Labour Law


What does “Decent Work” mean?

Decent Work is what we aspire for. Decent Work is done in those conditions where people have enough jobs, their rights are guaranteed at work, they are provided social protection and that they are allowed representation through promotion of social dialogue. The rights at work are freedom to organize and assemble, freedom of child labor and bonded labor as well as non-discrimination and equality.

Decent Work, a term first used by the current ILO DG Juan Somavia in 1999, has also been adopted by the UN in measurement of the Millennium Development Goals. Since 2005, the Decent Work has been included as a target on the first MDG and ILO does all the reporting regarding the achievement of this target.

Does Pakistan have some program for creation of decent working conditions?

Pakistan is the first country in Asia and Pacific, which started its Decent Work Country Programme in 2005 with the technical help from ILO. DWCPs are tripartite i.e. all the social partners are involved in deciding on the priorities to follow in short and long term. However these priorities and goals must be in line with the MDGs.

What is the usage of Decent Work Check?

ILO has been working on the measurement of Decent Work through statistical indicators. The current tool, Decent Work Check has been developed by the Wage Indicator Foundation and is based on ILO Core Conventions and other important Conventions. This compares your situation (meaning your organization’s policy) with that of the national labor laws and international labor standards. You can not only see whether your company is following national labor regulations or not. You can also find out how much your national labor law complies with the international labor standards.

Tell me about ILO, please?

ILO is the specialized UN agency on labor and employment related matters. It was founded in 1919 and it is the only agency working under the League of Nations which maintained its status and became a member of UN in 1946. It has now 183 states as its members. ILO is also the only UN agency with tripartite structure which means that it not only brings together the representatives of workers, employers and governments but also on equal footing.

What are international labor standards?

International Labor Standards, in the form of conventions and recommendations, have been set up by the ILO and its tripartite constituents to safeguard the fundamental rights of workers. Currently, there are 188 conventions and 200 recommendations. The difference between Conventions and Recommendations is that Conventions are legally binding treaties after ratification however recommendations are just policy guidelines. A country can't be forced to follow the recommendations however it is under legal obligation to respect and follow the ratified conventions. A member country is also under obligation to respect ILO Core Conventions which cover the fundamental rights at work i.e. child labor, forced/bonded labor, equality and freedom to organize and represent. Pakistan does not follow the direct enforcement of international treaties principle, which means that when ratified, it also has to change the labor law and these international conventions can be applied only though national labor law.

For further information on International Labor Standards, please follow the link.

For information on ILO activities in Pakistan, please follow the link below.

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