LARKANA: The Sindh Human Rights Commission chairperson Iqbal Ahmed Detho has pointed out urgency of an emergency response plan to avert growing threat of climate change effects.

Mr Detho told officials concerned at a meeting he chaired at deputy commissioner’s office here on Thursday that the plan aimed to define in detail roles, responsibilities and coordination mechanisms among government agencies, humanitarian organisations, and community groups.

He underscored critical priorities, with a particular focus on school enrolment initiatives and retention of girls’ enrolment. The plan advocated both pre and post-flood enrolment strategies, with a special emphasis on girls’ schools, he said.

Additionally, he said, healthcare infrastructure development strategies and improvement of healthcare facilities in Larkana district were highlighted as integral components of the comprehensive response plan.

He informed the meeting that the commission was dedicated to upholding human rights in strict compliance with national and international laws, actively addressing issues such as child labour, domestic violence, transgender rights, justice for heinous crimes, and minority concerns.

Notably, the SHRC conducted public hearings on flood-hit areas, recommended rehabilitation and played a pivotal role in enacting important legislations, including the Sindh Hindu Marriage Act, 2018, and the Sindh Women Agricultural Workers Act, 2019, said Mr Detho.

The meeting attended by DC Sharjeel Noor, representatives of line departments and NGOs focused on bolstering disaster preparedness and response, rehabilitation of flood-damaged basic health units and primary and secondary schools, particularly those of girls and addressed flood response strategies in Larkana district.

The meeting discussed evaluation of the progress and impact of the Special Committee established in the aftermath of the 2022 floods, aligning with SHRC’s directives issued on Nov 25, 2022, and developing new schemes by repairing the existing infrastructure.

The SHRC chairman later visited central prison to inspect facilities for inmates and emphasised before the members of jail oversight committee the importance of vocational training for prisoners, fostering rehabilitation and skill development, improving legal access, living conditions and medical facilities for inmates.

He pointed out to old infrastructure and the critical need for rehabilitation and vocational facilities, inmates’ referral to socio-psycho support sessions and refresher courses for jail staff on prisoners’ rights.

Mr Detho accompanied by the DC also visited Darul Aman, where he drew attention towards women’s security issues. He also laid stress on socio-psychological support for women and their children residing in Darul Aman, highlighting his commitment to ensuring a safe and supportive environment for vulnerable populations and linking their facilities with vocational education and technical skills by organising woman-related events.

He recommended holding meetings of management committees on Darul Amans headed by the DC regularly and reiterated that the commission would continue proactively to address multifaceted challenges, combine strategic planning with on-the-ground initiatives for promoting and protecting human rights.

Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2024

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