Right to Work


The concept of the “Right to Work” is a fundamental principle enshrined in various international treaties and agreements, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR). The right to work is recognized as a basic human right and is outlined in Article 6 of the CESCR.

The right to work encompasses several key elements:

  • Equal Opportunity

It emphasizes that everyone has the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work that they freely choose or accept. Discrimination in employment and occupation based on factors like race, sex, religion, disability, or any other status is prohibited.

  • Fair and Just Conditions

It stipulates that individuals have the right to favorable conditions of work, including fair wages, safe and healthy working conditions, equal pay for equal work, reasonable working hours, and rest periods.

  • Trade Union Rights

It includes the right to form and join trade unions to protect one’s interests, engage in collective bargaining, and participate in peaceful strikes if necessary.

  • Protection against Unemployment

It implies measures aimed at ensuring the right to work is protected against unjustified unemployment. This might involve state support, such as unemployment benefits or job training programs.

  • Right to Just and Favorable Remuneration

Individuals have the right to receive just and favorable remuneration ensuring an existence worthy of human dignity for themselves and their families.

The right to work doesn’t guarantee employment for everyone but ensures that individuals have the opportunity and conditions to seek, obtain, and maintain decent work without discrimination. States that are party to international treaties like the ICESCR are obligated to take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of the right to work by adopting necessary legislative, administrative, and other measures.

Constitution of Pakistan

The Right to Work is a fundamental human right that is recognized and protected by the Constitution of Pakistan. Under Article 18 of the Constitution, every citizen of Pakistan has the right to work and earn a living. This right includes the freedom to choose their profession or occupation, the right to equal pay for equal work, and the right to fair and humane conditions of work.

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