Posts Tagged ‘acid crime’

Declaration For 365 Days Of Activism Against VAW

February 20th, 2012
Declaration on Improving the Criminal Justice System Combating Violence Against Women

Launched on 8th December 2011 as part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and valid till date.

We recognize and appreciate the role of Government of Pakistan in important policy and legislative measures such as the passage and implementation of anti sexual harassment laws and the recent Prevention of Anti Women Practices Bill 2011, and Acid Crime Prevention Bill 2011, passed in the National Assembly and Senate. However the Criminal Justice System in Pakistan carries a great trust deficit for the marginalized sections of society including women, religious minorities and labor organizations. Violence Against Women cannot be eliminated fully unless the criminal justice system in Pakistan is made accessible, unbiased and effective for dealing with cases of violence reported by women.
We the concerned citizens of Pakistan, women’s rights activists and representatives of civil society organizations jointly present the following declaration to make the Criminal Justice System more effective in eliminating violence against women.

  • We demand a criminal justice system that is supportive and sensitive to cases of violence against women. With regard to accessing justice for women in Pakistan it cannot remain only confined to access to courts or tribunals but justice should entail ensuring legal and judicial outcomes are just, transparent and equitable.
  • All laws pertaining to violence against women approved by the Government need to be implemented through a coordinated response, the law enforcing agencies are generally unaware of the laws,  we demand that the lawyers, police and judiciary members are briefed about the laws and a process of accountability mechanism  set up  to report every quarter on how cases are dealt at the district, provincial and national levels
  • We are deeply concerned about the crimes of domestic violence and acid violence committed on women, we call upon the Government for immediate legislations against Domestic Violence and a comprehensive legislation against Acid Violence that criminalize such heinous acts and provide justice, protection and rehabilitation services to survivors fighting their cases.
  • There have been concerns and complains from the police personnel especially at the Tehsil levels  of lack of basic facilities such as, official transport, food, housing, low salaries, long working hours , personal expenditures on food, accommodation, uniform and transport which has created  de-motivation in police to register complaints or deal with the law and order situation. We demand that the police stations be equipped with proper facilities to enable and empower police officers to conduct their duty in dealing with crimes of violence.
  • We demand effective police reforms for reporting, investigations, independent and neutral prosecution mechanisms and an unbiased judiciary that is committed to uphold justice at the districts, provincial and national levels.
  • Recognizing the right and equality to justice for all, cases of violence especially in rural and tribal areas should be dealt through proper courts and not referred to Jirga Systems (parallel judiciary system). We call upon the State to abolish such local power structures/systems that promote anti women judgements and discrimination.
  • Legislation for women by the Government should recognize the principles of equality and rights specified in the constitution and the international commitments to which the State is signatory and not be based on any biases, discrimination or patriarchal beliefs or values.
  • We are concerned that some of the laws that protect women from violence approved by the National assembly are either not taken up in the senate or lapsed within the 90 days of the specified time period. We call upon the Government that laws that lapsed in the past are reinstated and now follow the friendlier process applicable.
  • We call upon the civil society to build strong alliances/networks and strategies of advocacy to support survivors fighting for justice  against all forms of violence against women and to draw from good practices at national, regional and international levels on effective justice mechanisms.
Endorsed by Organizations and Human Rights Activists

