ISLAMABAD (ILO News): The Employers Federation of Pakistan reassured its commitment to address sexual harassment at the work place through implementation of the Act for Sexual Harassment at the workplace.
EFP and Federal Ombudsman Secretariat in collaboration with Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries and International Labour Organization Country office for Pakistan organized the 6th seminar on Act of 2010 at Islamabad duly attended by a wide range of stakeholders including employers, workers, academia, media, NGOs and government representatives from Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Speaking on the occasion Justice (retired) Yasmin Abbasey reassured government of Pakistan’s commitment to address the work place harassment through effective implementation of the existing legislation. The act currently focuses on sexual harassment at the workplace. She highlighted government vision and commitment to address all forms of workplace harassments. A due multi stakeholder consultative process shall be followed in coming months to prepare the amendments to the current legislation which is applicable on all Government Autonomous Organizations and Private sector. While speaking on the examples she emphasized the need to monitor the workplaces including education institutions to encourage girls and women active participation in the workforce. Human rights are to be fully protected and we need to act together to develop a peaceful and healthier atmosphere for women workers to not only to save our present but the future of the country.
While welcoming the participants President Employers Federation of Pakistan Mr Khawaja Nauman emphasised on the need to raise awareness on existing laws such as sexual harassment at the workplace among employers for compliance with national commitments and be able to provide a much safer and enabling environment to women workers. Because of EFP’s efforts now many of the enterprises and businesses have mechanisms for effective implementation of the act such as inquiry committees.
Country Director International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Pakistan Mr Francesco d, Ovidio reassured ILO’s support to FoS and EFP to expand the coverage of the act through awareness raising and continue to support existing implementation mechanisms. The sexual harassment at the workplace is increasingly recognised as an occupational hazard and as a human right violation which undermine equality of opportunity and treatment between men and women in Pakistan. He referred to ILO convention 111 while emphasizing the need for a consistent investment and follow up to ensure actions to be translated into results.
He emphasised on the need to further expand the coverage of the act to the informal economy including domestic workers. He congratulated the FoS and EFP’s collective efforts to sensitising employers on the subject and encouraged media to report and give visibility to such an inspiring example and further project Pakistan’s efforts of reducing inequalities at the workplace.
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce President Mr Muzamil Hussain Sabri assured their full support to implement the act.
EFP expert Dr Momina Randhawa and Director FoS Mr Shahrukh Abbasi, gave detailed presentations on protection against harassment at workplaces. They said that every employer should establish probe committees to look into such complaints. They encouraged employers to ensure safe and healthy atmosphere at their workplaces, besides providing a vibrant mechanism there, enabling both male and female workers to get the benefits of the Act.
At the end, participants asked a number of questions to the presenters and a meaningful dialogue was encouraged.
For further information please contact:
Mr Syed Saghir Bukhari
ILO Country Office for Pakistan
Tel. +92 51 2276456-8