Saturday, December 3

Sindh to take stakeholders onboard for Human Rights Policy approval

KARACHI: Sindh Human Rights Department has decided to take Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and other civil society stakeholders onboard for its draft Human Rights Policy before final approval by the Sindh Cabinet.

The decision was taken at a consultative meeting on Draft Human Rights Policy Government of Sindh presided over by Surendar Valasai, Special Assistant to Chief Minister for Human Rights and attended among others by Saeed Ghani Minister for Labour and Human Resource, Bangul Khan Mahar Special Assistant to Chief Minister for Wildlife, and representatives of other departments at Human Rights Secretariat today.

The draft policy is developed by Human Rights Department with inputs from UNDP and several human rights activists. At the outset, Surendar Valasai said that his Party Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is taking keen interest in the Human Rights Policy as protection and promotion of Human Rights are among his top priorities.

He provided a background to the Policy and shared that draft Sindh Human Rights Policy focuses on the promotion, protection and fulfillment of human rights in compliance with the Fundamental Rights (Article 8 to 28) enshrined in the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, core United Nations (UN) human rights treaties ratified by Pakistan and other international obligations under Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030) and Generalized Scheme of Preference (GSP-Plus) (2014-2023).

Noreen Bashir, the Secretary Human Rights Department added that the Policy also focuses on the promotion, protection and fullfilment of Civil and Political Rights and Economic Social and Cultural Rights of various groups such as women, children, minorities, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, transgender persons, workers, juveniles, prisoners and so on. Also, it aims at building awareness on human rights.

Saeed Ghani, Minister for Labour and Human Resources advised to circulate the draft policy with concerned stakeholders including government departments, civil society organizations and individuals for the review and input to make the draft policy more inclusive and participatory before placing it before the Provincial Cabinet. The participants of the meeting unanimously endorsed his advice.

Bangul Khan Mahar, Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Wildlife and Enquiries and Anti-Corruption advised to share the draft policy with administrative secretaries of the departments and Ministers for their feedback.

Surendar Valasai added that since Human Rights are a complex phenomenon with varied cross cutting themes and issues, which necessitated the need for a comprehensive Policy framework for synergizing the efforts of all concerned government departments and institutions to promote and protect human rights. Therefore, the implementation of this Policy aims to task the Government of Sindh to utilize all relevant departments for future actions.

While concluding Surendar Valasai assured them that the draft policy shall be circulated among the all stakeholders including those working on the rights and issues of women, children, minorities, and senior citizens, persons with disabilities, transgender persons, workers, juveniles, and prisoners etc.