KARACHI: In order to make public outreach convenient to the people of Larkana and Sukkur, which is quite a volatile region when it comes to human rights violations, the Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has decided to open its branch office in Sukkur at the women development department building where the complainants from northern Sindh will be catered to.

This was announced at a press conference held by the SHRC at the Karachi Press Club on Thursday to highlight the rationale and objectives of the commission’s visit to districts Sukkur, Ghotki, Khairpur and Larkana from Nov 9 to 13.

The commission also held a meeting with civil society in Sukkur, wherein the SHRC team was apprised about the current situation of human rights violations in Sukkur zone. The team was informed that the human rights situation has worsened, especially in the context of jirga, violence against women and children, education and health.

After the meeting, the commission urged the civil society members to increase their outreach to the far-flung villages and report the cases to the commission for immediate redress.

On Nov 11 and 12, the commission held a meeting with government officials and civil society at the DC office at Mirpur Mathelo and Khairpur, respectively. The commission was apprised about the current human rights situation by the respective deputy commissioners in the presence of other officials of the district. It was identified that education and health issues in the area require drastic and immediate reforms.

The SHRC team included retired Justice Majida Razvi, chairperson, SHRC; Abida Lodhi, secretary, SHRC and Adnan Ali Khaskheli, superintendent complaint, inquiries and suo-motu.

Furthermore, the issue of minorities with regard to harassment and forced conversion and jirga/tribal system and tribal warfare is the source of major human rights violations in the district which requires immediate redress. In this regard the commission is conducting research on the subject matter for identifying how alternative dispute resolution (ADR) could be taken as a replacement of jirga system.

The commission also chaired a meeting with minority rights groups in Ghotki which was attended by various panchayat leaders and other religious minority groups in the area. The commission was informed that issues of harassment of minorities, forced conversions, attack on minority’s worship places and problem of non-issuance of CNICs to the scheduled caste members are quite prevalent in Ghotki.

The commission also visited the minor rape survivor in the Kashmore rape case and inquired about her health and the current status of her case and ordered the authorities to follow up on the case efficiently and effectively.

The commission is currently working on formulating its detailed report on the abovementioned deliberations and a holistic strategy to improve its outreach.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2020

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