Indian Constitution and Worker Rights – Human Rights Regulations and Perspectives
Volume II – Issue I, 2020
India is one of the most populated countries in the world, facing the massive problem of unemployment. The problem of unemployment is a serious one and it leads to a number of consequences including personal disorganization, family disorganization, social disorganization and irreparable financial losses. Majority of the poor in India continue to live in rural areas and depend on wage labour for their survival. Realization of human personality is only possible when there is a scope of substantial access to employment.
However, in a welfare state like ours appropriate legislations and the judiciary can do a lot to secure the “right to employment”, one of the basic human rights. India is a signatory to all the employment-related human rights documents, which it is obliged to satisfy.
Right to employment has been crystallized as basic human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), 1948. Socialist systems recognize the right to work as an obligation; the State may extract the work that is socially and economically useful. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 aims at enhancing livelihood security of households in rural areas of the country and guarantees wage employment at an unprecedented scale.
In this backdrop this chapter attempts to discuss the concept of right to employment from constitutional perspective and its development and statutory recognition in India. Indian Judiciary has played an important role in recognizing right to employment within the content of “right to life” guaranteed as fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution. Considering the role of the Indian Judiciary to this end an attempt has also been made to examine the Jurisprudential and Constitutional validity of the right to employment within the existing legal system in India.