chapter  7
40 Pages

Hazardous subcontracted homework in Pakistan

BySHAHRUKH RAFI KHAN, SABA GUL KHATTAK AND SAJID KAZMI

Since the late 1980s, scholars have acknowledged the existence of homework as an important component of the informal sector. On the one hand, with this outsourcing system entrepreneurs reduce production costs and circumvent labour legislation. On the other hand, workers find an income source in activities that require low levels of skills and investment. The expansion of homework in Pakistan can be partly attributed to the continued slowdown in the manufacturing sector and the decline in real wages due to intensive structural adjustment programmes (SAPs). Increasing poverty levels and the increasing flow of immigrants and refugees have also contributed to the expansion of homework.