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Human rights and manpower utilisation.

Human Rights and Manpower Utilisation

The full employment pledge embodied in the United Nations Charter constituted a historic phase in the evolution of the modern conception of the functions and responsibilities of the democratic state. It reflected the fundamental importance of the promotion of full employment from two distinct points of view. First as a condition of economic and social progress and as an essential factor in human rights. The goal of human rights is to be adopted by each state in the interest of its own citizens.

By the time the United Nations was established in 1945, stabilizing employment and avoiding large scale unemployment were recognized as essential for economic and political stability in the nations concerned. Accordingly, a full employment pledge was incorporated in the Charter of the United Nations. This pledge had as its objective the three fold goal expressed by Article 55 of the Charter. It called upon the member countries to promote higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress.

The full employment pledge embodied in the United Nations Charter constituted a historic phase in the evolution of the modern conception of the functions and responsibilities of the democratic state. It reflected the fundamental importance of the promotion of full employment from two distinct points of view. First as a condition of economic and social progress and as an essential factor in human rights. The goal of human rights is to be adopted by each state in the interest of its own citizens.

Full employment is now considered an essential pre-condition for a functioning world economy, for the convertibility of currencies, for the development of multilateral trade, and for the advantages of international specialization. Each country is now expected to undertake to define the full employment standard for itself. Each country is now expected to undertake to define the full employment standard for itself. Each country is now required to publish, as soon and as precisely as it is practicable, the standard by which it defines the meaning of full employment as a continuing objective of national policy.

A modern government then has the task of appraising its current economic position with respect to employment trends and other economic considerations and also of setting forthcoming recommendations for achieving or maintaining a level of economic activity consistent with the full employment standard. In order to attain full employment standard the governments' concern may find it desirable to increase the estimated levels of consumption expenditure, of investment expenditure or both.

It appears that international migration affords only a small possibility of solving the problems of under-employment in the over-populated and economically underdeveloped Asian countries. Where over population is a major factor in the situation, demographic considerations discourage efforts to initiate a programme at all because of the magnitude of the problem. To add to this dilemma is the phenomenon that economic development in developing countries is accompanied by a rapid increase in the size of the population. This occurs because of the reduction of mortality which, in most cases, is not balanced by a corresponding fall in fertility. Successful economic planning depends on ensuring that production increases more rapidly than population.

Such a condition is not easy to attain in a developing country where the excessive growth of population inevitably gives rise to problems pertaining to the protection of human rights. If an economy is largely agricultural, the working force is not fully utilized and the protest against under-employment assumes great dimensions. Technology is primitive in agricultural settings and people live close to a subsistence minimum. The way out of this vicious circle will require a more or less simultaneous expression in two directions: improved technology in agriculture and the establishment of institutions for the protection of human rights such as the constitutional courts, administrative courts, the institutions of Ombudsmen and civil liberties bureaus. These institutions can prevent chronic under-utilization of the working force. The institutions suggested above deal effectively with provisions incorporated in the constitutions of developing countries pertaining to equality. A version of equality with broader employment possibilities is equality of opportunity in the context of working force of the nation. This version assumes that equality entitles people to equal opportunities to compete with others. Individuals should start equal in the race for goals, economic and otherwise, that they seek in life. Such programmes compensate for existing inequalities or discrimination. They give everybody an equal start. The idea is that equality can be balanced with freedom, with no real conflict ensuing at all between the two principles.

The conviction that the national manpower retains certain rights, never to be surrendered to bureaucracy, is basic to modern philosophy of democratic government. Any policy of manpower utilization that is inconsistent with standards of constitutional justice can now be challenged in a court of law by virtue of the Directive Principles of State Policy.

It is obvious that the demands for human rights being made today around the world are heir to all the great historic movements for human development. They achieve support from the findings of modern science about the close link between simple respective for human dignity and shaping and sharing of all other values. The important fact is that manpower all over the world is today increasingly demanding an enhanced protection of all basic rights, commonly characterized to empirical reference as those of human dignity.

The democratic government stands for a fundamental freedom of choice for all members of the working force for an effective equality of opportunity that precludes discrimination based on sex, religion, political opinion, language, or other grounds irrelevant to capability. The modern government equally stands for distinctive recognition of pre-eminent contribution by talented individuals to the common interest. The modern government stands equally for effective participation of people in the shaping and sharing of respect with appropriate opportunity to discover latent capability and to exercise such capability; for freedom from imposition of disrespect by the use of different instruments of policy; for recognition as a human being; for access to institutions; and for protection of equality before the law.

Modern manpower utilization policies equally recognize demands relating to the well being of individuals; for a basic minimum in safety health, and comfort, and for additional opportunity included with choice; for progress toward optimum sematic and psychological development throughout life; for general participation in the realization of bodily and mental health; for an environment that is conducive to survival and development; for freedom to initiate and constitute institutions specialized in welfare activities; for being a beneficiary of science and technology; for the employment of appropriate strategies in relation to safety, for prevention, deterrence, restriction and rehabilitation of persons having criminal tendencies. Modern manpower utilization policies and programmes envisage demands relating to skill, for an optimum aggregative in the acquisition and exercise of a skill; for acquisition of a basic minimum of skills relevant to an effective participation in all value processes; for unrestricted opportunity to acquire and exercise socially acceptable skills; for special assistance to overcome handicaps; for exposure to training, both in content and method; for exposure to social processes that enable the individual to acquire the motivations and capabilities appropriate to the performance of adult roles in value processes.

