KARACHI           -         A consultative meeting of stakeholders on Sindh Home-based Workers Act here Tuesday expressed concern over inordinate delay in notification of rules for the Act and demanded early implementation of the law to benefit more than 5 million home-based workers of the province.

The consultative meeting was held at a local hotel by Home-based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF), moderated by their central general secretary Zehra Khan.

She said: “Though the SHBWs Act has already been passed by the Sindh Assembly, but it is yet to be implemented as its rules are not still notified. She said a sub-committee was formed in September last year which had floated several suggestions and recommendations in this regard and a draft was also finalised. She said this consultation was held to discuss the draft of recommendations and send it to the concerned quarter so that this hallmark law could be implemented as early as possible.

Syed Ali Ashraf Naqvi of Sindh Labor and Human Rights Departments said that all lacunas in the Act should be removed and far-reaching recommendations should be floated to notify befitting rules for the Act so as to ensure its early implementation. He said it takes a lot of time to finalise things as many departments were involved in it. He, however, extended all-out cooperation on behalf of his department. He said that now as the Supreme Court of Pakistan has given the definition of ‘government’ a lot of corrections would be made in the draft.

Nasir Mansoor, deputy general secretary National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) said it is necessary to work for the universalization of workers-related matters, as without it the desired outcomes could not be achieved.

Karamat Ali of Pakistan Institute of Labor Education and Research (PILER) said it is true that this is the first law of its sort in South Asia but it is sad that this law is yet to be implemented as its rules are not notified despite the passage of a long time. He said action should be taken against those who are responsible for this inordinate delay. He said after submitting the recommendations they should be approved within two weeks.

Karamat Ali said the rules should be made and notified when the laws are being passed. He said the registration process of home-based workers should be made simple.

He suggested that mobile vans should be used by the concerned departments to register home-based workers near their doorsteps. He said the home-based workers are the workers who are least visible and thus redoubled efforts should be made for their registration. He said all social security departments and entities should play their due role so as the neglected sector of home-based workers could also get their due rights.