‘Acid Survivors Foundation, Insan Foundation Trust,  Pattan Development Organization, Women’s Organization for Rights & Development (WORD), Cavish Development Organization, Mehergarh Learning Centre, Nomad Art Gallery, SEHER, Blue Veins, Shirkatgah, Rutgerswpf, Human Rights Commission for Social Justice & Peace Baluchistan, Rozan, Aurat Foundation, Asar Institution of Woman’s Study Centre Lahore, Sustainable Development Policy Institute, UKS Research Center, Bedari,  Peace Education And Development (PEAD) Foundation Alph  Consultants & Advocates, Sahil, Strengthening Participatory  Organization, Center for Peace & Development Initiatives, GIZ Pakistan (Gender Responsive Policing Project), DFID, Working Woman Organization, SHAD (Seeking Honor & Dignity), Al-Asar  Development Organization, Creativeangerrakhshi, Sachet Pakistan, Grassroot in Action, Today’s Women Organization Baluchistan, Rural Supports Programmes Network, Amal Human Development Network, Citizen’s Rights & sustainable Development, Woman’s Association Struggle for Development, Natpow (National Trust for Population Welfare, Peace & Development Organization, Pakistan Rural Development  Program, SPARC, Pattan Lok Natak, Care International, Sister Trust, Women’s concern Network, Journalists for Democracy and Human Rights , Infochange Pakistan, Shirakat, Integrated Community Development Initiative, Progressive Women’s Association, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Taangh Wasaib Organization, National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), All Pakistan Women’s Association (APWA), Idara Baraye Taleem –o- Taraqi (IBT) Bahrain Swat and Ending Violence Against Women Alliance Islamabad

Dr. Farzana Bari Women’s Rights Activist, Dr. Zarina Salamat Peace Activist, Ms.Rabia Aslam Researcher/Activist, Ms Nasreen Azhar Women’s Rights Activist/WAF Member, Ms. Rukhsana Rashid Gender Expert, Ms. Shazreh Bano Gender Expert, Ms. Anbreen Ajaib Women’s Rights Activist.

Count Down For Step 1 Of Legislation On Acid And Burn Violence Has Started!

November 3rd, 2011

Myra Imran
Thursday, November 03, 2011

Islamabad

Moving forward the legislative process of Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2010, Senator Nilofar Bakhtiar has submitted the notice for the said amendment in the Senate.

After review by the Law Committee, the bill reached Senate on October 15. The civil society feared that if not taken up in the Senate in time, the Bill will meet the same fate as was met by the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill (DVB). The DVB was passed unanimously by the National Assembly in August 2009, but lapsed after the Senate failed to pass it within the three months stipulated by the constitution.

The Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention (Amendment) Bill, introduced last year by MNAs Marvi Memon, Begum Shahnaz Sheikh and Advocate Anushay Rehman, was passed by the National Assembly on May 10 this year. Following that, the Bill was moved to the Law Committee.

The amendment bill was introduced in the assembly in a bid to prevent growing incidents of violence against women. The statement of objectives and reasons of the bill, mentions that the crime of throwing acid on women is becoming more and more common and recurring day by day. It says that the main cause of it is the absence of proper legislation on this subject.

“Therefore the criminal minded people are constantly using it as a dangerous and devastating arm against women. In view of these circumstances, there is an increasing need to make comprehensive legislation in this regard,” the draft states.

The Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention (Amendment) Bill is an amendment in Pakistan Penal Code 1860. It increases the punishment of offenders up to life imprisonment and makes it mandatory for the offender to pay a fine of Rs1 million to the victim.

The amendment in Section 336-B states, “Whoever causes hurt by corrosive substance shall be punished with imprisonment for life or imprisonment of either description which shall not be less than fourteen years and a minimum fine of one million rupees.” The new insertion in Section 336-A states, “Whosoever with intention or knowingly causes or attempts to cause hurt by means of a corrosive substance or any substance which is deleterious to human body when it is swallowed, inhaled, come in contact or received into human body or otherwise shall be said to cause hurt by corrosive substance.”

Talking to ‘The News’, Senator Nilofar Bakhtair stressed that a system is required to stop such heinous crimes in the country. “As a first step, the proposed bill will bring required change in the definitions of PPC. The next step will be to introduce a comprehensive legislation as instructed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.” The senator said that certain mindset could oppose the bill in the Senate but she was hopeful that the Bill will be passed as it benefits both men and women. “More than 50 per cent of the victims of acid crime are men and children,” she said.