The dangers arising from the collection of criminals of all ages have long been recognized, and an experiment has been made during the last few years in Lahore, by which young prisoners have not only been confined in a separate building, but have been subjected to special treatment. This has been based on the experience gained in England of "Borstal" system ...and the general results of the experiment have been so satisfactory that this Bill has been framed with a view to the expansion of the system.170
- Punjab Gazette, 1926
In the decades since the passage of the Punjab Borstal Schools Act, in 1926, official enthusiasm for the establishment of juvenile institutions has evidently waned. Today, Punjab has only one borstal in operation, at Bahawalpur-and that too, in a facility that was built before independence. Elsewhere in Pakistan, there are just two other institutions that are specially designated for juveniles: the Remand Home and the Youthful Offenders Industrial School, both of which are in Karachi.
Although governed by separate legislation from the Prisons Act of 1894, the Bahawalpur borstal and Karachi's industrial school essentially function as jails. They are managed and staffed by the provincial prison administrations, and the Prison Rules provide all or part of their internal guidelines. Their incorporation in the prison system has had the effect of replicating many of the abuses prevalent in Pakistani jails. Among them are extortion and narcotics trafficking by lower-level staff in the Karachi facility, and the use of solitary confinement and shackles as punitive measures in Bahawalpur.
Human Rights Watch visited Bahawalpur's Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, as it is officially known, and interviewed prison officials and inmates there with the authorization of the Punjab provincial government. We were denied permission to visit Karachi's Youthful Offenders Industrial School by the Government of Sindh, but were able to gather extensive information about conditions there from magistrates, lawyers, and physicians who have visited the facility.
Pakistani laws provide for the establishment of five different types of juvenile institutions: reform schools, industrial and certified schools, remand homes, and borstals. The first of these is governed by the only federal law specifically aimed at the protection of juveniles: the Reformatory Schools Act of 1897. Under this Act, courts can send children who are under fifteen at the time of their conviction to a reform school, instead of a prison, for periods ranging from three to seven years.171 Persons over the age of eighteen cannot be held in a reform school.172 The schools must be able to provide vocational training to children detained there, although children over fourteen may also "licensed" to an employer for renewable periods of up to three months.173 The act's practical significance in Pakistan is negligible: there are at present no reform schools in the country.
The Sindh Children Act of 1955 and the Punjab Youthful Offenders Ordinance of 1983 authorize the establishment of industrial schools to accommodate both juvenile offenders as well as destitute or homeless children who have not committed any statutory offense. In either circumstance, the period of commitment is not to exceed the point at which the child turns eighteen. The laws also authorize the provincial governments to certify other educational institutions as being suitable to house juveniles; these institutions are subject to inspection by a Chief Inspector of Certified Schools, and may have their certificates revoked at any time. As with the Reform School Act, which they supplant wherever they have been enforced, the Sindh Children Act and the Punjab Youthful Offenders Ordinance have been diminished by the government's failure to establish or certify schools for juveniles. Only one institution has been officially designated as an industrial school, in Karachi, and it is administered as part of the prison system, in contravention of the Sindh Children Act.
The Sindh Children Act and the Punjab Youthful Offenders Ordinance additionally provide for the designation of remand homes. Remand homes are construed under these laws as "places of safety," where children may be held pending their appearance before a magistrate. There is at present one remand home in Karachi that houses children under the age of fourteen who are awaiting trial or in the process of being tried. The remand home also holds a few convicted children who were below the age of fourteen at the time of their arrest.
Both Punjab and Sindh also have laws governing borstal institutions. Borstals are defined under these laws as places where juveniles may be detained and provided with "industrial training and other instruction" as well as "disciplinary and moral influences" that will encourage their reformation.174
Under the Punjab Borstal Act of 1926, male convicts under the age of twenty-one, who have exhausted their appeals, may be detained in a borstal for periods ranging from two to seven years.175 The Punjab Borstal Rules of 1932 contain rules for the administration of borstals. They provide for the appointment of a borstal director with powers and duties equivalent to that of the inspector-general of prisons, set a ceiling of five hundred on the population of each borstal, and require the detention of adolescent and post-adolescent offenders in separate enclosures.176 In practice, the inspector-general of prisons has authority over Punjab's only borstal, at Bahawalpur, and the institution is administered in accordance with the Pakistan Prison Rules. The Prison Rules deviate from the Borstal Act in two important respects: they require the transfer to the borstal of all juvenile convicts sentenced to terms of three months or more,177 and the transfer to adult prisons of all borstal inmates who have reached the age of twenty-one.178
The Sindh Borstal Schools Act of 1955 allows courts to detain youthful offenders between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one in borstals, for periods ranging from three to five years.179 Juveniles may not be held in a borstal beyond the age of twenty-three, or in exceptional cases, twenty-five.180 In contrast to the requirements of the Punjab Borstal Rules, institutions established under the Sindh Borstal Schools Act fall under the purview of the inspector-general of prisons.181 To date, no borstals have been constructed in Sindh.
Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur
Perched on the edge of the Cholistan Desert, in southeastern Punjab, Bahawalpur is an unlikely site to house the province's sole facility for convicted children. But as the legislative record indicates, the Bahawalpur borstal was envisioned as part of a province-wide system of borstal institutions. In their absence, it houses most children in the province sentenced to terms of two months or more. The facility has also been designated a juvenile jail, and in that capacity holds undertrial children from the vicinity of Bahawalpur. Children who have been sentenced to death are not transferred to Bahawalpur, but are held with adult death-row inmates in prisons.
The Bahawalpur borstal is one of the prison system's few facilities to operate below capacity, a distinction attributable to the low conviction rate of juvenile offenders and the relatively low population density of the area.
Table 5.1: Statistics for the Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998182
The accommodations in the Bahawalpur borstal resemble those in the juvenile wards at Rawalpindi and Lahore, with inmates housed in dormitory-style barracks. According to the superintendent, Chaudhry Afzaal Mehmood, borstal inmates are separated according to status-as convicts or as inmates who are under trial-and age. Mehmood said that the inmates are classified into four age categories: under fourteen, fourteen to sixteen, sixteen to eighteen, and eighteen to twenty-one.183 Human Rights Watch visited the compound within the borstal that was reserved for children under the age of fourteen. One of the compound's two barracks housed convicts and the other undertrial inmates.
The Borstal Rules require "proper sanitary arrangement, water-supply, food, clothing and bedding."184 The Prison Rules additionally require that borstals have electric fans in all rooms and workshops, and cots for each child.185 Inside the barrack for inmates below the age of fourteen who were under trial was a water tap and a squat toilet, the latter surrounded by a walled enclosure and a door. Overhead were two fans. The children's mattresses were lined up against the walls, with a tin box in front of each containing the boys' possessions. Outlining the borstal's needs, Mehmood told Human Rights Watch that there was a chronic shortage of water, and that the electric motor used to bring water from the nearby channels was in poor shape. He noted, too, that the borstal had fifty-nine fans, but about half needed repair.186 In a region where the average daily temperature during the summer exceeds 40 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit), this deficiency poses health concerns.
Under the Borstal Rules, each institute must have an "infirmary, hospital, or proper place for the treatment of prisoners," and an infectious diseases ward.187 The Prisons Act and the Prison Rules, as noted in the previous chapter, additionally require the appointment of a medical officer, a junior medical officer, and a dispenser.188
The medical facilities in the borstal include a dispensary and two wards. One of the wards, which was empty at the time of our visit, was reserved for patients with infectious diseases; the other had six beds, housing inmates who were being treated variously for jaundice, bronchitis, a head injury sustained in a fight, and a gunshot wound to the head, inflicted before the inmate's transfer to the borstal.189 The medical equipment in the ward was rudimentary, although the dispenser, Zahid, told us that the supply of medicines provided by the government was sufficient. The superintendent noted that the medical wards lacked airconditioning,190 and the temperature indeed appeared only marginally lower than that in the barracks.
A more pressing concern, however, was the absence of a medical officer. According to Superintendent Mehmood, the borstal doctor had been transferred in March 1998, two months before our visit, and a physician from Bahawalpur Central Prison was visiting the borstal on a temporary basis. Mehmood told us that he had personally requested the inspector-general of prisons to assign a doctor to the borstal at the earliest opportunity. He also noted that in cases where emergency treatment was required, the borstal was authorized by the government to send juveniles to Bahawalpur Victoria Hospital, less than a mile from the prison.191
Under the Prison Rules, as noted, juvenile convicts sentenced to a prison term of one year or more "shall be brought under a course of Instruction, in reading, writing, and arithmetic for two hours daily."192 Religious education is compulsory both for convicts and inmates who are under trial.193
According to Mehmood, the borstal ensures that children attain an eighth grade education, thereby completing middle school under Pakistan's educational system.
Upon a child's entering the jail, the first thing we inquire about is his education ... and the child is placed in the appropriate level class. Up to eighth grade, we make sure everyone studies. After that, it's on the will and desire of the juvenile.194
However, Mehmood said only about 10 percent of the children in the borstal matriculate.195 Several factors may account for the low matriculation rate, the most important being the defects in Pakistan's public education system. The great majority of children in the borstal-90 percent, by the estimation of a Bahawalpur lawyer who works for AGHS-are from the poorest segment ofPakistani society.196 Few have had access to a decent primary education, particularly those hailing from rural areas.197 Human Rights Watch asked four children in the borstal about their educational backgrounds: one had never been to school, another was a student in a madrassa, or Islamic seminary, and a third had dropped out after seventh grade. Only one of the boys was in school and awaiting admission to ninth grade at the time of his arrest.
