LAHORE, April 28: The National Coalition against Bonded Labour (NCABL) on Sunday called upon all political parties to make clear commitments for the eradication of all slavery-like practices in the country.

“This general body meeting of the NCABL expresses its shock and dismay at the poor attention the political parties seeking power through the forthcoming election are paying to the ordeal of the country’s labouring masses, especially of the bonded workers,” a statement issued by NCBAL Chairperson IA Rehman after the meeting reads.

It seems they have no time to take notice of Article 3 of the Constitution that obliges the state to strive for an end to exploitation and the acceptance of the principle of taking from each according to one’s capacity and guaranteeing each according to one’s needs, the statement says.

“These political parties cannot be unaware of the exploitation of workers, trapped in various forms of bondage, in agriculture, in the brick-kiln industry, in carpet weaving factories and in mines, nor can they deny the plight of factory workers, landless tenants and farm labour,” it says.

The statement has called upon all political parties to make clear and firm pledge that they would give priority to measures needed to eradicate bonded labour in whatever form and wherever it exists.

“They will carry out land reforms and provide land to bona fide tenants. They will ratify and implement ILO convention 141 on unionisation of agricultural workers and they will fully implement all the ILO conventions that government of Pakistan has  ratified, especially the conventions 87, 98, 100, 111, 29, 105, 138 and 182,” the statement says.

It says the NCABL has reiterated its view that any dispensation that ignored the rights and interests of the majority of the people would be nothing more than organised exploitation of the poor and the weak.

The NCABL is an alliance of more than a score of organisations working for end to bonded labour.

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