#India- Facts and Myths – Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 2013 #Vaw #Justice #mustshare


FACTS AND MYTHS

THE CRIMINAL LAW (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2013,

PROPOSED BY THE GOVERNMENT

March 16, 2013

 

FACTS AND MYTHS

THE CRIMINAL LAW (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2013,

PROPOSED BY THE GOVERNMENT

March 16, 2013

 

The Justice Verma Committee (JVC) report was a landmark statement, applauded by all citizens, welcomed by all Political Parties. JVC was significant because it showed a mirror to the Constitution of India, and reflected its wise and just guarantees of women’s equality. Today the women and youth of India are looking with hope and expectation towards Parliament, and towards all Political Parties. We urge all Members of Parliament to pass a law upholding the spirit and letter of the Justice Verma Committee; to pass a law that makes a step forward in our collective struggle to end sexual violence in India.

 

 

Myth 1: The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2013 is against men.

 

Fact: The new anti-sexual violence Bill is NOT against men. For our fathers, brothers, husbands, partners, neighbours and colleagues are men too. Are these Men in our lives not committed to seeking an end to the constant threat of sexual violence lurking around every corner? Yes, men must, and men do support this Bill. For this bill is against criminals. It is against the scourge of sexual violence, and seeks to prevent and protect our society from heinous sexual crimes like rape, molestation, disrobing and parading women or stalking.

 

We know that men too can be vulnerable to sexual attacks by criminal men. And we welcome the Bill’s recognition that both men and women can be victims of acid attack and provides protection to all ‘persons’ for these offences. But we further ask you, our Parliamentarians, to recognize that men must also be protected against the crime of rape and custodial rape committed by other men, and to change the definition of victim in section 375 and section 376 (2) to ‘person’ and not restrict victimhood in these instances to women alone. Men and women are and must remain partners in this battle against sexual violence. And all ‘persons’ deserve protection of the law against rape.

 

 

Myth 2: If the age of consent for sexual act is lowered to 16 years, this will encourage child marriage, prostitution and trafficking.

 

Fact: The age of consent for sexual relations in India has stood at 16 years for the last 30 years, since 1983. The age was increased without adequate public discussion in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, May 2012, 9 months ago, and later, in the hasty Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance of Feb 4th 2013. The JVC report recommends that it be retained at 16 years as it always has been in the IPC, to prevent criminalization of young persons for consensual sex. Women’s groups are merely asking for it to be retained at 16 years, rather than increase it unthinkingly to 18 years.

 

Retaining age of consent at 16 years does not mean social or moral endorsement or encouragement of teenage sexual activity. The law is not asking young people to do this or that. This is merely an acknowledgement that if two young people consensually decide to engage in sexual contact, we might want to teach them and educate them but we do not want to treat them instantly as criminals, or consign them to custody. For that is what ‘age of consent’ means – it means that a boy who has sexual contact with someone below the age of consent is committing statutory rape. If that age is now raised to 18, it means that boys of 16-18 years, or slightly older, will be held guilty of committing statutory rape if they have consensual sex with another person who is also between 16-18 years. In such cases, the judge will have no discretion under law and will be forced to place such boys in protection home (if under 18 years) or in jails (18 or above).

 

Indian society does not wish to treat as criminals and rapists young men and women who might engage in consensual sexual acts. For we must recognize that ‘criminalizing as RAPE’, the consensual acts of young adults, will make most vulnerable our young men, particularly those from marginalized communities. Third party complaints of statutory rape against young boys will force the Courts to condemn them to prison (if over 18) or protection homes for juveniles (if under 18) for committing no crime other than consensual sexual contact.

 

We must retain the age at 16 because raising the age to 18 years does not provide additional protection to young women against rape or sexual assault. It only serves to increase societal control over the lives and decisions of young persons, both young men and women. To protect their fundamental rights including the right to choice and sexual autonomy and agency, the law must keep 16 years as the age of consent for sexual acts.

 

Why should the age of marriage be 18 years and consent for sexual acts be retained at 16 years?

