Every year on May 1, people across the world, including Pakistan, celebrate Labor Day as a public holiday. A few arrange get-togethers to enjoy the much needed holiday while others spend it either watching TV, playing games or sleeping in all day. The idea is to gain as much from this day as one can – for oneself. But what no one does is think about what this day truly stands for. Has any of us done something of value for the labor class or tried to resolve their problems?
There are countless problems which are being faced by our laborers such as poverty, illiteracy, food and water crises. A vast majority of laborers and daily-wage workers remain outside the field of labor laws, which means that workers have no paid holidays, no job security, no medical coverage, no pension or provident fund, no limit on working hours and are paid no overtime. In Pakistan with all this, there is also an issue of child labor. Child labor in Pakistan is growing at a disturbing rate. Hundreds and thousands of children struggle to achieve basic necessities of life. Children are the future of any country; we should all work to help them become a better people. Child labor is a very complex problem with its root in the socio-economic environment of the country. The children suffer from lack of education and health facilities and better employment.
It is important to note that Pakistan became a member of the International Lab our Organization (ILO) right after its independence in 1947. However, there is not much change when I look at the present situation, there seem to be no labor laws’ implementation. There should be international monitoring in the country and people should be held accountable who use child labor and bonded labor.
I know many people who are working as laborers just for a small amount and they don’t have even one day off, because the day they don’t work there is no food on the table.
FARIYA AZHAR,
Karachi, April 26.