Message from Rabiya Javeri Agha Secretary, Ministry of Human Rights on International Human Rights Day, December 10th 2019

Official News Press Information Department

Islamabad, December 09, 2019 (PPI-OT): Human Rights Day is being celebrated worldwide to mark the 71st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pakistan is a signatory to this convention and the government has affirmed this commitment through the ratification of several other binding international human rights conventions and instruments. The Ministry of Human Rights has been working towards strengthening reporting mechanisms and capacity in Pakistan to meet our international commitments.

Notably, we have prepared and submitted reports on the Beijing Agenda; the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD); the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The Ministry of Human Rights has also been working towards the actualization of Pakistan’s commitment to the protection of human rights through several new domestic legislative initiatives, amendments in existing laws, and the introduction and strengthening of policies targeted towards promoting human rights in the country.

The Zainab Alert Response and Recovery Bill is one such new legislation that has recently been passed by the NA Standing Committee on Human Rights. This bill once approved signifies an important development in the way of preventing and addressing cases child abduction and abuse. Other key legislative milestones include the introduction of bills such as the Christian Marriage and Divorce Bill; the ICT Senior Citizens Bill; and the Journalist Protection Bill which will also soon be presented to the Parliament. The Ministry of Human Rights has been working tirelessly to ensure the implementation of existing laws on human rights.

Over the past year, our Ministry has developed comprehensive policies on Women Empowerment, Gender Based Violence, Child Abuse, as well as a new process for the submission of Mercy Petitions. These efforts also include the development of the rules for recently enacted laws such as the Transgender Persons (Protection and Rights) Act 2018; the ICT Child Protection Act 2018; and the Juvenile Justice System Act 2018. Our Ministry recognizes and emphasizes the importance of increasing awareness about human rights in Pakistan.

We have launched several awareness campaigns on issues related to child sexual abuse, women inheritance rights, and disability. In addition, the Ministry of Human Rights has conducted substantial research studies on various human rights issues including women’s lights and street children. Notably, we have launched a National Child Labour Survey that is being conducted after 30 years in Pakistan, to be completed in 2025. The Ministry of Human Rights is working on several new initiatives to expand the ambit of human rights in Pakistan.

We recently initiated an extensive training and capacity building programme for federal and provincial Human Right institutions in Pakistan, Huqooq-e-Pakistan, to be funded by the European Union. I am hopeful that these efforts to strengthen laws, policies, and their implementation will bear fruit in terms of reducing human rights violations in the country and bringing the excluded and marginalized segments of the population within the ambit of human rights in the country.

For more information, contact:
Principal Information Officer,
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
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