NIWC in action: ‘Random visits’ to ensure compliance

Committee will visit different educational institutions along with private, government and international organisations

Express October 11, 2011

‘Random monitoring visits’ would be started to ensure compliance with the Anti-Sexual Harassment Legislation. This was decided at the seventh meeting of National Implementation Watch Committee (NIWC) that was held on Tuesday at the office of National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW).

The meeting was chaired by Dr Fouzia Saeed. The committee that comprises representatives from civil society and private sector organisations, government and media, meets after every three or four months to determine the status of the implementation of the harrassment laws.

It was discussed that the committee will undertake ‘random monitoring visits’ to different educational institutions along with private, government and international organisations.

The participants came up with several indicators that would enable them to check whether the implementation measures were being reinforced or not. These include, Are the Code of Conduct posters being displayed? Are the employees aware of their organisation’s compliance with the legislation? And do employees know about the inquiry committee members?

The information gathered from the database and the information compiled after these monitoring visits will help NIWC prepare a consolidated report which will be presented to the Prime Minister.

The participants also shared their progress in setting up of Provincial Implementation Watch Committees and appointment of the provincial ombudspersons. In the meeting, it was decided that in addition to facilitating the organisation in implementing the laws, the committee needs to engage extensively to monitor compliance with them.

Furthermore, the database launched on July 5, 2011 was discussed and the members brainstormed ideas about spreading awareness about the database. It was agreed that every organisation member, who is facilitated by the committee, will have his information fed in the database.

In the seventh meeting of NIWC, the members assessed the progress made by them in implementing the laws.

The meeting concluded on a positive note in which all the members pledged their full support to the cause.

The committee was formed by the Prime Minister to facilitate and monitor compliance with the anti-sexual harassment legislation: Protection Against Harassment of Women Act 2010 and amendment to section 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2011.


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