Rights Watch (3rd April 2020)

Rights Watch

Fisherman in Thatta Starving

Fisherman residing on the 27 or so islands along the Thatta coastline are being forced to go hungry as fish markets remain closed during the Sindh-wide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sales of freshly caught fish and fish products have also starkly declined due to the ongoing lockdown as buyers remain holed up in their homes and goods transport services remain disrupted. Moreover, in yet another financial blow to local fishermen, their catch is rotting away.

Fishermen groups extend their pleas to the government to provide relief to their poor communities, or at least partially resume coastal fishing so that their families do not starve.

Shangla Coalminers Penniless for 9 Months, Thousands of Others Stranded in Other Provinces

Despite risking their lives with little to no safety equipment, coal miners from the merged tribal belt in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have gone unpaid for the past 9 months. Families of those who died or were injured in mining accidents have also not given their due compensation since July, local miners say.

Meanwhile, coal miners from Swat, Dir and Shangla face starvation as they remain stranded in Sindh and Balochistan since the past 2 weeks. Around 5,000 miners trapped in Lakhra in Sindh & 3,000 in the outskirts of Quetta implore the provincial governments to take notice of their condition, and provide relief and issue transport so that they may return home.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Labour Minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai has written to the Chief Ministers of Sindh and Balochistan requesting their aid in giving food, medicine and financial relief to the trapped coalminers. He also requested that they be immediately paid their due wages.