 

The age of marriage must be retained at 18 years. Marriage is a serious commitment and entails many long-term responsibilities of life, and it is appropriate to keep the age of marriage at 18 years. But there is no merit or useful purpose served by keeping one uniform legal age for every act of a human being. Studies, surveys and research conducted across India, including in rural India, all indicate that young people are engaging in consensual sexual activity between the ages of 16-18 years. The anxiety and legitimate concerns of parents on this count is real and valid. However, the answer to that lies outside the law – in education in schools and within families, and communication between the parents, teachers and young persons.

 

Retaining the age of consent at 16 years is only to ensure that when teenagers engage in consensual sexual activity, it does not lead to young boys being punished and imprisoned. Retaining age of consent for sexual contact at 16 years does not have any bearing or adverse impact on the efforts to prevent child marriage, to which we all stand committed.

 

In any case, marriage of persons under 18 years is legal and valid under the law. Consequently, sex between spouses, one or both of who may be between 16-18 years is not criminalized. Raising the age of consent to 18 years, treats consensual sex between married persons, one or both of whom may be between 16-18 years, differentially from sex between unmarried persons of the same age group. Tainting an unmarried boy of under or above 18 years with the stigma of criminality for consensual sex is unduly harsh and discriminatory, when compared with the legal status of a married boy of the same age.

 

Will the age of consent at 16 years lead to more trafficking and forced prostitution of women and children?

 

It must be emphasized that key to the definition of RAPE is the absence of consent of the woman. Each case where there is such absence of consent must be treated as a crime and punished.

 

In the case of trafficking and forced prostitution this issue of ‘consent’ whether at 16 or 18 is totally irrelevant. In cases of trafficking or forced prostitution, the consent of the girl or woman at any age is neither free nor voluntary; it is coerced and hence in the eyes of law does not amount to consent. The issue of age is irrelevant in all cases of trafficking and forced prostitution. As pointed out in the Justice Verma Committee Report, the police and other powerful forces are complicit in the crime of trafficking and forcing women and children into exploitative work. The 2013 Bill has special provisions to deal with Trafficking and we must ensure that these are rigorously enforced by the police.

 

Myth 3: The offences of Voyeurism and Stalking will trap innocent men.

 

Fact: The offence of Voyeurism as defined in Sec. 354C IPC, is very specific and pointed in scope and has no possibility of misuse or abuse. In villages, towns and cities, we know that the poor do not enjoy the luxury of a private bathroom in their homes. This makes the young girls and women particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse even as they perform routine activities of bathing, attending to the call of nature in fields and open public places. They are always fearful of men who may use this occasion to watch them or take pictures of them as they perform these private activities. The offence of Voyeurism will punish a man who watches or records a woman while she is in any private act where her private body parts may be exposed. This offence seeks to uphold the dignity of women and makes the violation of their fundamental right to privacy a crime.

 

Stalking: The crime of stalking takes a serious toll on the life of women. Gripped by fear and anxiety due to being repeatedly followed by a man, girls and women have been forced to drop out of education, quit jobs and even change homes to escape the stalker. The rape and murder of the young law student Priyadarshini Mattoo, is a grim reminder that if the stalker is not stopped, he can rape and kill. Stalkers are also known to throw acid on their victims, as a way to take revenge. By making stalking a crime, the law can actually prevent rape and other forms of aggravated sexual crimes and save innocent women from being brutally sexually assaulted or killed. The codification of this crime will fill an important lacuna in the present law.  Only in situations where a man repeatedly follows a woman, either physically or through the Internet and this causes her fear or distress, will the crime of stalking be recognised as such.

Related Articles

 

 

#India- Swiss woman gang-raped in Madhya Pradesh; 20 detained #Vaw


 

 Updated: Saturday, March 16, 2013, 19:41 
gangrape
Zeenews Bureau

Datia (Madhya Pradesh): In another shameful incident, a Swiss female tourist was gang-raped by seven to eight persons at a forest area in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh, police said on Saturday.

The victim was on a cycling trip with her husband at the time of the incident.

Twenty people have been detained on the basis of suspicion and are being questioned in connection with the incident, DIG(Chambal range) DK Arya told a news agency.

A rape case has been registered, police said, adding that seven to eight unidentified persons were involved in the crime. No arrest has been made so far.

