Lahore High Court Seeks Regulation On Domestic Workers

Lahore High Court Seeks Regulation On Domestic Workers

Chief Justice, Lahore High Court Chief has directed Chief Secretary, Punjab and the Secretary for Labour to devise a policy to protect rights of domestic workers.

During the hearing of a case, Advocate Sheraz Zaka argued on behalf of the petitioner that the Punjab Restriction on Employment of Children Act 2016 applied to children working in industrial establishments only and there was no policy/regulation for the children working in residences.

The lawyer said that the Supreme Court recently took suo motu notice of maltreatment meted out to a minor girl working at the house of a sessions judge in Islamabad. He said that the menace of child labour had increased manifold over the past few years in domestic household work due to non-existence of policy or regulation.

He stated that in the light of the superior court’s judgments, international laws could be relied upon to formulate a policy, although Pakistan had not ratified any international domestic workers convention.

Advocate Zaka argued that people in a similar situation should be treated equally – children below 14 years of age were being engaged in household and arduous work for long hours.

An Assistant Advocate General opposed the petition and said it was not maintainable as the petitioner was not a domestic worker.

However, Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah issued directions to the Chief Secretary and the Secretary for Labour to formulate a policy with respect to the domestic workers and disposed of the petition.

This news was previously published in DAWN and is being republished here with permission.