Advocacy

GSP+ and labour rights

By Iftikhar Ahmad  The article was published on 14 April 2019 by the News on Sunday The article focuses on the state of labour rights as assessed through newly released Labour Force Survey 2018 (launched in January 2019). Under GSP+, Pakistan is required to protect and promote fundamental labour rights. The article gives an overview of the state of labour rights during the first five years of GSP+(2014-18) and recommends...

The state of labour in Pakistan

By Iftikhar Ahmad The article was published on 03 February 2019 by the News on Sunday. In this newspaper article, I analyse the recently released #LabourForceSurvey2017-18 in #Pakistan. There are many insights to share (increase in gender wage gap, dwindling female labour force participation, reduction in the share of agriculture in total employment, and the increased share of formal sector). The article recommends reforms in the collection of data through LFS on #gigeconomy...

Regulating domestic work

By Iftikhar Ahmad and Sidra Nizamuddin The article was published on 27 December 2018 by the Express Tribune.  Another version of this article was published by the News on Sunday. In this coauthored piece, Sidra Nizamuddin and Iftikhar Ahmad analyse the recently tabled #Punjab Domestic Workers Bill 2018. While it is a step in the right direction, an inconsistent and incomplete law can further frustrate instead of promoting decent work for domestic workers.

Labour and manifestos

By Iftikhar Ahmad The article was published on 22 July 2018 by the The News. Another version of this article was published by the Dawn. Of the 207 million population, as determined by the 2017 census, 106 million are registered voters (18 years and above) in Pakistan. More than 90 per cent of these 106 million voters are part of the working age population (15-64 years) and...

State of worker rights

By Iftikhar Ahmad The article was published on 2 May 2018 by the The Express Tribune. This timing of this Labour Day is crucial. The incumbent governments’ tenure is about to end and there would be special messages from the executive on how committed they are in promotion of workers’ rights.  However, before we are blinded by these special supplements and advertisements, let’s...

Labour: still the federal mandate?

By Iftikhar Ahmad The article was published on 4 April 2018 by the The Express Tribune. After the 18th Constitutional Amendment, parliament stopped enacting legislation on labour matters as it was argued that the subject was devolved and legislation could be promulgated only by provinces. The Supreme Court of Pakistan, in its decisions dated 28 March 2018 has finally negated this and has argued...

UPR and the state of trade union rights in Pakistan

By Iftikhar Ahmad The article was published on 14 November 2017 by the Daily Times. My article in today’s Daily Times explains the Universal Periodic Review process. Pakistan had its human rights record assessed on 13 November 2017. Dozens of reports were submitted by the civil society organisations in the process. Interestingly, NONE of the more than 40 civil society submissions as well as...

GSP+ status: are threats of withdrawal real?

By Iftikhar Ahmad The article was published on 27 October 2017 by the The Express Tribune. My article in today’s Express Tribune on GSP+ analyses the scheme and threats for withdrawal of preferential treatment by EU. No serious failure has been identified by the ILO in implementation of labour conventions. What is threatening is the poor record of implementation...

Addressing Pakistan’s modern slavery problem

By Iftikhar Ahmad The article was published on 16 October 2017 by the DAWN. The Global Slavery Index 2016 estimated the number of modern slavery victims in Pakistan as 2.134m (1.13pc of the total population). In terms of absolute numbers, Pakistan ranked 3 (out of 167 countries) in this index after India (18.354m) and China (3.388m). Using the above referred percentage of 1.13pc with the new...

Questions to ask about workers’ rights under CPEC

By Iftikhar Ahmad The article was published on 18 September 2017 by the DAWN. Another version of this article was published by the News on Sunday. My piece on workers’ rights under CPEC was published today in the Daily Dawn.  China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a flagship under China One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative. There is no doubt that the CPEC investment will stimulate...