KARACHI: The Sindh Human Rights Commission has drawn the attention of the government of Sindh to the importance of issuing safety equipment to sanitary workers.

Taking notice of no such safety measures being extended to sanitary workers like they are for health workers and law enforcement agencies, retired Justice Majida Razvi, chairperson,Sindh Human Rights Commission, issued a statement on Sunday, asking the government to also think about sanitary workers who work to keep our cities clean.

“Amid the present pandemic and spread of the coronavirus, the government of Sindh has taken numerous measures to counter local spread, including social isolation and spacing. The steps taken are provision of safety equipment to all front line fighters like doctors, paramedics, law enforcing agencies and members of district administration. Even the public is being provided masks at some points, but it has been noticed that the sanitary workers who are mandated to keep our cities and spaces clean and sanitised are not being provided with essential, lifesaving equipment to keep themselves safe from contracting the virus,” the statement read.

“It is pertinent to mention that as per WHO guidelines, maintaining hygiene and sanitation within the public spaces plays an important role in countering the spread of the pandemic, but the sanitary workers who are working day and night to keep public spaces clean and sanitized are not being given due protection.

“Distributing masks and gloves of substandard quality are not enough to save lives of the sanitary workers.

“The Commission, keeping in view the vulnerability of the sanitary workers, urges the district/city municipal authorities and district administration all over the Sindh Province to ensure security of the sanitary workers with the provision of ample safety equipment so that safety of our front line fighters, who are fighting to keep our spaces clean and sanitized could be ensured,” it concluded.

Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2020

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