Although most children detained in the borstal may be handicapped by an inadequate primary or middle school education, the controlled environment of the institute-where their attendance can be ensured and progress monitored-presents an ideal opportunity for them to resume their studies and pursue matriculation or even higher education. Unfortunately, for a population of 278, the borstal has only two teachers of secular subjects and one religious teacher.198 Because of the shortage of instructors, moreover, the religious instructor teaches first through third grades as well.199 And here, as elsewhere in the prison system, remissions for memorizing the Quran and the preference of prison officials has led to the prioritization of religious education. The prison offers "very proper classes in hifz," stressed Superintendent Mehmood, adding, "I take a very personal interest in this."200 Of the five undertrial inmates and three convicts interviewed by Human Rights Watch in the borstal, one was pursuing hifz, three others were taking standard religious classes, and none were studying secular subjects.
The educational facilities themselves are dismal. The Borstal Rules call for the provision of "barracks or other suitable buildings to be used as a school for imparting education to inmates."201 However, the classes that we observed in progress were held in an open barrack; the students sat on the floor, a few of them with their legs in iron shackles as disciplinary measures. The cell was otherwise bare, with no teaching aids in sight. In addition, the Bahawalpur borstal lacks the "well-stocked library" required of borstals by the Pakistan Prison Rules.202
A very limited number of the children who have been detained in the borstal since its inception have attained higher education diplomas following theirperiod of confinement. Their names are displayed in a board on the borstal, and are a source of evident pride to the administration.
Vocational Training and Labor
The Borstal Rules state that "[e]very institution will ordinarily have in addition to classes for general education, special industrial classes and workshops for teaching trades and other means of livelihood."203 The Prison Rules state that prison industries should be established with a view to "[i]mparting vocational training to the prisoners to enable them to earn a respectable livelihood after their release."204 The U.N. Rules for the Protection of Juveniles include a similar formulation of these objectives, stating, "Every juvenile should have the right to receive vocational training in occupations likely to prepare him or her for future employment."205 All three sets of rules recognize that juveniles should be able to choose the trades in which they receive training.206
The Prison Rules also assign prison industries a punitive function. Under the Rules, labor in jail industries or at other tasks is mandatory for convicts sentenced to "rigorous" imprisonment.207 And as noted earlier, assignment to hard labor may be imposed as a disciplinary measure on convicts by the prison superintendent.208 The U.N. Rules for the Protection of Juveniles, by contrast, permit inmates to perform labor only with remuneration and as a complement to their vocational training.209 According to the U.N. Rules, "labor should always be viewed as an educational tool and a means of promoting the self-respect of the juvenile in preparing him or her for return to the community...."210
In our interviews with children in the borstal, we did not encounter any inmates who were under trial who had exercised their right to receive vocational training. As the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has observed, the industries and trades available within Pakistan's prison system are mostly labor-intensive.211 In the Bahawalpur borstal, they include tailoring, carpet-weaving, making sandals and boots, carpentry, and gardening. Some of the products, such as officers' uniforms, are produced for consumption within the borstal. Others, including carpets, are sold at an outlet store that the borstal maintains in Lahore. According to Superintendent Mehmood, the proceeds from the sale of these goods are deposited in the borstal's bank account.212 Borstal inmates do not receive remuneration for their labor, in contravention of the U.N. Rules for the Protection of Juveniles.
With regard to convicted children in the borstal, no distinction appears to be made between the provision of training and assignment to labor. According to the deputy superintendent, Tareen Farooq, the children work in six-hour shifts, beginning at 8:00 a.m. each day213-the maximum length of time that juvenile convicts can be required to work under the Prison Rules.214 The facilities that we observed were bleak. The barrack reserved for carpet-weaving was dimly lit and equipped with antiquated looms, and one of the boys assigned there told us that the work was very hard.215
Carpet weaving under such conditions presents a range of occupational health hazards to children, as Human Rights Watch has found in earlier studies on bonded child labor in Pakistan and India. Prolonged periods spent in crouched positions damage children's backs and legs, causing backaches and severe joint pain, while the lack of blood supply to the lower body often retards their growth. In addition, poor lighting frequently results in eye damage to carpet workers, and the constant inhalation of tiny wool fibers makes them particularly vulnerable to tuberculosis and other lung diseases.216
The Prison Rules require officials to read a "summary of the rules relating to the conduct and treatment of prisoners" to every child upon admission, and to conspicuously post a copy of that summary in each barrack.217 No such summary was posted in either of the barracks that Human Rights Watch visited. According to Mehmood, children in the borstal are "verbally informed of the conduct rules through lectures or visits by officials." They had not been provided copies of the rules, he said, because "the majority are not educated."218
The Borstal Rules make the punishments provided for in the Punjab Jail Manual (superseded by the Pakistan Prison Rules in 1978) applicable to borstal inmates, except for the imposition of handcuffs, fetters, and cellular confinement. Separate confinement is limited to a period of one month.219 The Borstal Rules state that "[n]o punishment shall be awarded to any inmate by any official of the Institution except the Superintendent."220 Mehmood told us that for offenses that were "not of an extraordinary nature," children were placed in a cell for fifteen days "more or less." If the offense was of a severe nature, he said, their confinement would be extended by a further four days. Unlike their counterparts in Lahore District Jail, children in the borstal are allowed visits by family and friends while in confinement. "We bear in mind that people travel a long distance," Mehmood said.221
Shahid Alam, a seventeen-year-old convict, told Human Rights Watch that borstal authorities are liberal in their use of solitary confinement, and lower-level staff enjoy considerable latitude in disciplining juveniles.
