ISLAMABAD: Violations of the rights of labour, children and the transgender community are at an all time high in the country, the National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) chairman said on Sunday.

“It is against the law to discriminate against the transgender community during employment, training, education, the sale of goods and the supply of services, public functions and housing,” said NCHR Chairman retired Justice Ali Nawaz Chohan.

Violations of various human rights were discussed in a meeting held at the NCHR office, including the death of workers in Gadani, violations of children’s rights and increasing incidents of violence against transgender persons.

Members of the commission particularly stressed on the plight of the transgender community and said that their rights were protected by the Constitution.

It was decided that the commission will draft a detailed and comprehensive on the abuse and rights of the transgender community and will also make recommendations for the legislation and policies needed for safeguarding their rights.

During the meeting, it was observed that cases of child labour and child sexual abuse were emerging at an alarmingly high rate and that the conditions of children’s health and education were worsening with time.

“The federal and provincial governments are required to submit a report on the implementation of the recommendations made by the NCHR regarding the Kasur incident, which is still pending,” Mr Chohan said.

He said the prime minister had already issued directions to the federal and provincial governments to implement the commission’s recommendations.

Talking about the Gadani incident, Mr Chohan pointed out that international and national labour protection acts were not implemented in the country due to which such incidents occur.

The commission stressed on the implementation of these acts across the country in order to ensure workers’ rights are protected and decided to prepare a detailed report over the Gadani incident which will be submitted to the government and parliament.

The fire which had broken out at the Gadani ship breaking yard is said to be the third largest in the world and killed several workers in November.

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2016

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