Rights Watch | 05th August 2020

Rights Watch

Infant girl thrown off building; survives

Police detained a man and woman for allegedly dropping a newborn girl from the second floor of a building in Karachi’s Baloch Colony neighbourhood. The incident took place in the early morning of Tuesday, August 4 and was witnessed by several residents, who informed the police. Officers believe that when the baby girl was born, at around four in the morning of the same day, her father had rejected her, leading to her being thrown from the building.

Since the man and woman who carried out the alleged attempted infanticide claimed they were not related to the baby, her real parents have to be located. Meanwhile, the infant received medical attention after being taken to the hospital by volunteers from the Chhipa Welfare Association (CWA), and is alive and being cared for at a Chhipa children’s home.

Ban on child domestic labour in Islamabad Capital Territory

The Cabinet Division on Tuesday, August 4, banned child domestic work in the Islamabad Capital Territory via amending the Employment of Children Act of 1991 to include domestic labour to the list of occupations considered hazardous for young children.

Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari, a proponent of such reform, tweeted in support of the amendment and encouraged the provinces to also pass it through resolutions in their respective assemblies. The legislation comes barely two months after the murder of seven-year-old domestic worker Zohra Shah at the hands of her employer in Rawalpindi.

Women brutalized in Indian Occupied Kashmir

Special Forces in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK) reportedly use sexual violence to terrorise Kashmiri women. This barbaric practice has historically been deployed in extremely brutal conflicts, but its widespread use in Kashmir was kick-started by the mass rape of Kashmiri women in Kunan, Poshpura, which took place on February 23, 1991.

Since then, Indian forces in Kashmir have, according to human rights watchdogs, utilized rape and sexual violence as a tool to instil fear and submission within the local population. According to Human Rights Watch, since the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 the incidence of rape, sexual assault and molestation of women has increased.

And although the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has noted the behaviour of the Indian forces in more than one report, these troops are not liable for criminal prosecution under Indian law given the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which protects them.