A study conducted by the Punjab labour department, has identified the major hurdles that are being faced in regard to providing justice for migrant workers. With the support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), it highlighted ineffective complaint mechanisms coupled with missing coordination among grievance registration and redressing systems, and lack of awareness about their availability as some of the grievances that are faced by them. The study also prepared some suggestions to rectify the situation, where thousands of complaints are piling up with various authorities.

The purpose of the study was to judge where and how a complaint could be registered by migrant workers and how easy it was for them to follow up. Under the Overseas Pakistanis Ministry, the study found that multiple forms are available to workers to lodge their complaints both within and outside the country. However, what was unsurprising is their effectiveness - their impact almost invisible, underlining the need for flagging the gaps and weaknesses in the existing mechanisms.

Over 6,000 plus complaints per year are registered by migrant workers on an average on issues ranging from foreign exchange remittances to passport, death and disability compensation. However, we continue to ignore the issue, giving vague statements of how perhaps these workers deserved what they were paying for.

While the Government of Pakistan is keen to shore up the economy through remittances earned from these migrant workers, nevertheless it is uninterested and unwilling to tackle the predatory practices of agents that entrap them, and to reform its policy.

The constitutional duties of a Government to uphold the fundamental rights and protect the lives of its citizens were not limited to the geographic boundaries of the country. No legal justification exists for our inaction and the suffering of our citizens, abroad. The only way to ensure that our government cannot look away from this issue is to make it impossible for it to do so. We will never know how many of our fellow citizens suffer, just because we simply turned a blind eye towards them.