Posts Tagged ‘children’

Human Rights Youth Task Force: How Does It Work, What Does It Do?

July 9th, 2014

1) Check on facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004916086448&fref=ts

2) Developing work plans, tasklist.

At work, team work!

3) Starting implementing the work plan!

Child and her young peer volunteers donating a tea set for survivors and ASF staff!

The lead volunteer for this tea set? Kenizeh-Juliette, 7 years old!

Acid Violence And What It Means To Survive And Hope

February 21st, 2014

Countering acid violence requires additional measures and work

http://www.voanews.com/content/practice-of-punishing-with-acid-attacks-persists-in-pakistan/1855836.html

February 20, 2014

Use of Acid Attacks for Punishment Persists in Pakistan

by Sharon Behn

WARNING: Video contains images of disfigured faces that some might find disturbing.

Despite laws against acid attacks, the practice of pouring acid on men, women and children as a form of punishment continues in Pakistan. Two victims who are trying to put their lives back together again spoke with VOA about their challenges.

Muhammad Hassan Mangi, Director General of the Pakistan Ministry of Human Rights, said there are laws in place against acid throwing. He admits, however, that more needs to be done.

“You need to have such methods and things in practice that you can express your, even, anger in a decent manner. That has to be understood by society,” he said.

Muhammad Farooq refused to marry the woman his family had chosen for him. His punishment was having corrosive acid thrown in his face.

“It felt like water, but I was wrong. The acid burned my face and body, my skin sounded like dried leaves cracking,” said Farooq.

Forty percent of the acid attack victims in Pakistan are men or boys.

Farooq endured horrific physical pain. And deep depression. “At first, I was devastated. There was nothing left in my life. No past, no future, no present,” he said.

There were 143 acid attacks registered with the Acid Survivors Foundation in 2013. Most were against women and girls.

Nusrat Bibi’s brother refused to marry into her husband’s family. She paid the price. She’s had 17 surgeries to rebuild her face and body.

“Anyone who saw me got scared. They showed my pictures to my children to scare them, telling them their mother was frightening and had become a ghost,” said Bibi.

Valerie Khan, chair of the Acid Survivors Foundation in Islamabad, said breaking the stigma of the survivors’ scars is essential to their survival.

“It’s about rebuilding your mind, your self-esteem, and it’s about reclaiming your space in the community and in the public space as a man, a woman, who deserves — and will obtain — respect and dignity again,” she said.

Farooq no longer hides his face. He is trying his hand at photography. He’s living his life.

“My message to those that did this is that you tried your best to kill us, but we have been saved. God willing we will move on. Never lose hope, be patient. This is a test of patience. God will reward us,” said Farooq.

Distribution Of Books To Teach Children How To Protect Themselves From CSA/CSEC/BURNS And How To Respond To BURNS…

January 26th, 2014

This is an ASF Pakistan project in collaboration with SAHIL and Zcech Republic, Sweet Home Pakistan and SPARC, that we have already presented to you: you have had glimpses of the distribution in various schools…But one important question must be answered: how do children react to it? How are those books presented to them?

Have a look!!!!

First children are given the book so that hey can OWN it

Then , Ms Shazia, ASF NCRU coordinator conducts child friendly interactive training sessions on he books content.

Then children discover

And they explore very thoroughy, focused

Collaborating with AUS Aid to enhance law implementation: Mr Mazhar Akram training lawyers on criminal law Amendment act (ACT XXV) , then lawyers giving their feed back. This is how training keep on improving…

January 16th, 2014

Ms Shazia, ASF NCRU coordinator introducing the session to lawyers in ICT

Delivering the training

Burning Voice

September 23rd, 2013

Interview for Dr Hamid Hassan and La Croix representative

Acid Survivors Foundation always continues with its project Burning Voice as part of its Communication for Change Campaign: our doctors, patrons and partners regularly interact with partners.

It is important as we need 1) better implementation of  criminal law amendment act 2011 and the passage of Acid and Burn Crime bill, stay tuned!

Acid Attacks Convictions Triple From 2011 Till 2012: From 6% till 18% Conviction Rate.

March 18th, 2013

Our conclusion? good but insufficient, can do much better!!!

