PESHAWAR, Aug 16: Members of civil society organisations have expressed concern over growing threats and attacks against human rights activists and demanded of the government to ensure protection to them.

A special meeting of End Violence against Women and Girls Alliance’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata chapter and Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network (PCSN) was held here on Thursday to discuss issues related to the recent wave of threats to NGOs and their employees. The participants demanded of the government to take effective steps for curbing threats to the life of human rights activists and journalists.

The alliance called upon the state to adopt measures necessary to prevent recurrence of threats. It said that the state machinery must protect the individuals, groups, and organisations of civil society dedicated to the promotion and protection of fundamental rights and liberties.

The meeting discussed that rights workers should expose human rights abuses by involving government and other stakeholders in constructive dialogues in this regard.

They said that the civil society should routinely evaluate effectiveness of their strategies, reflect on approaches and consider developing new strategies for addressing challenges that affect them and also broaden their constituencies by building strategic alliances and partnerships with influential actors in government, private sector and other groups.

The participants demanded of the government to enact specific laws, which define the rights and responsibilities of rights activists and the State's obligation towards them.

They also asked the government to establish state structures and mechanisms for protection of human rights, which reflected political will, leading to substantial progress in protection of human rights.

The participants urged the media to report on issues keeping in view the rule of objectivity, as irresponsible reports could risk the life and work of human rights activists.

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