The incident took place at Jharia village, eight km near Datia town, at around 9 pm last night when the 39-year-old woman along with her husband was touring the region on a bicycle as part of their India tour.

The couple–who are adventure tourists– was camping at a forest area for the night while on their way back from Orchha, home to temples of Lord Ram, and were proceeding to Agra when they were attacked. The couple were planning to visit Agra in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh to see the Taj Mahal.

The woman was allegedly gang-raped in the presence of her husband, police said.

The victim was rushed to Gwalior, about 100 km from here, and her medical tests in a hospital have confirmed rape, police sources said.

The tourists told police that their camera, Rs 10,000 in cash and a laptop were missing.

“They (the couple) were coming from Orchha on a bicycle and they decided to stay in a forest. A lot of tourists throng the area. They were beaten up by a few people who took away their laptops,” said ML Dhody, a Sub-Divisional police officer.

“We are scouring the forest area in search of those involved in the crime,” Datia SP CS Solanki told a news agency.

Madhya Pradesh govt slammed

Chairperson of National Commission for Women Mamta Sharma said the MP government should take the incident very seriously and demanded strictest punishment to the culprits.

Leader of Opposition in MP Assembly Ajay Singh said the incident was a “blot” on the BJP government’s name and also put the state in poor light abroad.

(With Agency inputs)

 

Woman gangraped on bus in Indore by 3 men including driver, conductor #Vaw #WTFnews


A 38-year-old married woman was allegedly gangraped on a private bus here by three men, including the driver and conductor.

Police today arrested the three accused, Zahid (30), who was the driver of the bus, conductor Lala (22) and Rajesh (25).

The victim had boarded the bus at Dewas yesterday after she had a quarrel with her husband, Tukoganj police station in-charge Majoj Ratnakar said.

When the bus reached here and all passengers barring the woman got off, the three accused allegedly raped her, police said.

 

51 children including from Manipur-Nagaland rescued from Jaipur


March 14, 2013 by Imphal Free Press | 

DIMAPUR, Mar 14 (NNN): Young girls and boys including minors from Manipur and Nagaland have been rescued by Tangkhul Shanao Long, Delhi (Tangkhul Women Union-Delhi) on March 12 from two children`s homes in Jaipur.

Out of the 29 girls and 22 boys rescued,  22 girls are from Manipur and 3 from Nagaland. Regarding the boys, 7 are from Manipur and 4 are from Nagaland. They are from the age group of 5 to 14.

On Tuesday, the Tangkhul Women Union (TSL-D) on learning about the information raided both the children`s homes called Grace Home along with  a team led by the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Rajasthan with seven members of TSLD, social workers and activists and media persons.

Both the ‘Grace Home’ were illegally run by one Jacob John, flouting every norm and guideline laid by the Child Welfare Committee. He was arrested under the Indian Penal Code section 344,366 and 370(5) and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 section 23 and 28. TSLD was informed about the existence of this Home by a former inmate. TSLD then got in touch with the concerned authorities in Jaipur, according to TSL-D.

The Tangkhul Women Union said the condition in which it existed was shocking. In the girl’s home the children shared a single room with no female warden or caretaker and no helper either. All the domestic work was done by them. They informed the team that they were not allowed to make phone calls to their parents and families. When rarely allowed to do so, someone would be present to ensure that they do not report to their family about how they live and were being treated, the TSL-D added.

When some of the team members tried to talk the younger ones could respond only in Hindi. They had forgotten their mother tongue, the TSL-D narrated.

According to TSL-D, the team also found about 600 bottles of liquor and rotting vegetables lying in the kitchen and the toilets broken, indicating how the girls were made to live in such inhuman conditions. Of the 29 girls rescued, 22 are from Manipur, 3 from Nagaland and the remaining from Jharkhand. Among the boys 7 were from Manipur, 4 from Nagaland and the rest from Punjab and Chattisgarh. The children were promised free education, food and shelter but they never went to a school.

