Kashmala stresses stronger mechanism for safety of female journalists

Published June 1, 2022
Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Kashmala Tariq speaks at the national advocacy seminar in Islamabad on Tuesday. — Photo by Mohammad Asim
Federal Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Kashmala Tariq speaks at the national advocacy seminar in Islamabad on Tuesday. — Photo by Mohammad Asim

ISLAMABAD: Federal Ombudsperson for Harassment of Women at the Workplace Kashmala Tariq on Tuesday stressed on the importance of safety of female journalists, and called for the need to collect data related to it.

Online trolling is this new form of harassment, which is faced by everyone particularly female journalists, she said while addressing participants of an advocacy seminar, organised to discuss the importance of verified and authenticated data on crimes against journalists. The seminar focused on the significance of credible data as this was evidence for policy discourse related to safety of journalists, and set roles and responsibilities of various government and nongovernment stake holders in this process.

The seminar was organised by The Parliamentarians Commission on Human Rights (PCHR) and Peace and Justice Network (PJN) in collaboration with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

It was highlighted that verified data from government sources over sustainable development goal (SDG-16.10. 1) which is identified as the “data on crimes against journalists” was not available in proper form.

Participants were directed to establish an institutionalised data collection and compilation mechanism with the help of federal and provincial departments including police across the country. They were shown data gathered by police and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) that was gathered during the last two years.

Former IGP Syed Kaleem Imam stressed over the need for identification of journalists and the importance of journalism.

He spoke about the issue of fake news and added that verified data will be helpful in stopping fake news from being spread and eradicate people who pretended to be journalists from the system.

Serving and retired officials speaking at the seminar highlighted the need for verified cases of crimes on journalists and called upon media bodies including unions and press clubs to take responsibility for identifying working journalists.

DIG National Police Bureau retired Capt Rommel Akram expressed challenges faced by law enforcement agencies towards identification of people who are genuinely journalists and those who only claim to be.

He spoke about the difficulties faced by officials in verifying data and called for an improved mechanism for its maintenance. PCHR Executive Director Shafique Chaudhry, PJN Executive Director Syed Raza Ali Naqvi, Nayyer Ali and former PFUJ president Afzal Butt responded to the queries raised by the participants.

Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2022

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