‘845 cases of sexual violence against women recorded in 2018’

Women, children and labour remained highly vulnerable in 2018.

According to the HRCP’s annual report, State of Human Rights in 2018, at least 845 incidents of sexual violence against women and 316 crimes in the name of ‘honour’ perpetrated against both men and women were recorded in 2018.

In Thar, 638 children died of malnutrition in 2018, the report states.

“Scores of mine workers lost their lives in deadly incidents in Balochistan and other provinces with no evidence of progress in the implementation of safety and health standards. In addition, an estimated 12 million children were reportedly involved in child labour,” read a statement released by HRCP on Monday about its report.

It said that an estimated 16,136 internally displaced families have yet to return home, although the number is likely higher.

While the interventions of the Supreme Court attracted much attention, the long-awaited reform of the criminal justice system remained on the back burner and the steady accumulation and growth of the backlog of cases went unchecked in all the courts, HRCP noted.

The human rights body says that there were close to 1.9 million cases pending in over 250 lower, special and superior courts by year end. At the end of the year 4,688 prisoners were on death row and at least 500 have been executed since 2014, 14 of them in 2018.

In a statement issued today, HRCP commented on ‘the unprecedented level to which the fundamental right to freedom of expression was overtly violated, particularly in the run-up to the elections,’ adding that ‘in the guise of “national security concerns”, restrictions on media coverage were stepped up, journalists took increasingly to self-censorship, the distribution of a national newspaper was severely curtailed, and a media blackout was imposed on coverage of certain events.

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