We are not treated properly here. The present superintendent is a nice man, and cooperative, but the staff isn't good. We have been confined to cells over minor and petty offenses.222
As noted previously, Human Rights Watch observed several convicts attending classes while wearing iron chain links on their legs. This practice clearly contravenes the Borstal Rules, which forbid the use of any form of fetters as a disciplinary measure.
The absence of an impartial grievance mechanism prevents children from seeking amelioration or redress when unwarranted or unlawful punishments or conditions are imposed on them. The only forum available in such cases is the borstal administration itself-very often the same authorities whose actions or decisions may have led to the grievance in question. "I visit the barracks every day," Superintendent Mehmood said. "The prisoners are allowed to communicate with me directly, which they do. Or they can tell the warder in charge."223
The Borstal Act and the Borstal Rules provide for an alternate mechanism, which if implemented, would go a long way toward ensuring inmates fair hearings. The Borstal Act requires the provincial government to appoint a Visiting Committee for each borstal.224 The Borstal Rules state that the committee shall, on a monthly basis:
a. visit the institution to see every inmate, to hear complaints and see that the management of the institution is proper in all respects;
b. examine the Punishment Book and the Log...or Journal;
c. bring any special cases to the notice of the Director; and
d. see that no person is illegally detained in the institution.225
The Rules go through considerable lengths in detailing the composition of the committee. They are to consist of either ten or eleven members, including the borstal superintendent, other specified government office holders, and two "non-officials."226 The Rules explicitly state that they should be selected on the basis of professional qualifications or commitment to children's interests.227
Unfortunately, the Government of Punjab has entirely disregarded its obligation to appoint a Visiting Committee for the borstal. According to the superintendent, only three of the officials designated by the Borstal Rules-the Deputy Commissioner, the Sessions Judge, and the Senior Superintendent of Police-actually inspect the facility, doing so just once every three months.228
In a statement to the press on December 8, 1998, the Prime Minister's adviser on human rights, Ijaz Hashmi, said the federal government planned to establish committees that consisted of district magistrates, superintendents of police, office-bearers of bar associations, and representatives of NGOs to inspect jails at regular intervals.229 While this would be a welcome step, any committee appointed to inspect the borstal should also minimally comply with the requirements of the Borstal Rules, with regard to its composition, mandate, and frequency of visits.
Visits by Family Members
A large majority of the borstal's convicted children come from towns in the heart of Punjab, such as Faisalabad, Gujranwala, or Sheikhupura. The costs entailed in travel and accommodation present formidable obstacles to their family members, few of whom are able to visit with any regularity. One convict told Human Rights Watch that his parents visited him only once a year because of the distance.230 Another, who was arrested and tried in Punjab, but is originally from another province, had given up communicating with his family. "My parents knowI'm here," Altaf Ahmad said, "I've sent letters to them. But nobody has come to visit me, so I don't write anymore."231
Punjab government officials candidly acknowledged the difficulties posed by the borstal's location, and spoke of plans to build additional facilities for juveniles. These are discussed in Chapter VII of this report.
Youthful Offenders Industrial School, Karachi
In late October 1998, a Senate committee on human rights issued a series of observations and recommendations concerning the treatment of juveniles in Pakistan's prisons. The committee commented favorably on the Government of Sindh's efforts "to better the lot of juvenile prisoners" and made special mention of "the Youthful Offenders Industrial School (YOIS) in Karachi, which was providing model facilities to juvenile offenders towards their treatment and rehabilitation."232 Although Human Rights Watch was denied permission to visit the industrial school, independent observers and data gathered by the Pakistani NGO Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) bear witness to a different story, one that incorporates the familiar elements of overcrowding, inadequate health care, and harsh disciplinary measures. Such facilities as have been provided appear to be not so much a result of government initiative, but of personal effort and expense by concerned judicial authorities, legal aid lawyers, and private donors.
