ISLAMABAD: Announced by the previous government, the National Action Plan for Human Rights has yet to be implemented, a meeting at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) was told on Friday.

Human rights activist and Institute of Development Research and Corresponding Capabilities Amjad Nazeer told the meeting that under the plan, vulnerable groups such as transgender individuals and minorities will be empowered.

It was also decided that efforts would be made to submit more accurate reports submitted in the UN regarding human rights and that a human rights helpline will be established.

“We scrutinised newspapers and got information from departments and ministries for compiling the report. We observed improvement in terms of legislation as a number of new laws have been made to protect human rights. However, there is need for some laws to be passed such as those for minority rights and for their marriages,” he said.

Mr Nazeer said it has been observed that resources were either not provided or they were not used appropriately due to lack of coordination among departments at the national and provincial level.

“During the PML-N government, Rs750 million were allocated for the National Action Plan for Human Rights but only Rs80 million were used and the rest of the funds lapsed. The current government has not allocated any funds for the plan and has been analysing the requirements,” he said.

Mr Nazeer added that there is lack of political will due to which most issues related to human rights are not solved.

He said governments in the past have said there is no need for a National Institute of Human Rights when there is already a National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR).

“We think the institute should be established but the current government also thinks it will be a duplication of NCHR,” he said.

He urged the government to take steps for ensuring and protecting human rights.

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2019

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