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Realising Universal Labour Rights:Labour Standards for Small Enterprises in Pakistan

Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research (PILER) ()

Working Papers from eSocialSciences

Abstract: Labour protection has largely failed as enterprise contribution to social protection. Much labour legislation does not apply to micro and small enterprises (MSE) ; those laws that do apply are complied with and enforced poorly. In consequence, most workers are denied, by state and market, even the core labour rights enunciated in the ILO Declaration of Principles and hence the minimum labour standards implied in the broader concepts of decent work. Reacting to this situation, two main responses are being widely discussed in the making of social and economic policy. An essential ingredient of this social dialogue will be a better understanding of the issues involved, and hence the space, necessity, implications (and the politics) of tradeoffs between employment and working conditions. This study attempts a modest contribution to this process of promoting social justice. The paper examines linkages between labour legislation and MSE growth in Pakistan, looks at official policies and proposals and reviews ILO analysis and advice. The concluding section has an extended discussion on a framework for universal labour standards, to then propose specific initiatives. These also bear upon the current official exercise of ‘consolidating and rationalising’ labour legislation for better compliance and enforcement.

Keywords: labour laws; micro and small enterprises; legislation; labour standards; working conditions; ILO; Pakistan; Labour Studies; Economics; Sociology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005-12
Note: Institutional Papers
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