ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan has constituted a Committee to study and investigate the plight of women in prisons.
The Committee has been constituted taking into account the plight of the female prisoners, whether convicted or awaiting trial, in the overall context of gender biases prevalent in the society at large and issues associated therewith.
Therefore, there is a genuine need to put in place the institutional arrangements to address the issue in a comprehensive manner.
The composition and Terms of Reference (ToRs) of the Committee shall be as under:
- Federal Minister of Human Rights (Chairperson);
- Secretary, Ministry of Human Rights (Secretary)
- Secretary Ministry of Interior
- Home Secretaries, Governments of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan
- IG Prisons, Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan
- Ms. Sarah Belal
- Ms. Haya Zahid
The Chairperson may co-opt any person as a member of the Committee.
Terms of Reference (ToRs):
- To assess whether Prison Rules, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 and international best practices are being adhered to with respect to women prisoners, especially their protection, rights, health, security, and wellbeing;
- To ensure that gender-specific services are available for women prisoners addressing their physical, psychological, emotional, and sociological needs;
- To review Prison Rules and other relevant laws with a view to suggest gender-specific changes in order to bring improvements for women inmates;
- To review the overall governance, legal aid, and management systems/processes in prison administration, especially with regard to women prisoners and to suggest improvements;
- To review individual cases of human rights violations and victimization of women inmates and suggest measures for institutional accountability;
- To review the situation of children accompanying women in jails and work to help mainstream such children, especially with regard to their education and social integration;
- To suggest a comprehensive and workable system of governance of prisons in Pakistan with a view to ameliorating the plight of women in prison;
- To review post-release programs to ensure that women prisoners are able to adjust in society after they leave the prison; and,
- Any other task assigned to it by the Chairperson in the interest of the welfare and protection of women prisoners.
- The Committee shall submit its report in the matter for further orders of the Prime Minister within a period of four months.