KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan’s premier Imran Khan on Friday formed a committee to study and investigate the plight of thousands of women prisoners across the country.

The committee, headed by Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari and includes inspector general of prisons of all the four provinces, and northern Gilgit-Baltistan region, will submit its findings within next four months.

“The committee has been constituted taking into account the plight of the female prisoners, whether convicted or awaiting trial, in overall context of gender biasness prevalent in the society at large and issues associated therewith,” said a statement from the Prime Minister Office on Friday.

The purview of the committee includes: to review, and assess the incumbent prison rules, governance, legal aid, and international best practices are being adhered to with respect to women prisoners, especially their protection, rights, health, security, and well-being.

It will also review individual cases of human rights violations and victimization of women inmates and suggest measures for institutional accountability, according to the statement.

Another task assigned to the committee is to review situation of children accompanying women in jails and work to help mainstream such children, especially with regard to their education and social integration, it said.

It will also suggest comprehensive and workable system of governance of prisons in Pakistan with a view to ameliorating the plight of women in prison, the statement added.

Currently, there are over 2,500 female inmates in the country, of them more than 1,200 are juveniles, whereas 33 are on death row, according to the local media.

They also include scores of foreign females, mostly from Africa, who have been behind the bars on the charges of drug trafficking.

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