Bonded labour in Pakistan

This paper, based upon interviews with Government and non-governmental sources in Pakistan, as well as a survey of several thousand sharecropping tenant families in rural Sindh, was written as background material for the first ILO Global Report under the Declaration Follow-Up on the subject of Forced Labour.

The survey methodology uses oninstitutional debt and the practice of a particular form of unpaid labour (begar) as proxies for debt bondage. Other methodologies are possible. Irrespective of methodology, it is
clear that forced labour arises whenever restrictions are placed on the mobility of the employee/tenant. The interactive method of investigation adopted by this study high-lights also how forced labour might occur, depending upon the degree of choice between work and leisure available employees and their families, pointing to the need for further work on both the formal and informal contractual relations governing such work.