The name "Youthful Offenders Industrial School" is of recent vintage; until January, 1997, the facility was known as the Juvenile Jail, Karachi.233 Its renaming by the provincial Home Department was more than a semantic exercise, however, for it implicitly removed the institution from the purview of the prison administration and the Prison Rules, and placed it under the jurisdiction of the Sindh Children Act of 1995.234
The Sindh Children Act authorizes the provincial government to "establish and maintain industrial schools for the reception of children and youthful offenders."235 Courts may order convicted children, who were under the age of sixteen at the time of their arrest,236 to be committed to such schools until they reach the age of eighteen years, or exceptionally, for a shorter period.237 During the time that a child is in its care, an industrial school "shall be bound to teach, train, lodge, clothe, and feed him."238 The government may also license private institutions, known as "certified schools," to serve the same function.239
The government is required to appoint a superintendent and a committee of visitors for each industrial school established under the Act.240 Another government appointee, the Chief Inspector of Certified Schools, is responsible for overseeing all of the industrial and certified schools in the province.241 Along with other inspectors under his or her authority, the Chief Inspector may visit a school at any time, and each school must be visited by an inspector at least once a year.242 In the two years since it renamed the juvenile jail, the Government of Sindh has failed to appoint either a Chief Inspector of Certified Schools or a committee of visitors. Instead, the facility continues to be managed and staffed by the provincial prison administration, and governed in accordance with the Prison Rules.243
Shortly after her appointment as juvenile magistrate for Karachi in December 1993, Neelofar Shahnawaz paid a visit to the juvenile jail, which had opened the previous month. What she found was appalling. "The first time I visited, the conditions were horrible," she told Human Rights Watch. "There were no fans, water, or pots. The children had scabies and kidney problems, and there were many cases of tuberculosis, and blood in urine."244
The children in the new facility had been relocated from Karachi's Landhi Jail, where most of the juveniles in the city were previously held.245 The new juvenile jail provided complete separation from adult offenders in the adjacent Central Prison, but a December 1993 report by Ghous Bux, a member of the Sindh High Court Inspection Team, noted numerous deficiencies, including the lack of a kitchen, adequate bedding, a dispensary and basic medicines, doors on toilets, and facilities for sports and physical exercise.246
Shahnawaz promptly took it upon herself to remedy conditions in the juvenile jail. "I got donations from the private sector," she said. "I had one room converted to a kitchen, and arranged to have four or five water bearings [taps] installed. There were cells for solitary confinement-I turned them into workshops and a hospital." A Pakistani charity, the Abdus Sattar Edhi Trust, provided support for the medical facilities, Shahnawaz said, while a civil liberties lawyer, Nihal Hashmi, established a computer center. "There are also many private, corporate donors," she added.247
In a speech given in October 1994, Qamar Hussain Shah, the superintendent responsible for the juvenile jail, acknowledged the role played by the private sector in upgrading the facilities. "[W]ith the help of different philanthropists," he said, each of the juvenile jail's fourteen barracks had been provided a television set, an electric water cooler, ceiling fans, wall clocks, and sufficient bedding.248
Unfortunately, the efforts of Shahnawaz and others to improve conditions in the industrial school have been outstripped by a rapid increase in its population. On December 5, 1993, the number of children in the facility stood at 419,249 a reasonable figure for a facility that was designed to accommodate 500.250 By theend of December 1997, the number of children had roughly doubled to 831. Of these, only nineteen had been convicted. The remaining 812 were under trial.251
In late 1997, a team of Pakistani physicians published the results of a study of two hundred children in the industrial school. The team found that 57 percent of the children were suffering from scabies, which they attributed to "inadequate treatment facilities, lack of proper hygiene, scarcity of water and accommodation of [a] large number of prisoners in each barrack."252 In addition, 11 percent of the children had chest infections.253 The team also found that psychiatric disorders were widespread. According to the study, 55.8 percent of the children suffered from mild to moderate depression and 65 percent displayed mild anxieties, conditions that the physicians attributed to "the circumstances leading to incarceration and the agony of the non-conducive custody environment."254
Dr. Amin A. Gadit, the leader of the team, told Human Rights Watch that a physician was assigned to the industrial school, but was "very irregular" in his visits.255 The lack of adequate medical and psychological attention was especially critical in light of his team's assessments. Fifty-two percent of the children were in need of psychotherapy, the study concluded, while 17 percent "were in need of psychotropic medication in addition to psychotherapy."0
Education and Vocational Training
The Karachi daily Dawn reported in January 1998 that the industrial school was providing education up to the matriculation standard, as well as training in electrical wiring, tailoring, carpentry, and hair cutting.1 In his speech, Superintendent Shah appealed for further assistance from the private sector tointroduce "modern technologies like radio and T.V. assembling, refrigeration and air conditioning, motor repairing, and handling of power looms."2
