Posts Tagged ‘justice’

Addressing Violence Against Women and Girls in Pakistan by Promoting Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment, a project from ASF in partnership with Group Development Pakistan with EU support

October 3rd, 2015

2nd consultation on Comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill 2015 in KP organised by PCSW, chaired by Mrs Neelam Toru, in partnership with EU and in collaboration with ASF-Pakistan and GD Pakistan. 2 members of the HRCYT were there, Noor-Eva and Imane. Stay tuned!

PCSW discussing with activists and lawyers and media representatives about the comprehensive law to counter acid violence

ASF new pilot partnership!

July 2nd, 2014

ASF and GD Pakistan partnering to establish a Human Rights

Youth Task Force to promote human rights in Pakistan: more

to come! Stay tuned!

Presentation Of Needed Amendments For Comprehensive Acid And Burn Crime Bill 2014

June 25th, 2014

ASF Chairperson Valerie Khan along with Advocate Saad Rasool at Punjab provincial Assembly

Discussing the coming presentation to women parliamentary caucus members

The presentation in the Women Parliamentary Caucus was chaired by Fauzia Viqar, Chairperson PCSW and co -chaired by Minster for Social Welfare Department Punjab, to discuss the comprehensive legislation submitted by Asma Bokhari in Punjab Assembly on 5th June 2014. Valerie Khan and Saad Rasool explained that majority of acid and burn victims came from Punjab, that resources were available in pakistan : PIDSA project to build the Rehabilitation Center in Multan, inclusion of acid and burn victims in Fund for Women in Detention and in Distress, Bait Ul mal and other schemes… The comprehensive legislation will address all aspects of the acid and burn phenomenon that could not be tackled through a simple -but essential- amendment in the PPC.

From Myra Imran, The News

April 15th, 2014
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
From Print Edition
7  0  1  0
Islamabad

From 2007 to 2013, around 949 cases of acid attacks have been reported in the country. Among the total number, 519 were women whereas majority of cases (589) were reported from Punjab region.

The statistics were shared by the Chairperson Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) Valerie Khan at the launch a report titled ‘Fostering Effective Implementation of Pro Human Rights Laws: Criminal Law Amendment Act 2011 (Act XXV), An Example of Good Practice.’ Valerie said that from January till March 2014, 40 cases of acid attacks have been reported in the country.

The report presents the efforts Pakistani government and civil society in improving the implementation of the above mentioned law. The event was organised by ASF in collaboration with National Commission on the Status of Women and Australian Aid.

The report highlighted that acid attacks reporting had increased (110 attacks in 2012 and 143 in 2013) which shows an encouraging trend to further break the silence and denounce violence against women and girls.

Additionally, the report insisted on the fact that police had made tremendous efforts to register due and correct FIRs under the new laws passed on December 12, 2011 when it faced acid attack cases. While only 1 per cent of the FIRs were registered under the correct law in 2012, 71 per cent of the FIRs registered in 2013 were under the new and correct law. The report mentions that many survivors still do not have sufficient or adequate access to medical and rehabilitation services, 65 per cent of the victims still could not access justice in 2013 and national consolidated data is still required.

Marvi Memon, the Chief Guest, declared that since 2010, Pakistan had come long way and she insisted that those improvements needed to be celebrated, but she also indicated that there was still a long way to go. She stressed that the “Comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill” must be passed.

“Now there is sufficient momentum to support this bill, and we owe it to other survivors, we will continue the fight,” she said.

The event was attended by various stakeholders from different areas in Pakistan and it included law enforcement agencies representatives, lawyers, doctors, survivors, members of civil society media, acid survivors themselves.

The panel discussion after the report launch was chaired by Chairperson of the National Commission on the Status of Women Khawar Mumtaz. Kishwar Zehra, MNA from MQM, was also amongst the panelists in addition to Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan Peter Hayward and Chairperson ASF Valerie Khan Yusufzai.

