Mar 13, 2018

UNPO Announces Side-Event to the UN Human Rights Council: A Legacy of injustice: CPEC and the Impacts on Balochistan

Side-Event to the 37th session of the Human Rights Council

A Legacy of injustice: CPEC and the Impacts on Balochistan

13 March 2018| 14:30 – 15:30

Room VII – Palais des Nations, Geneva

On the occasion of the 37th Regular Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), the Nonviolent Radical Party and the World Baloch Organization (WBO) will convene a side-event entitled “A Legacy of injustice: CPEC and the Impacts on Balochistan”. The event will place at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, on 13 March 2018, from 14:30-15:30 in room VII.

On New Year’s Day, Pakistani forces attacked the Loti Zain area of Dera Bugti, in Balochistan, abducting nine people, most of them women and children. Victims of intensified brutality and collective punishment over the past months, the Baloch people find themselves forgotten in a humanitarian crisis. While their homeland is, ironically, the largest and richest province in terms of natural resources in Pakistan, it is also the poorest: Balochistan struggles with depressing social indicators on health, education, poverty and unemployment. However, instead of being at the heart of the world’s attention, Balochistan is held hostage of media censorship by the Pakistani establishment.

A military and commercial strategic location as a crossroads to Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and a 750km long coastline, from the Arabia Sea to the Gulf of Hormuz, Balochistan has become a “great power arena”, especially in light of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).  Determined to protect foreign interests in Baloch soil, Pakistan rules with an iron fist, systematically denying basic human rights, including torture, enforced disappearances and arbitrary killings. Only between the months of September and October 2017, more than 240 Balochi individuals were forcibly disappeared.

This side-event to the 37th session of the Human Rights Council will bring together academic, experts and renowned human rights advocates to discuss the challenges and interests at stake. Most importantly, it will raise awareness of a long-forgotten humanitarian crisis, aiming to put the issue of human rights violations in Balochistan at the heart of the agenda of the Human Rights Council.

Full programme will be annouced soon.