A government human rights body has launched a campaign to protest discriminatory advertisements for the recruitment of sanitary workers in Pakistan.
The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) campaign, launched on Jan. 25 in Islamabad, features sharing awareness messages through print, electronic and digital media, a series of online posts on discriminatory advertisements for sanitation workers, information on the government’s quota system and highlighting the deaths of sanitary workers.
The NCHR also announced a plan to file a suit against the government to remove discriminatory language from advertisements for sanitary workers.
“Eighty percent of sanitation workers are Christians whereas they are only 1.5 percent of the total population. Why only sanitation?” asked NCHR chairperson Rabiya Javeri.
“The state and society push the weakest and most vulnerable communities into this occupation. Advertising non-Muslim as a qualifying condition for sanitation jobs is an example of systemic discrimination. Oversight and diversity are huge areas and important lenses for the NCHR.”
Javeri was speaking following a consultation titled “Stop systemic discrimination against minorities” held with civil society representatives in Islamabad on Jan. 25.
It is humbling to see that the commission has finally decided to take it up. It’s time for Pakistan to eliminate discrimination based on work and descent
NCHR strategic planning speakers urged accountability at district and tehsil levels to make human rights a priority at all levels of governance.
The NCHR also screened a documentary about two Catholic sanitary workers who died in a sewer in Sargodha, Punjab province, last year.
Christians are often despised by the majority-Muslim population in Pakistan and referred to as chuhra, a pejorative caste-based term meaning sweeper or janitor.
Job advertisements published by both provincial governments and security establishments inviting applications from non-Muslims for sanitation posts often discriminate against the community.
Thank you. You are now signed up to Daily newsletter
On Jan. 12, Islamabad High Court issued notices to various ministries on a writ petition seeking a ban on job advertisements that specifically reserve the post of “sweepers” for members of minority communities, particularly Christians.
In 2009, the national government reserved a 5 percent job quota for minorities in all federal and provincial government posts. However, rights organizations claimed that most people from religious minorities were doing menial jobs.
“The Annual Statistical Bulletin of Federal Government Employees 2017–18 states that only 2.8 percent were hired, and most of them were concentrated in low-paid work. As of 2021, there were 29,692 vacant minority posts of different grades for recruitment across Pakistan,” said Javeri.
Sweepers Are Superheroes, Pakistan’s first advocacy campaign to outline social attitudes and working conditions of sanitary workers, lauded the NCHR.
“It is humbling to see that the commission has finally decided to take it up. It’s time for Pakistan to eliminate discrimination based on work and descent,” said former lawmaker Mary James Gill, who launched the campaign in 2019.
“Public sector organizations published more than 290 discriminatory ads from February 2010 to August 2021.”
Support UCA News…
….As we enter the first months of 2022, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world – Asia – where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.
Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5…
Credit: Source link