PESHAWAR: Speakers at a function have stressed the need for proper legislation to enable the home-based workers (HBWs) to raise voice for their rights in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The function was held in connection with the International Home-Based Workers Day under the aegis of Centre of Excellence for Rural Development (CERD) in collaboration with the UN Women at Peshawar Press Club on Friday.

Women’s parliamentary caucus member Meraj Humayun Khan said that a bill to ensure protection to the rights of the home-based workers had been drafted and submitted to the provincial assembly and with its approval most of the problems would be resolved.

The lawmaker said that the basic issue being faced by such workers was that the government was not recognising them as labourers and thus they were unable to raise voice for their rights under the labour laws.

She said that there was no authentic data about the number of home-based workers, but they were presumed to be around 10 million in the country. Also, the number of such workers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is increasing with each passing day.

She said that if the proposed law was approved then the employers would not dare to deny due rights to the workers and they would have to pay penalty in case of violation.

CERD representative Saifur Rehman Durrani said that if the government recognised them as workers they would have the right to be registered as workers, get training of modern technology and avail of proper wages and protection.

The HBWs, he said, should be protected while working in laboratories and to get compensation under the law in case of any harm to their health. He also talked about working conditions of the workers in different industrial units and called for checking exploitation of employees.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2017

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