On September 7th, 2017, a consultation on redress mechanism for cyber and phone harassment with authorities concerned including FIA, Punjab Forensic Science Agency, Punjab Safe Cities Authority, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and other stakeholders was held at Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW).
The objective of the gathering was to discuss ways of expediting response of relevant agencies to complaints of cyber-harassment faced by women, in light of the rise of such crimes in recent years. As per statistics shared earlier by FIA in 2016, 3,509 complaints of cyber harassment were received, while in 2015, 2100 complaints were received. In 2017, the PSCA smart phone application for women’s safety also received 1027 complaints regarding threats received through cellular phones.
While chairing the meeting Chairperson, PCSW, Fauzia Viqar stated that ensuring implementation of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016 and the Telegraphs Act 1885 is a need of the hour to ensure efficient redress of cyber harassment and other crimes.
In this regard, collaborative efforts are required to effectively counter cyber crimes through a comprehensive strategy to protect the women against any sort of misuse through technology.
She also mentioned that PCSW’s helpline 1043 is free and accessible 24/7 to not only receive complaints of women against discrimination but also make them aware them about laws in place for their protection.