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!
Posts Tagged ‘law’
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 supportOctober 3rd, 2015
Participants discuss govt’s role, laws.PHOTO: FILE
The event was organised by Beaconhouse Law Society at its Defence campus.
The topic for discussion was: Acid violence- the failings of the Pakistani legal system in tackling the problem. What are the possible legal solutions and their effectiveness with regard to counteraction, regulation and rehabilitation ?
Thinking out loud
The purpose of the exercise was to inculcate reasoning and critical thinking among students and creating awareness about the legal system.
Fatima Kausar, an A-levels student, said acid was a “pernicious weapon” and its sale should be strictly regulated. She stressed the need for buyers to be registered with the government and required to disclose the purpose of every purchase. She said there was also a need for safety procedures to prevent theft.
“There is evidence that acid attacks occur more frequently in areas where acid is widely used for commercial purposes. Businesses that use acid can help prevent its abuse.”
Mahnoor Ahmed, a student of National Grammar School, said a zero tolerance policy should be adopted in such cases. Those found aiding such crime must be considered equally guilty, she said.
Learning through discussion
The speeches were followed by an interaction between a panel of experts on the topic.
Valarie Khan, a French human rights activist and Acid Survivors Foundation chairperson, said acid crime was a global phenomenon.
She said acid violence was the worst form of gender-based violence in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.
Ayesha Tasleem, legal head at Depilex Smile Again Foundation, said an important aspect of the issue was gender equity that had been neglected in education imparted to men and women. Education with a mindset change is imperative to curb this crime, she added.
Lawyer Saad Rasul said there was a large gap between the current legal framework and an ideal system. He said while there were laws to register acid violence as an offence, safeguards and measures to prevent and prosecute after were absent.
Gulraiz Zulfikar, a fellow at the American Joint Cancer Committee, said several acid burns were treatable at acid burn centres functioning under non government organisations, government and the army. “Survivors do not seek sympathy, but they need restoration of self-esteem,” he said.
The panellists said that a strong retributive punishment was not the solution to the problem. They advocated life sentences for convicts.
Law Society president Ayza Ishaq, who moderated the discussion session, said that law students needed to be part of something “bigger than themselves”.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 1st, 2014.
The Supreme Court directive earlier this week to all States and Union Territories to put in place draft rules to regulate the sale of acid by this fiscal-end has once again brought to light India’s sluggishness in addressing acid crime.
In fact, India has long lagged behind first Bangladesh and then Pakistan in specifically criminalising acid attacks. It was only earlier this year that the Centre — on Supreme Court’s prodding — amended the criminal law to punish perpetrators of acid attacks with 10-year imprisonment.
This contrasts sharply with neighbouring Bangladesh and somewhat even with Pakistan. Bangladesh has had an acid law for over a decade now and is often flagged as exemplary in this regard. In fact, it was one of the first countries to legislate on acid attacks with the enactment of the Acid Control Act in 2002. Under the Act, the unlicensed production, import, transport, storage, sale and use of acid was made punishable with a prison sentence of three to 10 years.
In the sub-continent, Pakistan came a distant second in putting in place the legal instruments to specifically deal with acid attacks. The penal code and the criminal procedure code were amended in 2011 to provide maximum of life imprisonment for perpetrators of acid attacks. But, as is the case in India, Pakistani provinces are yet to legislate to regulate the sale of acid and other corrosive substances.
After Quetta, ASF team is working on better implementation of acid and burn legislation in Karachi, in collaboration with AUS AID.October 9th, 2013
An example of an ASF-Pakistan field work report rights after the meeting is over…
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!
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…