19 November 2016

NCHR wants fact-finding commission report on Gadani tragedy made public:

KARACHI: The National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) has demanded that the fact-finding commission’s report on the Gadani ship-breaking yard tragedy be made public.

At a meeting held on Thursday, the NCHR also sought immediate release of compensation for the families of those who lost their lives in the incident and suffered injuries.

The meeting was presided over by NCHR member from Sindh Anis Haroon and attended by members of the fact-finding commission.

Ms Haroon said that working conditions at the ship-breaking yard needed an overhaul, adding that restoration of the labour inspection system in all the four provinces under competent labour inspectors should be considered on a priority basis.

She said that Gadani, being the second largest ship-breaking yard after Taiwan, was a victim of “negligence of relevant agencies and core labour conventions”.

She said that “contract system in all industrial establishments should be abolished” according to a recent decision taken by the Supreme Court. A separate law to facilitate union formation should be devised in line with the Trade Unions Act, 1926. “Ship-breaking needs to be recognised as an industry so that labour rights can be upheld,” she added.

Meanwhile, the burns centre of the Civil Hospital discharged the last two injured of the Gadani incident that took place on Nov 1.

According to the centre’s in-charge, Dr Ehmer Al Ibran, they had received 27 injured on the day of the incident and 10 of them were admitted.

“Among them, seven died within the next three days due to 90 to 100 per cent burns. One was discharged and the remaining two left for their villages against medical advice,” Dr Ehmer added.

One of the doctors at the centre said that many of the injured were referred to Patel Hospital in Gulshan-i-Iqbal which had facilities for treating burn patients.

“In this case, majority of the injured received burn injuries between 80pc and 100pc. Those with minor injuries were shifted to either Patel Hospital or eventually went back to their hometowns,” the doctor added.

At the same time, the death toll remains 28 with about 60 injured and 10 missing. The number of missing labourers is based on the number of families who approached the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), according to its deputy general secretary, Nasir Mansoor.

Both the trade unions and members of the NCHR maintain that the number of dead may vary and “need to be confirmed by relevant authorities and contractors who kept records of workers”.

Source: dawn. 18 November 2016

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