“TSL-D would like to state that Human Trafficking is a serious concern and would like to appeal to all parents and guardians to be cautious and verify the credibility of such Homes before sending their children. Taking advantage of economic vulnerabilities they lure people, promising jobs, free education, training and care. Very often the “traffickers” are family members or someone known. TSL-D is concerned about the personal and psychological toll it will have on the children and how slowly it will impact the society. TSL-D would also like to call upon every citizen and social organization to spread awareness and educate the people of this increasing trend. Human trafficking robs human dignity and conscience and it must be stopped!,” the Tangkhul Shanao Long-Delhi expressed.

 

UK: Indian-origin doctor ‘sex predator’ pleads guilty to 39 sexual offences #Vaw #WTFnews


WORLD, Updated Mar 16, 2013

London: An Indian-origin doctor, branded as “sex predator” for sexually assaulting women and teenage girls and secretly filming the acts, has pleaded guilty to 39 sexual offences at a UK court. Dr Davinderjit Bains, 45, was branded a “sex predator” by police officers investigating the case, who also found two James Bond-style spy wristwatch cameras on which he had filmed some of the attacks.

Bains pleaded guilty to 39 sexual offences against victims aged between 14 and 51 at Swindon Crown Court on Friday. The majority of the offences took place between July 2010 and May 2012 at Tinkers Lane Surgery in Royal Wootton Bassett near Swindon, south-west England, where he was based as a general practitioner (GP). Judge Douglas Field ordered pre-sentence and psychiatric reports to be compiled on the doctor, who was remanded in custody awaiting sentencing to a lengthy jail term.

Bains, who qualified as a doctor from Mangalore University in 1993 and became a GP in 2007, is currently suspended from practising by the General Medical Council (GMC). Detective Inspector Mark Garrett, who led the investigation for Wiltshire Police, said the doctor had “massively” breached patients’ trust.

“Data recovered from this watch revealed that over a three-year period he had been secretly recording intimate examinations of his female patients and then downloading those images onto his home computer,” he said. “We had the challenge of identifying and locating a large number of women and explaining to them that their examinations had been secretly recorded by Bains for the purpose of his sexual gratification. It was horrendous. They were unaware that they were victims and this dated back over a three-year period,” he added.

The court was told that the watch Bains used to film the abuse had a built-in camera on the face, with simple on and off buttons to record, and can be bought on the internet for less than 60 pounds. His victim list comes close to 100 women when the judge takes into consideration the other offences – 10 of sexual assault by penetration, eight of sexual assault and 47 of voyeurism.

His not guilty pleas to three charges of sexual assault and a single count of administering a noxious drug with intent to commit a sexual offence were accepted and will lie on file. The police investigation began in June, 2012 when a 19-year-old woman told officers she thought Bains had filmed her as she showered and alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by him. When detectives arrested Bains at the Tinkers Lane Surgery, they discovered his hi-tech wristwatch with spy camera and found footage of “inappropriate or unnecessary” examinations by Bains on a Tieex 4GB Waterproof HD Spy Watch DVR, which has been likened to something out of a 007 film.

They later recovered 361 high-quality video clips from his watch and home computer. NHS Wiltshire wrote to patients of the surgery in 2012 and a helpline was set up to help his former patients. Stephen Rowlands, NHS Wiltshire’s medical director, said he was “appalled” at Bains’s crimes. “It is clear that he violated the trust and dignity of those who looked to him for professional care and support. Such cynical abuse of his position and the way he concealed the serious offences is reprehensible,” he said.

At a previous hearing, Judge Field had banned the media from reporting the guilty pleas until Thursday, when the court heard that Bains will not face trial. He had admitted 23 charges relating to sexual assault and 11 of voyeurism at the last hearing. A statement from the Tinkers Lane surgery said: “This has been a shocking and distressing case for all concerned. The partners, GPs and staff of Tinkers Lane Surgery are deeply saddened by the actions of this former colleague and our sympathies remain entirely with the victims and our patients and their families.”

#India – Uttar Pradesh engineer is first to be booked under new stalking law #Vaw #Justice


20-year-old would harass Bhayandar woman, who used to be his neighbour, with lewd late-night calls

 

Ram Parmar, Mumbai Mirror March 16,2013

 

 

A 20-year-old engineering student from Uttar Pradesh has been arrested by the Navghar (Bhayander East) police for stalking a married woman who used to live next door to him in Varanasi. Vishal Verma is the first suspect to be charged under the new Section 354-D (stalking) of the Indian Penal Code, which is now a non-bailable offence.