Please check on this link  (copy paste) and watch the video, join us to continue our efforts…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByigOo2Him

Comprehensive Acid And Burn Legislation Status

December 19th, 2012

POSITION PAPER: ACID AND BURN LEGISLATION IN PAKISTAN

In Pakistan, the acid and burn legislation aiming at eradicating acid and burn violence – one of the worst forms of gender based violence[1]- has been proposed after Naila Farhat’s case was taken to the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2009: it was the first acid attack case reaching this level of jurisdiction in the history of Pakistan, the victim won the case and it was followed by a suo moto action of the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Chaudry , in November 2009, who consequently advised or requested Pakistani parliamentarians to legislate on acid and burn violence on the model of the Bangladeshi law. In view of this decision, the Pakistani civil society initiated an evidence based advocacy and lobbying campaign in January 2010 in collaboration with the then Federal Ministry of Women Development, Federal Ministry of Human Rights, parliamentarians (MNAs and MPAs), UN agencies, legal and medical experts, media, the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) and acid survivors themselves, that initially resulted in the drafting of a comprehensive acid and burn crime prevention bill. This comprehensive bill was submitted to the then Federal Ministry of Women Development in July 2010. However, the Federal Ministry of Women Development did not follow up actively on this comprehensive legislation for acid and burn crime so meanwhile, a Parliamentarian, Marvi Memon, tabled a private member bill in May 2010 in the National Assembly that was entitled the Acid and Burn Crime Prevention Bill.

Hence, the legislative process became quite confusing: a private member bill had been tabled with no prior consultation with any other stakeholder while a widely supported comprehensive legislation was in process -or rather pending- with a government institution that had just been devolved. Keeping in view the best interest of the citizen- especially the acid attack victims- as well as the legal and political realities –including the passage of the 18th amendment of the constitution of Pakistan, the Pakistani civil society along with parliamentarians (MNAs and MPAs), UN agencies, legal and medical experts, media, the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) and acid survivors themselves opted for an inclusive  and consensual 3 steps legislation apparel that was inspired from the Sexual Harassment legislation: 1) Amendment in the PPC 2) Comprehensive legal mechanism 3) Complementary law for acid. On 12th December 2011, those synergetic and participatory efforts led to the unanimous passage of Marvi Memon’s private member bill: the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2011 (Act XXV), by the senate.

This 1st achievement was highly celebrated at national and international level, and perceived as an extremely encouraging step towards eradicating acid violence in the country. However, the civil society insisted from 13th December 2011 onwards that it was only the 1st step of a more comprehensive legislative apparel and that more efforts and action from the government and the legislators would be required to also pass the comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill (step 2) along with the Acid Control Bill (step 3) at provincial level. In fact, while the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2011 (HURT), Act XXV, specifically makes acid and burn violence a crime against the state and therefore makes it a non compoundable and non-bailable offence,  and while it imposes a 1 million rupees fine on the perpetrator, and grants between 7 years to life time imprisonment punishment, it is important to also address other aspects of the crime that cannot be part of a simple amendment in the Pakistani Penal Code: investigation process (protection to victims, witnesses, delay of investigation), trial process (type of court and trial duration), rehabilitation and legal aid services to victims, funding and monitoring mechanisms, regulation of distribution and sale of acid.

Since February 2012, the civil society and especially EVAWG alliances provincial chapters along with Media, MNAs and MPAs, reinitiated a campaign to get the comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill (STEP 2) passed at provincial level as the need to further legislate on the matter was highlighted by a geographical, quantitative and qualitative spread of acid violence in the country: attacks extended to FATA, Kashmir, were used as a tool to practice honour killing, to threaten girls from attending school, to victimise minorities further, additional attacks were reported from Dera Ismail Khan. Defective implementation of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2011 (Act XXV) was also a reason to urge for the passage of the Comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill at provincial level as it proposes a monitoring board. But where do we stand to date?

In ICT the comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill has now been submitted by Dr Atiya Inayat Ullah to the National Assembly. This bill is co –signed by 11 parliamentarians from PPP, MQM, PML-Q and reached the Minister of Interior on 3rd October 2012 for official clearance so that it could be tabled in the National Assembly. The bill has now been sent back to the National Assembly and should be tabled the sent to the relevant committee for discussion on the next session in January 2012.

In Khyberpukhtunkhwa, the increase in the notifications of acid attacks from KP-FATA within the last 4 months (10 cases in total) has finally convinced the KP government that the comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill had to be passed. The Provincial Commission on the Status of Women along with the civil society and Women Development Department-KP, media and parliamentarians reviewed the comprehensive bill that has now been forwarded to KP law department and sent back to SWD and WED KP. The KP government plans to table this comprehensive bill as a government bill in January 2013 session.

In Punjab, the comprehensive bill has been submitted to the Women Development Department and discussed with the Punjab Law Department, till date however, no comprehensive bill has been tabled in the Provincial assembly.

In Sindh, Balochistan, Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, no further action has been taken with regard to the comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill.

If certain legal steps have been welcome such as inclusion of Burn Victims in the list of eligible beneficiaries for the Fund For Women in Distress, and if Punjab currently envisages to establish a 50 million board to benefit acid and burn attacks survivors, no half mending will be effective enough to counter acid violence in Pakistan. Apart from awareness and sensitization campaigns to generate behavioural change, a full fledge legislative apparel setting the norm which does not depend on political decisions and leaders but which is engraved into the legal framework of the country and which is adequately enforced, is imperative to make Pakistan a acid violence free country.

