Conference on “State of Bonded Labour in Pakistan” takes place to eliminate bonded labour system

Today on 19th May 2023, Friday a labour conference was held by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in collaboration with Bonded Labour Liberation Front Pakistan. The main subject of conference was “State of Bonded Labour in Pakistan”. Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan former minister education, Abdullah Dayo program coordinator FES, Syeda Ghulam Fatima general secretary Bonded Labour Liberation Front Pakistan, Dr. Ashraf Nizami Pakistan Medical Association, Mubashir Javaid Divisional Director Social Welfare & Baitulmaal, Rubina Jamil general secretary All Pakistan Trade union Federation. Zaffar Malik executive director Aaghaz Foundation, Mahar Safdar Ali Program manager Bonded Labour Liberation Front Pakistan and Saira iftikhar Chief Researcher Labour Wing Muslin League N were prominent speakers of the conference. Whilst addressing audience Syeda Ghulam Fatima said that 6.7 million human being are victims of dehumanization system of forced labour.

Referring the past special measure to eradicate forced labour system by that time chief minster Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif, she demanded same measures once again at all over the country. She indicated lack of information and awareness on the part of masses and requested to main stream media, social media, writers and academia to come forward for awareness raising and sensitization of people about manic forced labour. At this occasion Abdullah Dayo program coordinator FES highlighted the lacking of data about victims of forced labour in Pakistan. he indicated the differences about figures reported by international labour organization, walk free international and bonded labour liberation front Pakistan.

He said immediate and accurate survey of  bonded labourers is necessary for proper development measures and planning as well. Suggesting the measures for eradication forced labour system, he stressed for strengthening of trade unions and alternate economic measures for agriculture and brick kiln labour and small loan schemes are contributing factors to eradicate forced labour system. Rana Mashhood informed the audience about his party decision for discouragement of offenders in upcoming elections. He said any person involved in any type of practice of forced labour system will not be issued party ticket for general election.

 He ensured the conference to represent recommendations before prime minster and advocate for implementation in letter and spirit. Dr. Ashraf Nizami president Pakistan Medical Association acknowledged dignity of working class and termed them as back bone of economy. He demanded to pursue and implement article 3, article 11 and article 38 of constitution of Pakistan. He said that workers actual honours of this country. Rubina Jamil general secretary All Pakistan Trade Union  Federation admire the efforts of BLLF and Syeda Ghulam Fatima for holding this conference in odd circumstances and political unrest. At the end of the conference following recommendations were passed. 

1. Demand for alternate economic measures, social protection, microfinance and small loan schemes for brick kiln and agriculture workers. 
2. Demand for immediate and appropriate survey for determining data of agriculture and brick kiln workers, mine and fisheries workers, and glass bangle makers.
3. The conference demanded for increases in wages in accordance with inflation and price hiking. ‘The conference also demanded implementation of minimum wages award. 
4. Appropriate measures demanded for safety at workplace, toilets, and suitable environment for agriculture and brick kiln workers, mine and fisheries workers, and glass bangle workers.
5. The conference also demanded for making more strict, effective and efficient legislation for eradication of forced labour system.

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