All participants underlined the need to create awareness in order to challenge discriminatory and patriarchal mindsets, as well as transfer knowledge to achieve positive results in fostering law implementation. They were informed that judges now tend to punish far more severely in case of acid attack. before 2011, the average conviction was 6 to 10 years, now it is generally at least 20 years. It was shared that in general, convictions were more severe since 2012, and judiciary was trying to ensure trials in a shorter timeframe to provide relief to survivors since 2013.

Chairperson NCSW Khawar Mumtaz termed it encouraging that more reporting occurred but she also insisted the need to work on data and build up synergies to face the remaining challenges.

Valerie Khan called upon the government to lead the way and pass the Comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill that Marvi Memon has tabled in the Parliamentary Committee of Law and Justice last week. “We are ready to provide technical help to review the comprehensive bill, but it is urgent that the federal and provincial governments ensure stronger protection to Pakistani citizens. Pakistani has inspired many other countries to address acid violence such as Columbia and India but positive steps such as establishing burn centers and social rehabilitation centers, or medical boards must be part of a legislative framework to be sustained and institutionalized.”

Australian High Commissioner Peter Hayward congratulated all stakeholders for those improvements and reiterated Australia’s commitment to support ASF action.

Awards were later on distributed to police, lawyers and doctors from all over the country, what ASF called, the true heroes.

ASF press release

April 15th, 2014

Press release

On 14th April 2014, Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan organised an event in collaboration with National Commission on the Status of Women and Australian Aid to launch a report titled : Fostering effective implementation of pro human rights laws: Criminal Law Amendment Act 2011 (Act XXV), an example of good practice. ASF-P presented how Pakistan had worked to improve the implementation of the above mentioned law.

Ms Marvi Memon, PML-N MNA, a champion for the fight against acid violence in Pakistan, was welcome as a Chief Guest, Mrs Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson of the National Commission on the Status of Women chaired the panel of discussion. Mrs Kishwar Zehra, MQM –MNA was also amongst the panelists in addition with his excellency, Mr Peter Hayward, Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Ms neelam Toru, Chairperson of the Provincial Commission on the Status of Women and Mrs Valerie Khan Yusufzai, Chairperson Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan.

The event was attended by various stakeholders from different areas in Pakistan (Balochistan, ICT, Punjab, KP, Sindh) and it included Law Enforcement Agencies representatives, lawyers, doctors, survivors, members of civil society media, acid survivors themselves.

The report highlighted that acid attacks reporting had increased (110 attacks in 2012 and 143 in 2013) which shows an encouraging trend to further break the silence and denounce violence against women and girls.

Additionally, the report insisted on the fact that police had made tremendous efforts to register due and correct FIRs under the new laws passed on 12th December 2011 when it faced acid attack cases. While only 1% of the FIRs were registered under the correct law, WITHOUT ASF intervention in 2012, 71% of the FIRs registered in 2013 were under the new and correct law, without ASF intervention.

All participants underlined that awareness campaigns to challenge discriminatory and patriarchal mindsets, as well as transfer knowledge, were crucial to achieve positive results in fostering law implementation. Judges now tend to punish far more severely in case of acid attack: before 2011, the average conviction was 6 to 10 years, now it is generally at least 20 years.

ASF also informed participants that in general, convictions were more severe since 2012, and judiciary was trying to ensure trials in a shorter timeframe to provide relief to survivors since 2013.

Mrs Khawar Mumtaz Chairperson NCSW acknowledged that those improvements were positive, that more reporting occurred thanks to a stronger mobilization of Pakistani citizens to denounce this worst form of gender based violence, but she also insisted on the remaining challenges, the need to work on data and build up synergies like the ones proposed by ASF.

Many survivors still do not have sufficient or adequate access to medical and rehabilitation services, 65% of the victims still could not access justice in 2013 and national consolidated data is still required. Marvi Memon, the Chief Guest declared that since 2010, Pakistan had come long way and she insisted that those improvements needed to be celebrated, but she also indicated that there was still a long way to go: the “comprehensive acid and burn crime bill” must be passed, now there is sufficient momentum to support this bill, and we owe it to other survivors, we will continue the fight and we will make hings move.