Abuses by Jail Staff
The study by Gadit and his colleagues indicated that 17.4 percent of the industrial school's inmates had been tortured or otherwise ill-treated during their confinement in the facility.3 Such treatment was typically inflicted as punishment for disciplinary infractions, and according to Gadit included food deprivation, being forced to stand in the hot sun or maintain uncomfortable positions, and manual labor assignments, such as cleaning eight barracks. Until Shahnawaz ended the use of solitary confinement, Gadit said, children were also kept in cells without food or light for up to two days.4 Gadit's report stated that 2.5 percent of the children had been subjected to what he termed "major torture," a category that included severe physical beatings, electric shocks, hanging, cheera,5 cuts, and burns.6
Extortion and narcotics trafficking appear to be widespread among lower-level staff. "The jail police extort money from the parents to have visits, bring food to their children, or use the facilities," Shahnawaz said, adding, "The lockup police and night-duty police are involved in selling drugs."7 Although some of the children in the industrial school have acquired drug habits during the course of their confinement, a majority of the institutions's addicts were reportedly drug users before their arrest. Gadit told Human Rights Watch that visitors often supply inmates with drugs, including heroin, hashish, and opium. The children then either hide their drugs or bribe warders to overlook their consumption. Gadit noted that there were no facilities in the industrial school to treat addicted children.8
The involvement of jail staff in narcotics trafficking is by no means unique to the industrial school, and children in prisons elsewhere in Pakistan arevulnerable to the same risks. "If it is hard to get drugs in the city people actually head for the prisons," Jan Nisar, a senior defense lawyer in Lahore, told the London Independent. "In my experience everything is available there-heroin, hashish, whatever you want. If the inmates don't have it then the staff will."9 The ready availability of narcotics to juveniles makes light of Pakistan's obligation under article 33 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child "to take all appropriate measures...to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances...."
In order to minimize the abuses sustained by children in the industrial school, and to comply with the Sindh Children Act, concerned activists and authorities in Karachi have argued that the school should be removed from the prison administration's purview. "I've suggested that the police be removed from the juvenile jail, and the [Social] Welfare Department administer it [instead]," Shahnawaz told Human Rights Watch.10
Remand Home, Karachi
The Sindh Children Act provides for the temporary detention of children in remand homes and other "places of safety."11 Following their arrest, children may be held in a place of safety for no more than twenty-four hours, by which time they must be brought before a court.12 If the court determines that their cases warrant further investigation, it may remand them to a place of safety for renewable periods of up to fourteen days.13 Although the act provides little in the way of guidelines for the management of these institutions, it clearly distinguishes them from police lockups by assigning them a protective, as well as custodial function. Under the act, places of safety are meant not only for the detention of children suspected of involvement in criminal activity, but also to shelter children "inrespect of whom there is reason to believe an offence has been, or is likely to be committed."14
Karachi presently has one officially designated remand home, in the Nazimabad area. Rather than performing the protective or temporary custodial functions assigned to it by the Sindh Children Act, the Nazimabad home essentially serves as a pre-trial, and sometimes post-trial, detention facility for juveniles who were under the age of fourteen at the time of their arrest. Housed in a two-story residential building rented by the government, the remand home suffers, according to a February 1998 article in the Karachi daily Dawn, from "an acute shortage of space." Dawn found children studying secular and religious subjects in tiny rooms that lacked desks or chairs, and noted the absence of an open area for recreation. Under similarly cramped conditions, it said, children were receiving rudimentary training in tailoring and carpentry. 15
171 Reformatory Schools Act, 1897, Sec. 4(a) and 8(1).
172 Ibid., Sec. 13(2).
173 The term "license" contemplates an arrangement whereby a juvenile is placed under the charge of a private citizen or government officer, who is in turn responsible for providing that juvenile with lodging, maintenance, and employment. Ibid., Sec. 18, 21.
174 Punjab Borstal Act, 1926, Sec. 2(1), Sindh Borstal Schools Act, 1955, Sec. 3(a).
175 Detention periods of four to seven years may only be imposed by a Court of Sessions. Magistrates of the first class may not order detention beyond three years. Punjab Borstal Act, Sec. 5(1).
176 Adolescent and post-adolescent offenders may associate under supervision for drill, education, work, and games. Punjab Borstal Rules, Rule 12. The Rules do not define the term "adolescent."
177 Pakistan Prison Rules, Rule 291.
178 Ibid., Rule 300.
179 Or between the ages of fifteen to twenty-one, where the Sindh Children Act is in force.
180 Sindh Borstal Schools Act, Sec. 19.
181 The Sindh Borstal Schools Act applies the Prisons Act of 1894 and the Prisoners Act of 1900 to each borstal, "as if it were a prison and the inmates prisoners." Sindh Borstal Schools Act, Sec. 5.
