WBO & UNPO announce side-event to the UNHRC in Geneva: “A legacy of injustice: CPEC and its impact on Balochistan”

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

A legacy of injustice: CPEC and its impact on Balochistan

13 March 2018| 14:30 – 15:30

Room VII – Palais des Nations, Geneva

On the 13 March 2018, the conference “A legacy of injustice: CPEC and its impact on Balochistan” will take place at the Palais the Nations, in Geneva, as a side-event to the 37th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Co-organised by the World Baloch Organisation (WBO) and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO), the event will be hosted by the Nonviolent Radical Party.

The announcement below was published by UNPO:

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.