Report on suicides in Thar being inaugurated here at Karachi. (ENNS)
KARACHI (ENNS) The Sindh Human Rights Commission here on Friday organized a seminar titled ‘Increasing Incidences Of Suicides In Thar’. The commission also formally launched its 5th Annual Report for 2018-2019, focused on the human rights issues it has documented and dealt with. The event took place at the Mehran Hotel in Karachi.
Chairperson of the commission Justice (R) Majida Razvi officially launched the report alongside the provincial minister for Women Development in Sindh Syeda Shahla Raza.
The report encapsulates all the activities, collective achievements and challenges faced by Commission during the aforementioned period.
Before the launch of the report, the commissions seminar aimed at identifying the reasons behind the growing number of suicides in the province took place. A panel of experts and senior civil society members was invited to speak at the occasion.
The panelists included provincial minister Syeda Shehla Raza, Dr Haroon Ahmed of the Pakistan Association of Mental Health, Dr Azhar Mirza of Pakistan Medical Association, Karamat Ali Anis Haroon former member National Commission for Human Rights and the Ombudsman for the Commission Against Harassment at the Workplace Justice (R) Shah Nawaz Tariq.
Initiating the seminar, the chairperson of the commission Justice (R) Majida Razvi said that the commission visited Thar, the district considered to be the most vulnerable with respect to suicides in November last year. To understand the situation better, the commission met with the locals including civil society, media and government officials of the district. She said, Poverty, customs, marginalization, social and class discrimination were cited by locals as the reasons for the increasing number of suicide cases in Thar. While issues related to mental health were also pointed out as the cause of rise with respect to the issue.
When talking about the report prepared by the commission, she also added that with increasing awareness about Human Rights amongst the masses, the responsibilities of the Commission have also increased. In the last year, the Commission has held several public hearings in various districts of the province, intervened in the minority rights violation cases, water and environment, issues with public education, labor rights violations, issues of sanitary workers and also measured the impact of Jirga System on Human Rights in Sindh Province. It has also taken notice of and has initiated action on 337 individual human rights violations in the province.
Speaking at the occasion the chief guest of the event Syeda Shahla Raza said that she visited Tharparkar found out that it is not only women who are committing suicides in the province, in fact, men are also committing suicides. “Poverty is the main reason of these suicides and case of child marriages and domestic violence in Tharparkar were also the reasons.
The commission shared that except for the Civil Hospital, no doctors were available in the district to cater to cases related to the mental well-being of the people and stated that the issue needs thorough probing and research for determining the reasons in order for remedial measures to be ensured.