ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Human Rights (HR) has drafted nine laws related to the protection of children from abuse, the rights of minorities, protection against torture and improving legal aid and access to justice over the last three months.
In a statement released on the eve of Human Rights Day on Dec 10, Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari said that in addition to new legislation, the ministry has also concluded three policies and research studies on crucial matters.
“Research studies have been carried out on women’s right to inheritance, street children, as well as the harmonisation of domestic laws with international commitments. Policy against Gender Based Violence, Women Empowerment Policy and Policy on Child Abuse have also been concluded,” she said. Dr Mazari said the ministry is also redressing human rights violations through its helpline, and calls have risen from 4,000 a month to 15,500 a month after the new government took office.
Human Rights Day is observed to commemorate the adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first global enunciation of the inherent dignity and inalienable rights of every human being. Pakistan became one of the declaration’s earliest signatories, in 1948.
Dr Mazari said that as a founding member of the Human Rights Council Pakistan has worked for the promotion and protection of human rights in the country, adding that the words of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah were the guiding principle of their policy: “We are equal citizens of one state.”
“The ministry recognizes the importance of awareness campaigns to make every citizen aware of her/his rights. A number of awareness campaigns are already ongoing, including on women’s rights to inheritance,” she said.
“Our ministry has also taken up the issue of the violation of human rights by the Indian state in Indian Occupied Kashmir on all international forums.
“We are also raising the issue of the increasing targeting of the human rights of Muslims in Europe which includes a large Pakistani diaspora. At home, as part of our commitment to democracy and rule of law, we are also seeking to bring closure on the issue of enforced disappearances,” Dr Mazari said in the statement.
Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2018