Differentiation in the treatment of the individual based upon group categorization in public service, having no rational relation to the genuine potential of the individual for contribution to the common interest, is declared by experts as a case of discrimination. The most modern meaning of human dignity is that individuals are to be regarded and treated as total personalities having their own unique characteristics and potentialities, and are not to be manipulated and managed in mass, in terms of pursuits and class-bound characteristics assigned through group labels.

Women constitute an important element of the working force in any nation. It is, however, an unhappy state of affairs in some countries where women are still denied the right to vote and to hold high public offices. In some countries where the right of voting and office holding is normally recognized, there is in fact a conspicuous under-representation of women at all levels of government. After half a century of women suffrage, the number of women in higher positions of public administration and political power is still very small. When women do hold key public offices, they tend to be confined to such women's spheres as social welfare, special education, public health, family planning, and population welfare. The institutions and practices simply relegate women to an inferior status. The cumulative deprivation, and a general lack, among women, of access to technical skill, wealth, and other values, handicaps their participation in the effective processes of a community. Despite steady progress towards co-education, it is still commonplace in several parts of the world that boys and girls are segregated in schools. Instead of preparing girls for full participation in the productive life of their community, women are often discouraged from studying subjects of importance. Women are often deprived of opportunities to acquire, develop and exercise a range of socially useful manpower skills. In some countries, child bearing and home care are assumed to be their exclusive domain. Sometimes, women are confined to a narrow range of low paying occupations. Even in the same employment situation, unequal pay for work of equal value generally prevails. Job advancement is generally more difficult for women than for men. In some countries, consent of women to marriage is not a necessary legal requirement provided the consent of parents or guardians is obtained.

To achieve genuine manpower utilization, it is vital that no body be forced into a predetermined role on account of sex. The most rational manpower utilization policy requires the emancipation of women. Positively, adequate legal protection for equal rights of men and women is considered desirable so that in all important sectors of community life women may fully develop their potential equally and contribute to the aggregate common interest. They may be given the legal right to all public offices and to exercise all public functions.

Several manpower utilization experts are distressed to find the unique deprivation of the aged by means of compulsory and involuntary retirement from active work life and public service, regardless of an individual's actual and mental capacity, as enforced by a blanket age limitation. The deprivation is imposed by denying employment opportunities to individuals over a specified age that varies according to the nature of assignments, for instance, public administration, judiciary and autonomous corporations. Age-based compulsory retirement tends to precipitate the syndrome of aging, generating many evils that could otherwise be avoided. Compulsory retirement is now labelled as just another name for discrimination. Compulsory retirement in a work-oriented society means drastic reduction in income, perhaps resulting in near poverty, even where there is provision for contributory provident fund, for group insurance, for social security and for pension. The shock of social security is so over-whelming as to generate a lasting state of anxiety and even depression.

Modern societies, therefore, emphasise respect for the dignity and the worth of human person, reiterate that the protection of the rights and welfare of the aged is one of the main goals of social progress and enlightenment. It is, therefore, not only desirable but necessary for all states to enhance the contribution of the elderly to social and economic development and to discourage discriminatory attitudes such as the age limits of sixty, sixty-two or sixty-five for either public service or service in industries and commerce.

It is now well established that the depriving of any member of public service of his job is a significant deprivation. This type of deprivation is particularly burdensome when the person deprived is an older citizen. The lack of work is not only economically damaging but emotionally and physically drainaging. Deprived of his status in the society and of all the opportunity for meaningful activity, fearful of becoming dependent on others for his support and lonely in his new found isolation, the involuntarily retired member of either public service or business service is susceptible to physical and emotional ailments. Thus, mandatory retirement poses a direct threat to the health, safety, and security of the nation. It has now been recommended by top ranking economists, sociologists, and jurists that the world accustomed to mobilizing scientific knowledge and creative ingenuity be increasingly directed to problems connected with aging.

In the 20th century, the national governments have increasingly accepted broad responsibility for both individual welfare and manpower utilization, but intensive reliance on private forces and state and legal aid remains. The new national postures are now likely to be formally constitutionalized in these spheres through constitutional amendment. In recent years, there has been a renewed conviction that the welfare role in the domain of manpower utilization is in the long run counterproductive.

Modern theory pertaining to manpower utilization supports judicial recognition of human rights for welfare assistance and meaningful work. Meeting basic subsistence needs can obviously be assumed to be central to the liberty of all. Virtually nothing is more essential than gainful employment to promote the sense of self respect that is equally vital to everyone. The goal of advancing each citizen's capacities for rational self-direction requires several forms of governmental economic assistance.

