HRFP condemned the ‘murders through duty’ of Christian Sanitary Workers; Asif Masih and Shan Masih:


Faisalabad: Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) highly condemned the death of two Christian sanitary workers in district Faisalabad identified as Asif Masih (25) and Shan Masih (28), residents of Maqbool Town, in Ghulam Mohammadabad. HRFP considered their deaths ‘the murders through duty’ of two Christian Sanitary workers in Faisalabad, who were also the cousins.

HRFP team fact findings the case, met to families and ensure them for every possible support, and also gathered the facts that both Christian Sanitary workers were forced to stepped into a choked manhole of the sewerage outside a wedding hall to clear it without any hygienic kits, masks, and other precautionary measures. During performing task, they were fainted due to toxic gases and died quickly, HRFP added.

Naveed Walter president of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) said that the incident with sanitary workers is not new, the number of same incidents has been occurred during previous years. He said in WASA and FWMC cases, HRFP has raised several times to make positive steps for ensuring their protection and other precautionary measures but there are no developments yet.

Naveed Walter president of HRFP said that the circumstances of sanitary workers are prone to various forms of complex challenges as they are unrecognized and less paid; one of the most marginalized segments of the society. Naveed Walter said, during last 15 years the issues have increased faster in Pakistan included Faisalabad where 90% sanitary workers belonging to Christian community. This is the main reason that they are treated discriminately, exploitatively, and abusively. Naveed Walter said the local administration and authorities have failed to provide essential sanitary and hygienic equipment to the sanitary workers, he added.

Naveed Walter president of HRFP said with many other reasons, due to the ghost workers issue also the Christian sanitary workers performed double duties and always remain overloaded. Most of the Christian sanitary workers performed the additional duties (One of their own and second of ghosts). They are also forced to perform personal duties at Political Leaders/Officers homes instead of their actual public duties, he added.

 Naveed Walter said HRFP have been raising issues through advocacy and submitted a Writ Petition also at Lahore High Court, Lahore during 2015 for the rights of Sanitary Workers. On 28th of May, 2015 the Lahore High Court directed the local administration to resolve the issue and make sure the protection and precautionary measure with the provision of hygienic kits but there were no developments even after several years although the authorities promised. He said during years, many has been died, many became disables, and having different kinds of health issues. Their families have no social security, insurance, or any kind of protection measures during and after such incidents. He said the murders of sanitary workers through duties are unacceptable. WASA, FWMC, local admirations and the government should take immediate actions for the provision of all needed resources and safety equipments. Even, for getting retirement and any benefits after service has not been sure to them, HRFP added.

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