The UDHR has 30 articles which cover different aspects of human rights. Out of 30, 2 articles (Article 23 and 24) are dedicated to employability protecting people from being exploited at work and ensuring necessary wages and remuneration.
So, let’s check how India has been keeping up with the declaration:
This right has been grossly violated when it comes to the lower castes in the country. For instance, the ST, SC, Dalits, and Adivasis. Caste discrimination, unfortunately, plays an important role when it comes employment. As per studies and reports, there is a very tiny fraction of Dalits who are employed in the corporate sector. So clearly, their right to work is violated, forcing them to do menial jobs manual scavenging, skinning of animals etc. Dalits are often disadvantaged compared to non-Dalits.
As per the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Dalits are denied jobs due to caste discrimination and often excluded from work opportunities in areas of production, processing and sale of food items in both private and public companies.
The current number of STs and SCs working in government jobs is less than 10%. Despite 22% of job reservations for them by the Indian Government.
Well, this is something we come across in various sectors. From the films and entertainment to the construction. There have been many instances in which female worker or employee is paid less than the male counterpart. This is just not the case in India, it’s global. According to the World Economic Forum, there is no country in the world where women make as much as men for the same work. For instance, Emma Stone, despite being the world’s highest-earning actress, earns less than male actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan.
Apart from that, there is also a struggle for the contractual and temporary workers, who are demanding equal pay for equal work at par with the regular workers.
Forget being paid a fair remuneration, India is a home to the highest number of slaves in the world who are working forcefully and without being paid a penny. There are some who work in exchange for something as little as a packet of rice.
The minimum wage in India is Rs. 160 per day. For instance, the Anganwadi workers in AHSAs earn Rs. 1850 ie roughly Rs 60 per day. That is far below the legal minimum working age.
In any company or organization, the workers have the freedom of association, collective bargaining and joining the trade unions. But that too has been hindered with. In 2016, as per the accusations made by the International Union of Food workers, PepsiCo has blocked attempts by workers to form a trade union. Further, they were also dismissed by the company for making attempts to form a trade union.
In another incident, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, dismissed the workers simply because they were exercising their right to freedom of association.
An average employee works between 8-9 hours inclusive of lunch breaks, tea breaks, etc. Now imagine, a 5-year-old child working from 6 in the morning to 7 in the night. That’s a usual scene in the garment, firecracker, carpet or mining industry. Unfortunately, a child does not even get the basic human rights.