Even legislative actions become subject to judicial scrutiny if they deny to some one the opportunity to pursue their preferred occupations. The regulation of occupation to ensure competence and safety and to provide incentives for the deficient allocation of human resources may be needed in certain circumstances. If a certain business could be proven to pose clear and eminent dangers to the self-directive capacities of some, these dangers would count as sufficiently compelling reasons for stark scrutiny. Since the denial of opportunity to pursue one's trade is an absolute deprivation of something integral to rational self-direction, regulations that amount to such a denial merit the closest judicial attention.

The rational liberty view applies to education in the same way as to manpower utilization. It suggests that modern governments are in principle required to promote the universal education that is considered today as essential to the development of capacities for rational self-guidance. If, by adopting a system, the government is called upon to provide the minimum education necessary to prepare citizens for the effective utilization of their services, an unequal treatment in that sphere would merit strict judicial scrutiny.

As a corollary to this observation, it can be said that a person living under the protection of his/her government has the right to adopt and follow any lawful pursuit, not injurious to the community, which he may see fit; and, as incident to this, is the right to labour or employ labour, make contract in respect of their own upon such terms as may be agreed upon by the parties, to enforce all lawful contracts and to inherit, purchase, lease, sell or convey property of any kind. The essential enjoyment and deprivation of the rights of effective manpower utilization constitute the essential distinction between liberty and oppression. It is, therefore, considered desirable to forbid employers from firing workers who join or remain in unions, and to pay wages in any thing other than money. Several economists including Adam Smith have pointed out that the property which every man has in his own labour, is the original foundation of all property, and therefore it is the most sacred and inviolable. Protection of property rights and rights to manpower utilization have been the dominant theme since the creation of the institution of government everywhere.

Under the present state of affairs, significant increases in federal expenditures for services to labour, business, conservation of natural resources, direct aids to agricultural development, maternity welfare, educational and vocational services, rural sanitation, and agricultural extension services are called for. The number of regulatory assistance whose activities are tied to science and technology can transform the patterns of manpower utilization. Government programmes of this kind, once established, tend to expand rather than to contract. Not only are they convenient and useful to large number of citizens, but they become vested interest of the bureaus that administer them and hence work for their continuance.

In the broadest sense, the development of manpower utilization reflects the trends in modern states toward enlargement of the sphere of government and decentralization of administration. Specifically, it is promoted by a number of bureaucrative-administrative progressives in business, government, and the profession. An effort is now being made to adapt the derive of manpower utilization to the traditional liberal values of individual liberty, community responsibility, and local self-government. To guard against the possible dangers, some economists have proposed what is known as "new individualism". This term conjures up the image of manpower utilization being carried on under the umbrella of business or professional activities with the assistance of government in a corporative way for their own benefit as well as that of the manpower as a whole.

The cooperation among the vocational units of economy, and between them and the government, would reduce waste and inefficiency, promote productivity, and improve both individual and collective well being. Trade associations can be made to operate effectively towards the goal of achieving economic progress and a higher standard of living for the national manpower. The trade associations in many industries can set up code of fair competition and business either of which ultimately can be conducive to effective manpower utilization. Every device for promoting manpower utilization in the various regional settings could be the federal grant-in-aid. This is an instrument through which the federal government can expand many important manpower utilization services. The grant-in-aid is an appropriation by the federal government to the provinces for some special purposes, certain stipulations being attached to the grant. These could, first, be the formal acceptance of grant by the provincial legislature; second, federal supervision and approval of provincial activities pertaining to manpower utilization; third, provincial appropriation of money at least equal to that advanced by the federal government; and fourth, federal right to withhold the grant from any province violating the stipulated agreement pertaining to manpower utilization. An approach like this would provide substantial relief to the unemployed. Such a step would enhance the personal initiative of the individual and would promote local governmental responsibility in this domain. This proposal can also extend the cause of positive government and administrative management.

Employment equality is an area in which the High Courts and the Supreme Court as well as the public bureaucracy can apply result-oriented conception of equality. In order to eliminate discrimination in employment, it may be worthwhile for the Government of Pakistan to institute an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. By requiring plans for enhancing the process of manpower utilization, the commission can put pressure on all employers, both public and private, to discontinue discriminatory practices. Affirmative action is needed as a remedial practice going beyond passive non-discrimination to the inclusion, through positive action, of persons and groups who are discriminated against by the Public Service Commission and by the departments of the government. Now measured statistically, equal opportunity in employment has come to mean the placement of persons in service exclusively on considerations of merit. The judicial courts in certain countries have confirmed and extended the new public law and public policy of employment equality. Dealing with recruitment screening, promotion, dismissal, seniority and pension, the judiciary have established the basic point that the requirement of non-discrimination should be adequately fulfilled. Moreover, where past discrimination could be proved, courts have generally ordered employers to take remedial action. Good intent or absence of discriminatory intent does not redeem as "built-in-headwinds" for persons subjected to discrimination and are unrelated to measuring job capability. The vindication of equal rights as redefined in affirmative action law and policy would require the imposition of national standards in provinces, divisions and districts all over the country.
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Title Annotation:Special Issue: Industrial Relations in Pakistan '91
Author:Haider, S.M.
Publication:Economic Review
Date:May 1, 1991
Previous Article:The success and failure of social security in Pakistan.
Next Article:Development depends on peaceful industrial relations.

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