Friday, July 25, 2014


Pakistan

Rights Panel Offers Bleak Assessment Of Pakistani Women, Laborers

A female laborer makes bricks at a factory on the outskirts of Lahore. (file photo)
A female laborer makes bricks at a factory on the outskirts of Lahore. (file photo)
By RFE/RL
In its annual report, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has offered a bleak assessment of the plight of women, laborers, children, and religious minorities in the country.
 
The report, released on April 24, says that at least 869 women lost their lives in honor killings in the country last year, while more than 800 Pakistani women committed suicide in 2013.
 
The report says that only 18 percent of Pakistani women have secondary or higher education and only 28 percent are formally counted in the workforce.
 
Hussain Naqi, a spokesman from the HRCP in the eastern city of Lahore, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that women in Pakistan face significant challenges as they try to "assert their rights."
 
Naqi notes that the lives and property of all religious minorities in Pakistan are protected by the constitution, as well as their right to profess their faiths.
 
Nevertheless, the report said that violence against religious minorities is on the rise as well. According to the report, 687 people were killed in more than 200 sectarian attacks last year, an increase of 22 percent over 2012.
 
According to the report, around 800,000 children die in Pakistan each year of polio, dengue fever, and malnutrition.
 
The report also says that the government allocated less than 2 percent of gross domestic product for education in the country, with Pakistan remaining 180th out of 221 countries in the world with regard to literacy.
 
Around 5.5 million school-age children could not enroll in classes, the report concludes.
 
Only 1.6 million workers, out of a labor force of 59 million, have access to social security, while unemployment continues to grow.
 
The report also says an estimated 2 million Pakistanis are trapped in various forms of modern-day slavery.
 
With reporting by Freshta Jalalzai of RFE/RL's Radio Free Aghanistan, dailytimes.com.pk, arynews.tv, and pakistantoday.com.pk

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