Businesses and human rights


It would not have come at a more opportune time. The federal government has launched a national action plan on business and human rights with the support of the UNDP. It aims at a work culture where workers can give their best to their own benefit and that of their employers. This increased efficiency will consequently raise production. Increasing output at all levels of industries is the need of the hour to pull the economy from the downward slide.

According to the minister of commerce, the US and European countries have allowed duty-free import of Pakistani goods under the GSP-Plus Scheme and the action plan “is our commitment made in this regard to protect workers’ rights, including ensuring protection of women from harassment at the workplace”. The plan will be implemented within a short time. As things stand now, there is a gender gap in wages. Women are getting much lower wages than their male counterparts. This situation prevails through the whole spectrum of the economy.

This long-existing anomaly needs to be corrected by ensuring equal pay for equal work. The minister for human rights, who is behind the human rights plan, has promised that all stakeholders, including employees, employers, chambers of commerce and industries, labour unions and business communities, will be taken on board on the implementation of the plan. It is hoped that there will be regular interaction between management and employees so that they could have a better understanding of each other.

This will enable management to grasp issues affecting the workers — and ultimately their own organisation. When there is resentment among employees, they resort to subtle and not much-visible forms of protests like not taking the required interest in work. This makes employees under-perform. Organisations that take proper care of their employees are taken as examples worthy to be followed. Interaction of management with employees would help overcome many other problems, to the satisfaction of both sides.

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