Verma, a first-year engineering student at IIMT Engineering College, Meerut, and a resident of Varanasi, first met the woman when she was unmarried. He became infatuated with her and his obsession continued even after she got married and moved from Varanasi to Bhayandar. Inspector Dinkar Pingle of Navghar police station said Verma would telephone her late at night and harass her, asking her for “kisses” over the phone.

On February 21, Verma again called the woman to profess his love for her and said he would come down to Bhayander to meet her. He asked her for a kiss, at which the woman slammed the phone down. Verma continued to telephone her, but she ignored his calls. “Finally, the woman registered a complaint with us on March 3 and we started to investigate the matter,” said Inspector Pingle. “We sent a team to Benares, which arrested Verma and charged him under the new Section 354 (D) of the IPC,” added Pingle. Since it is a now a non-bailable offence, Verma has been remanded in police custody till Monday, when he will be produced before the Thane Sessions Court.

 

 

Call for Help — Girls given away by parents as collateral for loan #Vaw #mustshare


Written by Uma Sudhir | Updated: March 16, 2013 , NDTV

Help girls given away by parents as collateral for loan
HyderabadWhen children become the currency to repay a loan, something must be terribly, terribly wrong. Three months ago, a 13-year-old girl and her six-year-old sister, the first and third among five girl children, were left at the house of a man from whom their parents had borrowed Rs. 34,000 nine months ago. They were unable to repay, so they gave the children in exchange, as surety, till such time that they would try and get the money.

“My mother gave me Rs. 20 and said they would come and take us later,” said the teenager. She and her younger sister have been at the home of an ironsmith in Mahatipur village in Karimnagar district, where they worked like bonded labour for the ironsmith.

Villagers who noticed the children being badly abused complained to the police. The teenager has told the cops that she was sexually abused by the ironsmith when his wife was away.

The ironsmith admits the parents left the children with him because they could not repay the loan that now amounts to Rs.45,000. He, however, denies sexually exploiting the child.

“I looked after them like my own children. They are saying wrong things. The parents said they were not able to repay the money. So I should keep the children till then,” he says.

A case of wrongful confinement, outraging modesty and under the Bonded Labour Act has been filed. The children have been handed over to the child welfare committee. They will now be taken to a government-run child welfare school-cum-hostel in Karimnagar. The parents of the girls are being contacted.

HOW YOU CAN HELP 
If you want to help the two girls, you can send cheques or demand drafts in the name of:

Meena and Uma (C/O District Collector, Karimnagar District)
Bank Name: 
State Bank of Hyderabad, Pragati Bhavan branch, Nizamabad
Account Number:  62275464627
Address: Pragati Bhavan, Ntr X Roads, Nizamabad-503102

FOR ONLINE TRANSACTIONS:
IFSC Code: SBHY0020961
MICR Code: 503004005
Branch Code: 020961

(Since the girls are minors, the amount will be released when they reach the age of 18 years, along with interest accrued.)

Note: This information has been provided / published on a good faith basis, without any commercial motive. NDTV does not vouch for the authenticity of the claims made by the intending donee, nor can we guarantee that the donations made by a donor will be used for the purpose as stated by the intending donee. You are requested to independently verify the contact information and other details before making a donation. NDTV and/or its employees will not be responsible for the same.

 

Press Release-We have to move beyond Ambedkar for realization of the Dalit emancipation


 

