LAHORE- The Lahore High Court on Monday allowed a petition seeking legislation for the rights of domestic workers and ordered the Punjab government to make laws for them within two months.

Justice Jawad Hassan passed the order on a petition moved by Advocate Sheraz Zaka. The commission headed by Punjab labour secretary, Advocate Sheraz Zaka, lawyers Sahar Umer Ata Bandial, daughter of a sitting judge of the Supreme Court, Ahmad Pansota and a UNICEF representative would also report on the measures being taken by the government for protection of the rights of domestic workers.  Petitioner’s counsel Sheraz Zaka argued that the LHC three years ago had ordered labour secretary to make policy for domestic workers regarding their wages and that they should be notified just like workers working in industrial establishments.  He said that tender age girls and boys were employed for domestic work and were being subjected to maltreatment, yet there was no policy or law to deal with their problems. He elaborated that in South Africa and in UK the labour rates of domestic workers in household and workers in industrial establishments are the same as both are covered under labour laws whereas there was no mention of domestic workers in labour laws of Pakistan.

He said that child labour menace had increased manifold over the past few years due to non-existence of policy or regulation for domestic workers. He said that child labour at domestic level was damaging reputation of the country amongst the comity of nations with the recent past incident of Tayyaba maltreated by the wife of a sessions judge.

He said that earlier the LHC chief justice on a petition had directed the labour secretary to formulate a policy with respect to domestic workers doing household work but it was not done so far.