GHRD Speaks at ‘Baloch Lives Matter’ Seminar
Coordinator, Pakistan and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
The Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC) organized a seminar on the worsening human rights situation in Balochistan on the 17th of March in the Geneva Press Club, Switzerland. Two delegates of GHRD, Eva Bredenbeek, on behalf of the Women’s Rights Team, and Emma Barnhoorn, on behalf of Team Pakistan, were invited to speak at the seminar. Together with other prominent speakers, the serious human rights violations perpetrated by the Pakistani authorities in Balochistan, were highlighted. Issues such as extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, exploitation of resources, curbs on freedom of speech and Pakistan’s crimes against humanity in Balochistan were extensively discussed. On behalf of GHRD, Emma Barnhoorn discussed the issues faced by women and children, such as violence, lack of protection and education. The LGBTQ+ community in Pakistan was brought to attention, especially how the country’s colonial past still holds a grudge on the manner in which, especially transgenders are treated in Pakistan. Important issues such as the discriminatory application of the blasphemy laws, forced conversions and forced marriages were brought to the attention of the audience.
The aim of the seminar was to shed light on the situation of minorities and marginalized groups in Balochistan. It was continuously stressed that, while the seminar was titled “Baloch Lives Matter”, in practice, their lives matter very little, and change is needed. BHRC and GHRD urged the immediate attention and action of the international community to pay due attention to the people in Balochistan.
Sources and further readings
For more information on BHRC, please follow this link to their website: https://balochhumanrightscouncil.com/.
For the full livestream of the seminar, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2JYhdxJk_s.