Valerie Khan Yusufzai

ASF-Pakistan Chairperson


[1] Violence against women is a “global phenomenon that kills, tortures, and maims – physically, psychologically, sexually and economically” and it results in denial of security, dignity, self-worth, and the right to enjoy fundamental freedoms to women. Acid throwing is an extreme form of violence that harms victims both physically and psychologically and results in their social marginalization and stigmatization. In Pakistan, 70% of the victims are women and girls. See Acid Survivors Foundation data.

20th November 2012: Universal Child Day, ASF Working For Child Protection In Collaboration With Global Funds For Children, Acting For Life and Smile Again Italy.

November 27th, 2012

15% of acid victims are children, the youngest victim having been attacked at the age of one year old…

Acid Survivors Foundation Focuses on a child friendly rehabilitation process that has been funded by Global Funds for Children and tries to make sure that these children ultimately join school back as “normal” children. Acting For Life has also supported ASF-Pakistan, providing trainings and tools to work on child protection and facilitate the counseling process. Acting for Life and Smile Again Italy have  also supported ASF preventive action at community level to sensitise children on self protection and acid violence and enhance enrollment of children in formal school.

We are thankful for their precious support but also would like to express our rewarding such activities are: empowering children makes us believe in a sustainable positive future: the picture that are posted hereby reflect hope and show that yes, it is possible to live happily and safely after the worse. ASF team remembers this every single day in its action against acid violence and GBV as a whole. 20th November? A day to remind us of our duty and our only chance to build a humanistic society.

ASF Pakistan Joins Civil Society Rally To Protest Against Violence Against Children.

October 11th, 2012
Weather: Karachi | Lahore | Islamabad
Editor-in-Chief: Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman

Myra Imran
Thursday, October 11, 2012
From Print Edition
New  0  0  0
Islamabad

The civil society activists have demanded the government to declare October 9, the day when child peace activist Mala Yousafzai was attacked in Swat, as National Day for Girls Education.

A large number of civil society representatives and human rights workers gathered in front of National Press Club to condemn the assassination attempt on the 14-year-old Malala when she was on her way back home from her school. Malala Yousafzai, a social activist from Swat, stood up and spoke for children’s rights and peace in the time of militancy in the area. She was hardly 11, when she spoke to media for the right to education in Swat, which was banned by Taliban.

Even during the worst terror and peak of extremism in Swat valley, she was actively involved in action by writing a daily diary on BBC website with a pen name of Gul Makai. She is also the first Pakistani girl to be nominated for International Children’s peace prize by Kids Rights Foundation The protesters were holding placards inscribed with statements of praises for Malala’s courage and pledges to take forward her mission of educating girls. They raised slogans against Taliban. Jamaat-e-Islami workers also joined the protest. The protesters made speeches and marched towards Super Market.

The protesters urged the government to take full responsibility of the safety of its citizens and take substantive action against the perpetrators. They said that it was not only an attack on a Malala but it was an attack on the right of girl’s education.

“This is the right time that we all should stand against these forces leaving aside our political differences,” said human rights activist Nasreen Azhar, read statement of Women Action Forum (WAF).

The statement demanded all political parties, judiciary, media and civil society to collectively speak out against those who are terrorizing the country.

Talking to ‘The News’, Tahira Abdullah said that the attack has left her horrified and shocked. “It makes a mockery out of false and tall claims by the government and armed forces made in summer 2009 that they have cleared Malakand from militants. We have known this since that time, but the attack on Malala has provided us with the proof,” she added.

Farzana Bari said that the civil society has declared October 9 as National Day for Girl Education and demands the government to declare the same officially. She said that the civil society has also made a call for a nationwide march in the favour of girl education, which they plan in the middle of November.

Rehana Hashmi from Sister’s Trust Foundation said that the new trend of targeting women is completely against Islam and also the Pakhtun culture. “They have tried to create an environment of fear for girls,” she said terming it a conspiracy against the country.

Naeem Mirza from Aurat Foundation said that murder attack on Malala is a desperate act of extremist forces to frustrate youth of Pakistan particularly girls who have spoken courageously for their rights including right to education. “But they have failed as the incident has united the nation behind Malala’s vision,” he said.

Samina Nazir from Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy (PODA) said that she strongly condemn the shameful act and demand strict action against the perpetrators. “This is one of the many times when the human and women’s rights activists were threatened and attacked. The government must provide protection to those raising their voices for the rights,” she added.

Valerie Khan from Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) said that the incident was the extreme violence against children and urged the government to pass pending legislation for the protection of children.

After Presidential Endorsement To Eradicate VAWG, We Need The Parliamentarian One!

August 8th, 2012

From left to right: UN Women team, Valerie Khan Yusufzai co-chair of EVAWG alliance and chairperson Acid Survivors Foundation, Shazia Abassi, Alice Shackelford Head of UN Women Pakistan, Mr Asif Ali Zardari President of the Republic of Pakistan celebrating the concluding ceremony of the 16 million signature campaign to stop VAWG.