To this effect, Valerie Khan Yusufzai, called upon the government of Pakistan to lead the way and pass the Comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill that Marvi Memon has tabled in the Parliamentary Committee of Law and Justice last week. “We are ready to provide technical help to review the comprehensive bill”, but it is urgent that the federal and provincial governments ensure stronger protection to Pakistani citizens. Much has been done, Pakistani has inspired many other countries to address acid violence such as Columbia and India but positive steps such as establishing burn centers and social rehabilitation centers, or medical boards must be part of a legislative framework to be sustained and institutionalized.

Mr Peter Hayward, Australian High Commissioner, congratulated ASF and all stakeholders for those improvements and reiterated Australia’s commitment to support ASF action.

Mrs Neelam Toru announced that the comprehensive bill was now ready with KP social welfare department so that it could be tabled, she said she knew cases were under-reported in KP as she had just been told of a case in Mardan on her way towards the event.

Ms Kiswar Zehra ensured ASF of MQM full support for the passage of he comprehensive acid and burn crime bill in assemblies.

Awards were later on distributed to police, lawyers and doctors from all over the country, what ASF called, the true heroes.

ASF Event In Collaboration With Australian Aid And NCSW, Join Us!

April 15th, 2014

Article From The NEWS

February 25th, 2014
Myra Imran
Thursday, February 13, 2014
From Print Edition
27  7  0  1
Islamabad

An acid attack survivor Samar Bibi has said that acid attack has destroyed her face but it is not the end of life for her. Rather, it is start of a new life.

She said this while speaking at the inauguration of an exhibition of photographs, titled ‘Visual Art Exhibition of the Work of Acid Attack Survivors’, captured by her and eight other acid attack survivors here Wednesday.

Showing enormous resilience and courage, nine acid attack survivors, trained as photographers, unveiled their photographs at the Pakistan National Council of Arts. The exhibition was organised to commemorate Pakistan National Women’s Day.

National Women’s Day highlights the struggle of women’s rights activists in Pakistan. The origins of the day go back to February 12, 1983, when women’s rights activists gathered at Lahore Mall to protest against anti-women legislation promoted by President Zia-ul-Haq. The women were stopped from proceeding to their planned destination, Lahore High Court, and were tear-gassed and hit by batons. Many of them were jailed for raising their voices against Zia.

“Women’s rights are human rights, and violence against women is a violation of human rights. The United States is committed to working with Pakistan to eliminate violence against women,” said United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell, who inaugurated the exhibition.

“I believe that initiatives such as this project, which is aimed at assisting survivors in their rehabilitation process while providing them with an opportunity through knowledge of the business of photography to become entrepreneurs, can bring hope to the lives of these brave women,” she added.

The three-day exhibition that began Wednesday is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), through its partners, Aurat Foundation, and the Acid Survivors Foundation under the Gender Equity Programme.

The ‘Visual Art Exhibition of the Work of Acid Attack Survivors’ displays the work of acid survivors who attended a two-week photography training workshop. The goal was to assist survivors in their rehabilitation process while providing them with photographic knowledge and skills that may later result in an income-generating activity.

ASF Chairperson Valerie Khan demanded the government to pass comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill at the provincial level to ensure that rehabilitation services for survivors. “Proactive and constructive response to acid and burn violence must be part of the wider indigenous policy to counter GBV in our country. For that, we need a stronger legal framework with an adequate implementation mechanism,” she said. The acid survivors’ photographs will be on sale at the event. Proceeds will help buy photographic equipment for survivors.

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.

Celebrating Human Rights Day, 10th December 2013 at French Embassy in Islamabad, in collaboration with EU. Major Human Rights Activists present along with various ambassadors of European countries. Valerie Khan being honoured via the “Portraits de Femmes” award, an initiative launched by The Minister for French Overseas, Mrs Helene Conway Mouret.

January 16th, 2014

Humanrights activists and French Authorities representatives, from left to right: Dr Rukhshinda Parveen (ED Sachet), her excellency Mrs Thiebaut, His excellency Mr Philippe Thiebaut French ambassador to Pakistan, Mrs Valerie Khan (ASF Chairperson), Ms Tahira Abdullah (human rights activist and HRCP member).

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