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Legislators asked to review labor legislation, make them according to ILO standards

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KARACHI: Members of Civil Society and Labor Leaders called upon the legislators of Sindh Assembly to review and amend all the labor laws passed by present assembly by making them compliant to ILO Conventions. They also urged the parliamentarians to frame a coordinated implementation strategy of the labor and human rights laws.

The labor leaders and civil society activists were speaking at a consultation with the members of Sindh Assembly organized by Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) at a local hotel.

Justice (Ret) Majida Razvi, Chairperson of Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) presided over and MPAs belonging to almost all political parties in Sindh Assembly attended the meeting. Members of Sindh Assembly included Ms. Kulsoom Chandio, Saeed Khan Nizamani, Ameer Hyder Sheerazi, Diwan Chand Chawla, Ms. Saira Shahliani, Saeed Khan Nizamani ,Waqar Hussain Shah, Ms. Shahnaz, Ms. Rana Ansar, Haji Safi Mohammad Jamote, MPA.

Justice (Ret) Majida Razvi of SHRC said common people are suffering the most because of consumption of the polluted water and lack of healthcare facilities in the province. There is a lack of access to justice in the society, she added.

Karamat Ali, Executive Director of PILER said despite the fact Sindh Assembly has made record legislation in labour, however, their implementation is still a cause of concern.

It is encouraging that European Union has extended the Generalized System of Preference (GSP)-Plus scheme for Pakistan to export duty free products in the European market. It would have been unfortunate if this GSP-Plus was withdrawn, however, this is extended for the next two years.

All 27 international conventions pertaining to human rights, labour rights, environmental protection and good governance needed to be implemented. Karamat Ali asked the legislators to make the already passed laws compliant to ILO standards.

He appreciated the Sindh government for giving first-ever Labor Policy and holding the provincial Tripartite Labor Conference and said the EU’s review report has especially mentioned holding of Tripartite Labor Conference.  

The Sindh Labor Policy is in fact an election manifesto for PPP government and all political parties should include the points in the Labor Policy in their Election Manifestoes.

MPA from Pakistan Peoples’ Party Kulsoom Chandio said the present provincial assembly has made record legislation. However, he regretted that implementation of those laws is still is a major cause of concern.

MPA from Pakistan Muslim League (Functional) Mohammad Rafiq Banbhan said agriculture workers are not getting the same facilities, which the industrial workers are  enjoying like social security and oldage benefits.

Habibuddin Junaidi said the provincial government of Sindh is seriousness in implementation on Labour Policy. He said minimum wages are fixed at Rs. 15,000 for unskilled workers, but unfortunately this rate is also not paid in most of industries in the province.

In her presentation, senior research Ms. Zeenat Hisam said that most of Pakistani labour laws are not compliant to the international conventions. She said Process of provincial law-making is slow, restrictive clauses have been retained in several laws and tripartite consultation is reported but feedback not always accommodated.

Ms. Zeenia Shaukat gave an overview of human rights situation in Pakistan. She said enforced disappearance cases have increased in recent years but the government is denying. Freedom of expression, right to association and assembly are severely curbed. Media is restricted and new cyber legislation is anti-right of expression. Misuse of Blasphemy law is reported and minorities are considering themselves unsafe in Pakistan.

Human Rights activist Zulfiqar Shah from PILER gave a presentation about GSP-Plus and its compliance in Pakistan. He suggested to initiate oversight of relevant ministries and institutions, follow up of periodic reporting  and compliance to observations /recommendations, budget allocation for the human rights institutions like SHRC and create a debate on human rights reforms agenda.

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Health

Anti-polio campaign to start in Karachi from today

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KARACHI: Mass immunization campaigns, known as National Immunization Days (NIDs), would be started from today to administer anti-polio drops along with the supplement of Vitamin A to over 2.3 million children up to five years of age in all 188 union councils in the metropolis during seven days.
More than 9000 polio teams will perform their duties in the campaign, it was decided in a meeting chaired by Commissioner Karachi Muhammad Sualeh Farooqui, at his office, said a statement on Sunday. Briefing about security arrangements it was told the meeting that foolproof security arrangements have been made to ensure the security of polio teams. The meeting was attended among others by Municipal Commissioner KMC Dr. Saifur Rehman, all Deputy commissioners, all district and town health officers, officials of Police, Pakistan Rangers, Health
Department, Emergency Operation Centres (EOC). The Commissioner stressed the need to work with the focus based strategies addressing issues specifically in all areas.  He said that there is a great need to work for the improvement of micro plan and communication strategy. He asked the Deputy Commissioners to make all-out efforts to make the campaign result oriented. He urged the parents to cooperate with the polio teams to ensure their children are safe as a vaccine, given to them multiple times, can protect them for life. The Commissioner also stressed the need that efforts should also be made to administer polio drops to school going children of up to five years of age.
It was informed to the meeting that the Education department’s private school secretariat has instructed the concerned private schools to help the administration and cooperate with the polio teams in carrying out their duties for providing children the protection from the crippling decease. It was decided in a meeting that awareness campaign of teachers, as well as parents, would be initiated with the support of school administrations in coordination with the Directorate of the Private Schools. He said that polio eradication was a national cause and it would be the top priority of city administration to carry out its efforts for the elimination of poliovirus.

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Asia

MAJU, Azerbaijan’s varsity sign MoU for academic cooperation

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Fee-free university to open in Pakistan

KARACHI: Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Karachi (MAJU) and Khazar University, Baku, Azerbaijan have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for academic cooperation with each other.
MAJU Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences, Dr. Kamran Azim and Rector, Khizar University, Dr.Hassan Niknafs have signed MoU.
This agreement is based on the reciprocity principle and expresses the genuine interest of both universities in exchanging students, scholars, academic information and dual degree programs, said a statement here on Sunday.
As per MoU, MAJU and Khazar University besides exchanging students and faculty/ staff will encourage the development and implementation of visiting scholars/tutors, cultural exchange, cooperative /collaborative research projects, cooperative (joint and double) degree and joint summer programs at respective campuses.  The term of this agreement shall be five academic years that is 2018 to 2023.
Both Universities will cooperate for short term training programs/ projects and service – learning programs, cooperative and exchange lecturing plans and lecture content, conferences and seminars, academic supervision of graduate /post-graduate students.
As per MoU in the event of students exchange, specific arrangement for payment of related expenses, including round-trip travel, board, lodging, tuition and health insurance will be agreed upon by both universities in advance.

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Karachi

President condoles with Amal’s family

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President condoles with Amal’s family

KARACHI: President Dr. Arif Alvi Saturday visited the family of Amal, 10-year-old girl who was killed during an alleged police encounter, and offered his condolences with her father Umar Adil and the bereaved family.
The president, on the occasion, also directed the concerned departments to immediately investigate the incident, said a press release.
On August 13, during an alleged encounter between policemen and the muggers, Amal who was sitting in the back of her family’s car was fatally hit by one of the bullets in Akhtar Colony area.

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