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Statistical data on the reality of workers in the country indicate that only a small portion of workers enjoy due protection through the services of the Institute of Social Security (IPS). This is because many employer entities do not adhere to the regulations that require them to register their employees with the pension institution, and prefer to avoid the laws and work in the dark. This also shows that the relevant state agencies have not yet worked efficiently enough to enforce the law. At the same time, it reveals that there are no effective policies to solve this serious legal problem that has serious social and economic consequences in Paraguayan society.

Normalizing this decades-long situation is one of the tasks that awaits the government that took power last August, and it is a task that will require the cooperation of the private sector concerned.

According to studies conducted by specialized bodies, out of every 100 workers working in the country, only 25 contribute to the institution, which means that the remaining 75 do not do so and are outside the scope of the institution’s entitlements. These are numbers that show the ugly face of the reality that affects the majority of Paraguayan society.

The Center for Economic Studies (CEE) has conducted statistical work indicating that 75% of the economically active population does not have social security from IPS. Which shows that it operates unofficially, with all that that entails in legal terms. The economically active population represents 51% of the country's total population, which amounts to 6,109,644 people, according to the latest census. According to the study, as of last December in the prison service there were 914,115 regular participants and 1,557,467 insured.

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These numbers reveal very accurately the large percentage of entities that do not work within the law and how much must be done in this area, whether to increase the retirement collection or provide health protection and the possibility of retirement. Many workers.

The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security is the government agency responsible for ensuring the validity of workers' rights in the country. They have an obligation to hold employers to all regulations relating to the protection of people who depend on them for work. Therefore, it must pursue a far-reaching policy to regularize the situation of many companies that do not yet comply with labor protection laws. To carry out this mission, it must work jointly and in coordination with other institutions, such as the Prison Service, the National Police and private institutions.

On the other hand, trade union entities that bring together companies, such as Feprinco, UIP and others of the same nature, must also participate by ensuring that employers who do not comply with the laws comply with their obligations accordingly. In the National Congress, regulations must be proposed requiring those who hire workers to act legally, as well as to adhere to tax provisions.

The Prison Service does not have to remain passive in this situation, because apart from being the main financial loser, it is committed to ensuring that pension protection reaches all workers.

From a legal point of view, it is a shame for the entire country that out of every four people who work, only one person contributes to the IPS. If we look from the human side, it is almost criminal for the majority of workers to be manipulated in this way, depriving them of the protection that corresponds to them legally. Looking at the situation from any position, it is unacceptable and requires rapid correction through the action of the competent state agencies and the cooperation of trade unions and employers concerned with the issue.

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Slavery is outside Paraguayan laws and international standards. There is no reason to passively accept that the majority of workers continue in a system of semi-slavery due to the weakness of some state institutions and the lack of social commitment of those who do not want to comply with the laws.

Sacha Woodward

"Wannabe writer. Lifelong problem solver. Gamer. Incurable web guru. Professional music lover."

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