Press Release
(Press release in hindi and punjabi are attached)
Last day of the national level seminar on “Caste Question and Marxism
We have to move beyond Ambedkar for realization of the Dalit emancipation
Chandigarh16 March.Ambedkar waged a fierce struggle against the caste question and untouchability and created a new awakening in the dalits but he failed to put forward a all-out project for emancipation of dalits and from Ambedkar’s philosophical, political, economic and social thought, no pathway is possible to draw out for the dalit emancipation. So, for taking the struggle against caste system and untouchability to its end, we have to move beyond Ambedkar.
            While presenting his write-up on the topic “Ambedkar and Dalit Emancipation” in the Fourth Arvind Memorial Seminar going on here in Bhakna Bhavan, editor of Punjabi magazine ‘Pratibadh’ Sukhwinder said that while achknowledging the historical progressive role of the Ambedkar and the social-reformist movements in their leadership, it is not possible to ignore his limitations.
            He said that today there are attempts going on to forge a compromise between Marxism and Ambedkarism but there are fundamental differences between the two ideologies. Marxism puts forward the pathway of Class struggle for ending the class divisions, exploitation of one man by other man and taking the socialism to the stage of classless society whereas Ambedkar’s politics does not move an inch beyond the policy of some reforms while remaining a part of the capitalist system. In his detailed paper Sukhwinder presented well elaborated analysis of philosophy, politics, economics and historiographic ideas of Ambedkar and said that while achknowledging the historical progressive role of the Ambedkar and the social-reformist movements in their leadership, it is not possible to ignore his limitations.
            He said that dalits have to remember the words of Shaheed Bhagat Singh that path of slow reforms will give nothing to dalits, they have to get ready for a social revolution and a political & economic revolution.
            Famous writer and professor in Jawahar Lal Nehru university, Prof. Tulsi Ram said that greatest contribution of Ambedkar lies in the fact that he attacked the divinity of caste system. Criticizing the paper presented by Sukhwinder, he said that the paper has overlooked the revolutionary role of Buddhist philosophy. Ambedkar too has to be understood while considering the historical limits in which he lived. He talked in detailed about the evils of Hindu religion and said that brahmanists destroyed the Buddhist religion because it opposed the caste system. Prof. Tulsi Ram said that the state capitalist model proposed by Ambedkar was not less progressive than the state socialist system of Russia in any respect.
            Disagreeing on many points with Prof. Tulsi Ram, editor of Ahwan magazine Abhinav said that his explanation is not in unison with the historical facts. Ambedkar said fought against the caste system but this does not prove that his project of caste emancipation was the correct path. Who has the correct understanding of the problem, only that person can propose the correct way for solving that problem. But this is the thing that is lacking in Ambedkar. He strongly criticised the idea of Prof. Tulsi Ram that social movements should be given more importance than the political movements. Social movements always remain confined to the reforms while keeping the question state-power on the fences.
            In the evening session yesterday, Prashant from BR Ambedkar college, Delhi presented his write-up on identity politics. Ninu Chapagai, Shivani, Asit Das, Shabdeesh, Tapish Mandola, Dr. Sukhdev, Kashmir Singh, Satyam were among many other participants who took part in intense discussions that continued in late evening.
            Today’s session was presided over by Prof. Tulsi Ram, poetess Katyayani and Debashish Barat from Chintan Vichar Manch, Patna.
            — Meenakshy (Managing Trustee), Anand Singh (Secretary)
Arvind Memorial Trust
For more information, please contact:
Katyayani – 09936650658, Satyam – 9910462009, Namita (Chandigarh) –  978072412

 

No escape from caste prejudice even in UK #discrimination #humanrights


By, TNN | Mar 16, 2013,

No escape from caste prejudice even in UK
Many Indians in the work place say they have faced a great deal of harassment from other Indians on grounds of caste.
LONDON: If you happen to be of Dalit origin, or from the so-called lower castes, migrating out of India may not help you escape discrimination. India’s infamous caste system has reared its ugly head in the United Kingdom.School children from the lower castes have been taunted with casteist slurs like “bhangi” and “chamar” from other Indian school children of a higher caste. Many Indians in the work place say they have faced a great deal of harassment from other Indians on grounds of caste.

This has resulted in widespread protests across England. Human rights activists and Dalit organizations in the UK are campaigning for the enforcement of a clause in UK Equality Act that mentions the Indian caste system.

One of the worst instances of discrimination took place in central England, in a city called Coventry. “An elderly Dalit lady was receiving home care from the city council, who would send a council worker to her house to bathe her. One of the council workers happened to be an Indian of a higher caste. When she discovered the lady was Dalit, she refused to give her a bath,” says Lekh Pall, an activist with the Anti-discrimination Alliance.

