An Essay And Article On Right To Work
It is the state’s responsibility to secure an equitable income for those who are employed, to care for those incapable of doing any work, and to relieve those who are able to work but prevented from doing so by economic forces. Among the basic rights is the right to work. This has been recognized since the eighteenth century, when the German thinker, Fichte argued that the right to live and the right to work must be protected by the state. Socialist systems recognize the right to work as an obligation. The state may extract the work that is socially and economically useful. For example, the Chinese Constitution of 1982 declares that the right to work is “a glorious duty of every able-bodied citizen.” However, because the socialist systems lack strong judiciary, they have not made this right justifiable. The right to work cannot be guaranteed only in socialistic systems. It is as effectively ensured in several democratic nations, along with programmes of insurance for the unemployed.
Countries Who Provide Right To Work?
France (1905), Norway (1906), Denmark (1907), Great Britain (1911), Italy (1919), and Canada (1955) have programmes providing employment. In the United States, the problems of unemployment are met by the Social Security Act of 1935. The Japanese Constitution makes it obligatory for the state to provide employment. In the Scandinavian countries the unemployment alleviating programmes are funds administered by the trade unions and subsidized by tax revenues. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that; “Everyone has right to work, to free choice of employment, just and favorable conditions of work, and protection against unemployment.” The International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights adds, “Full realization of this right shall include technical and vocational guidance and training programmes.” The International Labour Organization sought to ensure that “there is work for all who are available for and seeking work” and that “there is freedom of choice of employment and the fullest possible opportunity for each worker to qualify for his employment.”
These rights prescribe the goals to which nations aspire. In India, the joint family system, the caste system, and the agricultural background of the ancient Indian society left no room tor unemployment. Manu, the law-giver of the ancient India ordained that the king should support his subjects as earth does for all the living beings, without discrimination. The epic, Mahabharata mentions that the king should look after the welfare of the disabled, helpless, orphans, widows, victims of calamities by meeting their minimum needs. Kautilya, the greatest economist of the medieval period of Indian History, said, “In the happiness of Iris subjects lies the king’s happiness, in their welfare, Iris welfare.” Mahatma Gandhi viewed work more as duty than as right. This is in consonance with Hindu thought in treating duty as an aspect of dharma. India is a signatory to all the employment-related human rights which it is obliged to satisfy. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights had a vital impact in framing the Indian Constitution. However the Constituent Assembly that framed it did not throw much light on the right to work as an enforceable right.
Work Is Essential – Make It A Fundamental Right
The right to work cannot be made absolute or unrestricted, but can be reasonably qualified. Assurance of right to work may be limited by income and age and should not be extended to the unemployed who were dismissed for faults or whose unemployment is only a disguise for indolence. Any constitutional guarantee of the right to work may cover the following. All citizens over the age of 18 shall have the right to work, provided that their annual income from all sources shall not exceed the average minimum wage per annum. If the state fails to provide the work, it must provide an unemployment allowance instead. All these things are on paper only. The government has almost failed to provide ‘right to work’. About 9% unemployment rate just shows the plight of people. Although the government has taken many steps, but in vain. In each five year plans the government makes special efforts, provided a sufficient fund to provide employment, work to the maximum number of people.
Food for Work, Prime Minister Employment Scheme, Jawahar Rozgar Yogna, Indira Vikas Yogna, are some of the government programmes to provide work to the poor and unemployed, currently, the government is providing minimum 90 days of employment to the rural poor. So, it appears the government, from time to time, has shown interest to provide real ‘right to work’. It failed due to widespread corruption in the government’s department, unchecked growth of population, faulty planning’s, lack of sufficient funds, etc. To provide ‘right to work’ to its citizens, is a dream for a country like India. It has remained the most challenging task for India since its Independence. Later or sooner, India will achieve this goal. But, the gestation, period should not extend to the unreasonable limit. Work must be our right.
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