Acid violence hurt women show concerns over weak legislation

ISLAMABAD: The acid violence stricken women across the country have expressed their reservations over weak legislation and implementation of the existing laws to ensure free and swift justice to curb this menace.

According to them, joint efforts are required to introduce new legislations demanded to address this concerning issue besides effective implementation of existing laws to give relief to burn victims and taking the culprits behind the bar needed.

Executive Director, Group Development Pakistan, Valerie Khan said that the best way to empower acid victim survivors is to enact the existing domestic violence bill and other related legislation to stop domestic violence in society.

She stressed the need for access of acid survivals to socio economic support programs besides dissemination of their success stories through media and adopting of a comprehensive approach to make them useful citizens of the society.

She said that passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act marks a milestone in the history of the country adding she said the major challenge is its effective implementation to further bring down the number of acid attack cases.

She said that there is also a need to improve the legal framework so that other aspects of acid burn violence could be addressed keeping in view the best interests of the survivor, she added.

She said that despite the laws, the perpetrators still go unpunished as the victims’ family compromise several times. Their relatives settle the matter with money without realizing that the small amount will never bring their daughter back to normal life.

“At time when a girl is dying, she is asked to pardon these people, but it’s still the responsibility of the departments concerned to punish the criminal, which sometimes not happens.”

Aneesa Khatoon, a social activist said that the public sector departments concerned should be responsible for arranging cosmetic surgery and arranging counseling sessions for them to ensure their active role in the society.

She said that there is also need to manage financial assistance programs for them so that the burn survivals may live their lives with dignity and honour.

When contacted an official from the Human Rights Ministry said that the present government has taken several steps to stop domestic violence and particularly acid throwing incidents. He said that the ministry is committed to fully implement all existing laws to ensure supremacy of law.

He said that the government has also planned several new plans to address the issue by supporting the acid burn survivals and making sure that culprits are arrested soon after the happening of any incident.