By Khadijah Suleman
The ministry of Human Rights in Pakistan recently published a report which has been taken seriously by the government. The report found that women prisoners are facing extremely poor conditions and they are receiving inadequate medical care, especially during these unprecedented times.
The ministry urged the government to carry out an investigation in order to make sure that adequate care is provided and that mistreatment of women ends in prisons. On August 26th, 2020 a report called, “Plight of Women in Pakistan’s Prisons”, was submitted to Prime Minister Imran Khan. The whole situation concluded that Pakistan’s prison laws were not meeting international standards. It resulted in the officials ignoring laws that were meant to protect women prisoners.
On September 2nd, Khan ordered officials to carry out a Supreme Court decision to compel the release of women prisoners. The committee’s report found that the prison staff did not follow adequate rules and regulations and they often failed to protect these women from the spread of the coronavirus. The main issue was prison staff failed to put social distancing measures in place and they never wore required equipment such as masks to protect others. The Supreme Court’s decision was to reduce congestion in prisons and limit the spread of Covid-19.
Imran Khan urged that Pakistan needs urgent and comprehensive prison reforms, with a distinct focus on the rights of women and children. The Human Rights Ministry’s approach is an opportunity for Pakistan’s government to take relevant steps to improve the treatment and surroundings of women prisoners.