Minister asks EU to Intervene Against HR Violations in Kashmir

Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari on 3rd September 2020 called upon the European Union to intervene against massive human rights violations by India in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir. She was speaking at an event held at the Ministry of Human Rights to celebrate its growth and achievements over the past two years with relevant stakeholders, including donors, civil society organisations, members of the diplomatic community and media representatives.

The minister reminded her audience of the 27 letters she has written to UN Special Mandate holders and also highlighted the issue at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. She explained that over the past two years, her ministry has enacted six laws and drafted seven legislations besides taking practical measures to implement the laws through monitoring, training, institutional development and sensitisation.

“Significant progress has been made particularly with regards to the protection of children. This includes the passing of Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Act, the ICT Child Protection Act 2018, and the Juvenile Justice System Act 2018. Moreover, a critical development was the insertion of ‘Child domestic work’ in Part I of Schedule of the Employment of Children Act 1991 as a form of hazardous employment.” She said the ministry also established and strengthened grievance redressal mechanisms and took up 6,094 cases of human rights violations with the relevant authorities for redressal. Nearly 17,000 complaints received on Pakistan Citizen Portal were processed, forwarded and referred, and 508 victims of human rights violations were given financial assistance of Rs6.52 million. The minister also highlighted recent advancements in terms of the rights of prisoners. The ministry completed two reports on prison reforms and the plight of women prisoners in Pakistan. Last year, the ministry also streamlined the process for mercy petitions.

Federal Secretary for Human Rights Rabiya Javeri Agha spoke about the evolution of the ministry from a subdivision of the Ministry of Law to a fully-fledged ministry with an expanding mandate. She gave a presentation with a brief overview of critical developments in terms of strengthening legislation, institutional development and progress on awareness raising and advocacy for human rights.