Harbans Lal Bali, a retired employee of UK’s Royal Mail, who lives in the suburbs of London, recalls the harassment he faced at the Post Office when he was temporarily promoted to the post of supervisor. “I got to know that some of the people under me, who were Indians of a higher caste, complained to the management about my promotion. They said that they were not used to taking orders from people of my caste,” he says.

There has also been an instance where an Indian of a lower caste was in a relationship with another Indian from a higher caste in the same office. Both were asked to leave their jobs by their employer, who was an upper caste Indian.

Lekh Pall was amongst those who campaigned for the inclusion of caste under the Equality Act 2010, as a form of racial discrimination. “We presented the House of Lords with a great deal of evidence when the Bill was being passed. They made an amendment to the Bill and included caste as an aspect of race. When the Bill was sent to the House of Commons, ministers were in favour of conducting their own study on the subject before including it in the law,” he adds.

The UK government commissioned a nation wide study on the issue and came out with a report showing that there was “evidence suggesting caste discrimination” in the UK with regards to “work (bullying, recruitment, promotion, task allocation), provision of services and education (pupil on pupil bullying)”. Though the Equality Act does mention caste, Dalit organizations say they are upset that this clause has yet to be enforced.

Pakistan- Civil society condemns target killing of Parveen Rehman #Vaw


Listen to her interveiw here-
https://soundcloud.com/desmukh/parveen-rehman-interview-2011

 

PRESS RELEASE

calls for urgent action by the state to protect citizens

KARACHI,
March 14, 2013: Leading civil society organizations of Pakistan have expressed
shock and profound grief at the brutal target killing of Director of the Organi
Pilot Project (OPP) Ms. Parveen Rehman by terrorists near her office on
Wednesday evening.

In
a joint statement here on Thursday, the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education
and Research, the South Asia Partnership – Pakistan, Strengthening
Participatory Organisation, Sungi Development Foundation, the Pakistan
Fisherfolk Forum, and Pakistan Peace Coalition, condemned the target killing of
the social activist who dedicated her entire life to the cause of the empowerment
of the marginalized communities in the slum areas of Pakistan, particularly the
Orangi Town which is one of the largest slums of Asia. After the demise of the OPP’s
founder head Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan in 1999, Ms. Rehman steered the mission of
the organization, expanding one of the worldā€™s largest and pioneer low cost
sanitation and basic services programmes that went on to change the lives of
the downtrodden rural population.

Paying
tribute to Ms. Rehman, the statement observed that she was a relentless social
activist who was highly respected for her innovative work for the slum
communities which went beyond merely facilitating low cost services. She sought
to empower the unattended-by-the state community through education, skills-development
and provision for microfinance facilities. It was this work of hers that was targeted
by the powerful mafias as a threat to their existence. While police have yet to
identify her murderers, her brutal killing in the middle of a crowded road in
Karachi is an indication of the backing of powerful forces behind her murder. It
has been reported in the press that she had been receiving threats from local mafias
for a long time. Her murder is a symbol of stateā€™s failure to protect its citizens.

The
civil society organisations strongly demanded the government to order a
judicial inquiry into the killing of Ms. Rehman to ascertain the killers and
their actual masters. The state must stand up to protect sane voices and
peaceful forces of the country that remain target of the brutality of the
non-state actors and the apathy of the state. Parveen Rehmanā€™s killing is a
serious move to demoralize the forces of peace and development in the country. The
organizations expressed the resolve that they will not bow under pressure, but
the state must take its responsibility to protect its citizens.

The
civil society also expressed solidarity with the OPP team headed by late Parveen
Rehman. They resolved to work together to carry forward her mission to empower
the marginalized stressing that no terrorists and mafias should have the power
to stop peace and development in the society.

Ends

Released by:

Shujauddin Qureshi

Co-Manager Programmes (Advocacy and Networking)

Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER)

Gulshan-e-Maymar, Karachi-75340

Ph: +(92-21) 36351145-7

Fax: +(92-21) 36350345

Cell: +(92)300-3929788

URL: www.piler.org.pk

Shujauddin Qureshi

Co-Manager Programmes (Advocacy and Networking)

Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER)

Gulshan-e-Maymar, Karachi-75340

Ph: +(92-21) 36351145-7

Fax: +(92-21) 36350345

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