182 Human Rights Watch interview with Chaudhry Afzaal Mehmood, Superintendent, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
184 Punjab Borstal Rules, Rule 14(1)(c).
185 Pakistan Prison Rules, Rule 303(I) and 303(v).
186 Human Rights Watch interview with Chaudhry Afzaal Mehmood, Superintendent, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
187 Punjab Borstal Rules, Rule 14(1)(g), 14(1)(h).
188 See Prisons Act, 1894, Sec. 6, and Pakistan Prison Rules, Rule 1063.
189 Human Rights Watch interview with Zahid, Dispenser, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
190 Human Rights Watch interview with Chaudhry Afzaal Mehmood, Superintendent, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
192 Pakistan Prison Rules, Rule 298.
193 Ibid., Rule 679.
194 Human Rights Watch interview with Chaudhry Afzaal Mehmood, Superintendent, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
196 Human Rights Watch interview with Rana Muhammad Athar Jamal, Bahawalpur, May 17, 1998.
197 For a general discussion of primary education in Pakistan, see Fayyazuddin et al, The State of Pakistan's Children: 1997, p. 87.
198 Human Rights Watch interview with Tareen Farooq, Deputy Superintendent, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
200 Human Rights Watch interview with Chaudhry Afzaal Mehmood, Superintendent, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
201 Punjab Borstal Rules, Rule 14(1)(e).
202 Pakistan Prison Rules, Rule 298(ii).
203 Punjab Borstal Rules, Rule 20(1).
204 Pakistan Prison Rules, Rule 810.
205 U.N. Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty, Rule 42.
206 Pakistan Prison Rules, Rule 297, Punjab Borstal Rules, Rule 20(3), U.N. Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty, Rule 43.
207 Pakistan Prison Rules, Rule 810. Labor is elective for undertrial inmates and convicts sentenced to "simple" imprisonment. Ibid., Rules 277, 381.
208 Ibid., Rule 594(1).
209 U.N. Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty, Rules 45, 46.
210 Ibid., Rule 67.
211 Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, "A Penal System Long Overdue for Change," p. 35.
212 Human Rights Watch interview with Chaudhry Afzaal Mehmood, Superintendent, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
213 Human Rights Watch interview with Tareen Farooq, Deputy Superintendent, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
214 "The tasks imposed on...juvenile prisoners shall not exceed two-thirds of the tasks fixed for hard or medium labor for adult male convicted prisoners." Pakistan Prison Rules, Rule 816(ii). Under Rule 812, adult male convicts cannot ordinarily be required to work for more than nine hours each day.
215 Human Rights Watch interview with Altaf Ahmad, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
216 See Human Rights Watch, Contemporary Forms of Slavery in Pakistan (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1995), p. 53, and Human Rights Watch, The Small Hands of Slavery: Bonded Child Labor in India (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1996), p. 108.
217 Pakistan Prison Rules, Rule 64.
218 Human Rights Watch interview with Chaudhry Afzaal Mehmood, Superintendent, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
219 Punjab Borstal Rules, Rule 27(1)(iv).
220 Ibid., Rule 27(2).
221 Human Rights Watch interview with Chaudhry Afzaal Mehmood, Superintendent, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
222 Human Rights Watch interview with Shahid Alam, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
223 Human Rights Watch interview with Chaudhry Afzaal Mehmood, Superintendent, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
224 Punjab Borstal Act, Sec. 4(3).
225 Punjab Borstal Rules, Rule 32.
226 Ibid., Rule 31. The Rules provide for a ten-member committee, except in the likely circumstance that the Borstal Superintendent is not a "medical man." In that case, the Rules state, "the District Medical Officer of Health should be added to the Visiting Committee." Ibid., Rule 31(9).
227 ...[N]on-official members...will be chosen as far as possible on the ground of definite qualifications and special fitness such as taking an active interest in Borstal Institution matters and Prison Reform or other social work, or ability, enthusiasm, and willingness to assist in finding work for Borstal lads and other prisoners on discharge and not merely and solely on the ground of social position, wealth and political influence. Ibid., Rule 31(3).
228 Human Rights Watch interview with Chaudhry Afzaal Mehmood, Superintendent, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
229 "Human rights cells next year in all districts," Dawn, December 9, 1998.
230 Human Rights Watch interview with Shahid Alam, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, November 25, 1998.
231 Human Rights Watch interview with Altaf Ahmad, Borstal Institute and Juvenile Jail, Bahawalpur, May 18, 1998.
232 "Senate panel suggests reforms in country's jails," Dawn, October 27, 1998.
