HR violations increased last year: report -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

HR violations increased last year: report

ISLAMABAD: Human rights violations increased manifold last year because the government was caught up in its own crises — the memo controversy, NRO and rumours of a coup — and fighting for survival, says a report released here on Thursday.

The report on ‘State of human rights in 2011’, launched by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), spoke of a gloomy scenario vis-à-vis administration of justice, law and order, jails and prisoners, freedom of movement, expression and thought, rights of women, children and workers, education and health as well as environment and status of refugees.

Kamran Arif, the HRCP co-chairman, said three members of the commission had died.

He said: “2011 began with murders of Governor Salman Taseer and later MNA Shehbaz Bhatti.

“Minorities continued to suffer and are leaving an unsafe country.” He said sectarian violence, kidnappings and extra-judicial killings dominated discussions during the year.

JAILS: The 330-page report said nearly 80,000 people in prisons were under trial, over 90 had died and 313 were sentenced to death in 2011, including six women.

JOURNALISTS: The report declared Pakistan the most dangerous country for journalists. The year saw 16 journalists killed across the country. In addition, many went unpaid for months at a stretch.

WOMEN: The year saw 943 women killed in the name of honour — 83 of them minors, seven Christian and two Hindu. Another 701 committed suicide and 428 attempted to end their lives. There were 4,500 reported cases of domestic violence.

CHILDREN: Many children were pushed into hazardous labour and forced to beg in flood-affected households. While chronic malnutrition increased across the country, infant mortality rate was 63.3 per 1,000 births. Under-five mortality was 89 per 1,000.

“These ratios are too high to meet the Millennium Development Goal on child mortality,” Mr Arif said, adding that over 1,000 children languished in juvenile prisons.

EDUCATION: As many as 33 per cent children were believed to be out of school and dropout rate from primary to secondary schooling was nearly 50 per cent. As many as 542 primary schools for boys and 108 for girls were dysfunctional in Fata due to threats by militants and only 16 per cent rural women in Sindh and eight per cent in Balochistan completed primary schooling.

“Deviation from the right to participate in governance, access to clean drinking water and deteriorating health facilities are all violations of human rights,” HRCP secretary general I.A. Rehman said.