Rights Watch | 28th April 2021

Rahim Yar Khan Additional Deputy Commissioner-General recommended lodging cases and expelling four monitoring and evaluation assistants (MEAs) under the Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010 after it was found the officials were sexually harassing teachers at during visits to girls schools. For more stories on human rights abuses, keep reading.


Action against officials found harassing teachers sought

Four monitoring and evaluation assistants (MEAs) in Rahim Yar Khan were found guilty of sexually harassing teachers during visits to girls schools. Following an inquiry into a slew of complaints against the officials, the Additional Deputy Commissioner-General (ADCG) on Tuesday, April 27, recommended lodging cases and expelling the MEAs from the district under the relevant provisions of the Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010.

According to the ADCG, the MEAs were unable to produce any evidence in their defense. During the inquiry, it was also found that one of the officials was visiting girls schools even after retirement.

Internet freedom in Pakistan declined in 2020, finds study

According to the the Institute for Research, Advocacy and Development’s (IRADA) annual Pakistan Media Legal Review 2020 report, digital rights, freedom of expression and right to information were severely hampered due to regressive cyber policies, resulting in rampant censorship, hate speech, digital surveillance, disinformation, misinformation and breach of privacy online.

The document finds that 2020 was characterized by an aggressive move by the state to over-regulate media and to redefine the boundaries of free speech that affect not only media but journalists, citizens, opposition parties, civil society organizations and activists online, ultimately shrinking spaces for dissent.

It also point out the repeated use of cybercrime laws, especially the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 (also known as PECA) against journalists and critics for exercising their right to freedom of expression and social media activism. Several journalists and rights activists faced inquiries, abductions, investigations and arrests related to their online/social media activities and posts.

Punjab increases minimum monthly wage

The Punjab Minimum Wages Board on Tuesday notified an increase in monthly minimum wages from Rs. 17,500 to Rs. 19,500, while daily minimum wage has been set at Rs. 750. The increase will come into effect on July 1, however the Board has requested all stakeholders to submit their recommendations or objections within 30 days.

Moreover, workers have been given Rs. 4.5 billion in relief per annum while industrialists have been provided Rs. 5.5 billion in the form of social security fines.