233 Maisoon Hussein, "Juvenile jail to be called industrial school," Dawn, January 16, 1997, p. 15.
234 The jail's renaming followed the filing of a court petition by Zia Awan, president of the Karachi NGO Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid, as well as written appeals to two successive chief ministers of Sindh and the provincial home department by Z.A. Channa, a retired justice of the Sindh High Court. See Constitutional Petition No. 743/93, High Court of Sindh, Karachi, Zia Ahmed Awan v. the Government of Sindh et. al.;and Hussein, "Juvenile jail to be called industrial school," Dawn.
235 Sindh Children Act, Sec. 25(1).
236 "For the purpose of this Act, a person shall be deemed to be a child, if at the time of the initiation of proceedings against him under this Act or at the time of his arrest ... such person has not attained the age of sixteen years." Ibid., Sec. 5.
237 Ibid., Sec. 45(1).
238 Ibid., Sec. 29(2).
239 Ibid., Sec. 25(2).
240 Ibid., Sec. 28(1).
241 Ibid., Sec. 37(1)(a).
242 Ibid., Sec. 36(1).
243 Human Rights Watch interview with Neelofar Shahnawaz, Judicial Magistrate, Juvenile Court (Karachi Division), Karachi, May 23, 1998.
245 The move followed a court petition by Ajmal Mian, now the Chief Justice of Pakistan, who found during a visit to Landhi that children there were exposed to hardened criminals and that there were numerous reports of sexual abuse. Human Rights Watch interview with Zia Awan, President, Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid, Karachi, May 22, 1998.
246 Report of Ghous Bux, Member, Inspection Team, High Court of Sindh, Karachi, December 19, 1993, regarding Constitutional Petition No. 901/89.
248 "State of Juvenile Jails: Reformative or Deformative," address by Qamar Hussain Shah, Superintendent, East Jail, Karachi, during the Independent Communications Network (ICN) Seminar on Juvenile Delinquency, Karachi, October 22, 1994, reprinted in News International, October 29, 1994, p. 11.
249 Report of Ghous Bux, Member, Inspection Team, High Court of Sindh, Karachi, December 19, 1993, regarding Constitutional Petition No. D-901/89.
250 Figure provided by Qamar Hussain Shah during the ICN Seminar on Juvenile Delinquency, quoted in "Interactivity," News International, October 29, 1994, p. 11.
251 Wasseem Ahmad, Abid Hassan, Zafar Iqbal, and Mohammad Shakeel, The State of Juvenile Prisoners in Pakistan 1997 (Islamabad: Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), 1998), p. xiii, Table 3.
252 Amin A. Gadit, Ahsan A. Vahidy, and Najib Khalid, "Children of the Corn: A Study Conducted at Juvenile Prison in Karachi - Overview I," Pakistan Pediatric Journal 21, no. 1(7-12) (1997): 11.
253 Ibid., p. 10.
254 Ibid., p. 7. The study also showed that 4 percent of the children "suffered from severe depression with suicidal urges," while 9 percent exhibited psychopathic personality traits. Ibid., p. 10.
255 Human Rights Watch interview with Dr. Amin A. Gadit, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Hamdard College of Medicine, Karachi, May 22, 1998.
0 Gadit et al, "Children of the Corn," p. 11.
1 Maisoon Hussein, "Drugs menace at juvenile prison," Dawn, January 5, 1998, p. 4.
2 "State of Juvenile Jails: Reformative or Deformative," News International, Oct. 29, 1994, p. 11.
3 Gadit et al, "Children of the Corn," p. 9.
4 Human Rights Watch interview with Dr. Amin A. Gadit, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Hamdard College of Medicine, Karachi, May 22, 1998.
5 "Forced stretching apart of the victim's legs, sometimes in combination with kicks to the genitalia." Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture, para. 14.
6 Gadit et al, "Children of the Corn," p. 9.
7 Human Rights Watch interview with Neelofar Shahnawaz, Judicial Magistrate, Juvenile Court (Karachi Division), Karachi, May 23, 1998.
8 Human Rights Watch interview with Dr. Amin Gadit, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Hamdard College of Medicine, Karachi, May 22, 1998.
9 Jason Burke, "Pakistan: Childhood Lost in Pakistan Jails," Independent, October 8, 1998, p. 10.
10 Human Rights Watch interview with Neelofar Shahnawaz, Judicial Magistrate, Juvenile Court (Karachi Division), Karachi, May 23, 1998.
11 The term "place of safety" encompasses remand homes and "any other suitable place or institution, the occupier or manager of which is willing temporarily to receive a child." Where such facilities are unavailable and "in the case of a male child only," the term also includes police stations where children can be held separately from adult offenders. Sindh Children Act, Sec. 4(l).
12 Ibid., Sec. 78(2).
13 Ibid., Sec. 88(3).
14 Ibid., Sec. 78(1).
15 Maisoon Hussein, "Young Offenders in Remand Home," Dawn, February 2, 1998, p. 8.