Islamabad: Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF-Pakistan) in partnership with Group Development Pakistan (GDP) and Blue Veins joined hands to conduct a regional level consultation with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s parliamentarians, government officials, civil society and representatives of various political parties to stop acid and burn violence by advocating and lobbying for the passage of ‘Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill 2019’.
As per ASF-Pakistan data, acid violence has decreased by 50% in the country during 2015 and 2016 and the conviction rate for acid attacks was the highest among VAWG cases in the last two years (10%). Convictions largely entail strong and severe punishment and the fight against acid violence has generated a strong mobilization among civil society networks, policy and law makers, government departments, LEAs, media and human rights institutions.
It is, therefore, important to capitalize upon the positive results achieved for acid violence so far and use this positive momentum from all stakeholders – including religious leaders – to pursue efforts to
- eradicate acid attacks and other forms of burns;
- prevent other forms of VAWG that happen prior to acid and burn violence; and
- advocate and lobby for passage of legislation to counter acid and burn violence.
In four provinces (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab) and in the federal capital, legislators have been working on enacting a comprehensive legislation to provide relevant and free comprehensive support services to acid and burn survivors. Utilizing this platform, ASF-Pakistan, GDP and Blue Veins called upon parliamentarians for their political, institutional and social support for the passage of federal and provincial comprehensive acid and burn bills.
Ms. Ayesha Naeem, member of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Assembly representing PTI, who is also the chairperson of the committee said “This long awaited bill pending from 2014 is expected to be passed by the end of this year and the government is committed to empower and rehabilitate the victims at all levels in order to restore their lives by taking ancillary measures.”
At the end of the consultation, the parliamentarians pledged their eminent support by penning their signatures on the pledge wall to synergize for passage of ‘Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill 2019’ to bring about positive reinforcement in the lives of victims and also to protect and save others from this heinous crime.