will sum up lessons about international business and child labor.

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