Tue, 05 Jul 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 25 (ANI): Pakistan's discrimination against minorities continues even in the employment sector as 80 per cent of non-Muslims are employed to carry out their job with less salary and around half of the posts reserved for the minorities in government departments are still vacant.

This data was seen in the report 'Unequal Citizens: Ending Systemic Discrimination against Minorities,' compiled by the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) with support from the European Union (EU), Dawn reported.

This report highlights the hazardous working conditions, insufficient safety gear and equipment, lack of job security and payment of low compensation to the injured and families of those who die while working. It also has the stories of sanitation workers who have faced societal ostracisation, stigma, discrimination and death in deadly manholes that have been highlighted.

In order to rectify the situation, the commission has given certain recommendations like the use of machines instead of manual labour where there is a danger of death or injury to sanitation workers and providing them with social security and healthcare.

According to the report, the discrimination against minorities in the employment quota must end, and there should be an immediate ban on the practice of publishing discriminatory advertisements and ensuring public transparency in the number of minority posts filled across each basic pay scale.

"On the basis of the letter sent by the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), the Ministry of Human Rights took immediate action and issued a letter to chief secretaries of each province, directing them to ensure that minorities are protected in line with international obligations and constitutional guarantees," Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Minister for Human Rights announced in the event.

Pakistan Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Shazia Marri stressed the sensitisation of relevant government departments on unconscious biases that lead to discrimination against minorities, reported DawnDuring the event, Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that the conferences and court judgments were not enough unless a proactive role was played by the government, civil society and media.

"Human rights violations occur because of the abuse of rule of law. Under the Constitution, every citizen is equal. Still, we have the term 'ordinary citizen' commonly used," IHC Chief Justice said.

"Every year, the president of Pakistan is obligated to submit a report on the status of implementation of 'Principles of Policy' of the Constitution which ensures that people are given their basic human rights. Regrettably, this constitutional obligation has never been fulfilled by any president or the governor," he added.

NCHR Chairperson Rabiya Javeri Agha said as a result of NCHR's efforts, federal and provincial governments have made a commitment (in writing) to not only look into the issue of discriminatory practices but to affirm and vigorously uphold constitutional safeguards for minority citizens, according to Dawn. (ANI)

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