Ehsaas launched ‘Mazdoor Ka Ehsaas’ report on the occasion of International Labour Day 2021 to safeguard labour welfare. The report was launched on Saturday in a webinar, which was co-chaired by Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar and Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Syed Zulfikar Bukhari. Addressing the webinar, Dr Sania Nishtar said, “Our Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) was the first person to stand for the rights of workers when he said to pay the worker his wages before his sweat dries.” She said the MKE report is the first of its kind that will help the government focus on universalising the social protection system in Pakistan and with a particular emphasis on including informal economy workers in the fold of social protection. The special assistant said Labour Force Survey 2017-18 micro-data suggests that 24.89 million workers are at-risk for jobs disruption and income losses. Endorsing the finding of the report, Special Assistant Zulfiqar Bukhari said the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development is committed to Prime Minister’s vision of Mazdoor Ka Ehsaas to ensure equitable distribution of resources in society. The webinar offered a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to sit together and deliberate on avenues for action on policy recommendations of the MKE report. The panel included Dr Aliya Khan, labour economist and representatives from Ministry of OPHRD, ILO, Employers Federation Pakistan, Pakistan Workers’ Federation, World Bank and Asian Development Bank. The panel of experts widely lauded and endorsed the insightful findings of the MKE report and its recommendations for implementation. The newly launched MKE report recommends that every labour worker in Pakistan should be provided with the social protection and minimum standard of living. Under the umbrella of Ehsaas, Dr. Sania had established the Ehsaas Labour Welfare and Social Protection Expert Group (LEG), in a tripartite arrangement. The mandate of LEG was to propose evidence-based practical recommendations to safeguard workers’ welfare. The LEG brought together distinguished experts representing the government at the federal and provincial levels, employers, trade unions, academia, private sector, development partners and NGOs. The expert group made strenuous efforts to widely consult, deliberate and realistically propose crucial areas of interventions for expanding social protection with maximum multiplier gains for the labour class. The MKE report recommends that as a first step towards providing social security coverage for every worker under the ‘Mazdoor ka Ehsaas’, a mechanism needs to be devised to register all informal sector workers, including those in the agricultural sector. To this end, the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) is setting up a dedicated MKE Unit to continuously work for the welfare of informal sector workers, agriculture sector workers as well as workers in the formal sector who are not protected by current social security measures.