“Poverty is the mother of all evils.”
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom” Nelson Mandela
According to Article 23.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by United Nations General Assembly, “everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.”
Also, The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states in Part III, Article 6:
(1) The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right.
(2) The steps to be taken by a State Party to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include technical and vocational guidance and training programs, policies and techniques to achieve steady economic, social and cultural development and full and productive employment under conditions safeguarding fundamental political and economic freedoms to the individual.
We believe that everyone has the right to work, without any discrimination, under comfortable, secure and healthy environment and for remuneration which is enough for a decent and dignified living. In addition, there should be equal pay for equal work. Right to form and join unions is critical. And it is state’s responsibility to ensure this. And in case state cannot provide employment or to those who are not able to work, it should be responsible for meeting basic human needs.
Unemployment and under employment is global problem. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of the number of affected people as most of these people reside in developing countries where accuracy of data is questionable and majority of work force is in informal or undocumented sector.
According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Pakistan’s unemployment rate averaged 5.50 between June 1980 till June 2015 with record low of 3.04% in in June 1986 and record high of 8.27% in June 2003. However, according to a report in November 2017 in Dawn, “Nielsen, a global marketing research firm, recently shared some interesting reports with Dawn. One of the six reports mailed, titled ‘Navigating what’s next: where the Pakistani consumers are heading’, provided a piercing insight into transformational Pakistani society. The 28-page report put the employment rate at 51pc against 94pc projected by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).” The point is that it is difficult to find accurate authentic data in Pakistan in practically any field. Unemployment and under employment is worse in rural areas which leads to migration to already over crowded cities causing further stress on available resources.
Opportunities for employment are closely linked with national and international economy. High unemployment rate is simultaneously a cause and effect of poor economic growth. And if a good economic growth does not lead to reduction of unemployment, then there is something wrong with economic policies. In addition, national policies for education, skills training and human resource development and aligning this with market needs is required in order to reduce unemployment. If people are trained in high tech jobs but the growth is in a different sector then these people will either leave the country or will be underemployed. Similarly, with growth comes need for different skills and the educational and skills training policies have to be adjusted accordingly and some workers will have to be retrained in new skills to avoid becoming jobless.
Labor policy is another factor which affects the level of unemployment, under employment and job security. Absence of collective bargaining platforms and robust trade unions leads to poor pay, lack of social security and job insecurity. Proliferation of contract labor, outsourcing of jobs and privatization of state enterprises and all social services like education, healthcare, transport etc. has led to attrition of secure jobs and even increase in unemployment. This is all possible when a comprehensive central planning program in implemented.
Unemployment, underemployment and lack of social security are major causes of poverty. It is not simply an economic issue but has serious negative effects on social peace and harmony and cohesion among various segments of population. It leads to anger and frustration which may be precursors of crime and chaos in the society. When the state cannot provide employment, it resorts to dole outs from the national exchequer eroding self respect and self confidence of people.
It is important that employment generation is an integral part of development. Development and human resource development through education and training have to be coordinated at central level. It is the result of this mismatch that all highly educated and skilled people leave the country or are underemployed and low skilled workers cannot find jobs or are exploited in other countries. We plan to create jobs through: Infrastructure projects. This does not consist only of motorways and flyovers but incorporates important buildings for social services including education, healthcare, sports complexes, arts and cultural projects etc. This will create jobs for people with skills i.e. unskilled construction worker to engineers and town planners as well as all those who deal with building materials.
· Improving public transport. This includes buses, trains as well as airways. This will also need new infrastructures.
· Setting up industry in smaller cities and rural ares where possible.
· Improving tourism
· Improving social services
· Encourage entertainment and cultural activities
· Focus on research and development in different sectors
· Encourage and facilitate opening of cooperative businesses/farming
In order to implement the above programs, we will have to set up educational and training programs for those who are interested. This will in itself create jobs.