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Wednesday July 24, 2024

Second SHRC strategic plan unveiled for marginalised groups’ rights

By Our Correspondent
January 06, 2023

The Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has unveiled its three-year strategic plan prioritising actions under its legal mandate to strengthen redressal mechanisms and increase awareness among the public, particularly the vulnerable populations, on protection mechanisms.

They will also review and identify pieces of legislation for the better protection of the rights of the weak and the marginalised, and monitor the state of implementation of the existing laws and the functioning of protection mechanisms.

The SHRC, established under the Sindh Protection of Human Rights Act, 2011, for the promotion and protection of human rights in Sindh, has also presented its progress under its previous strategic plan.

They highlighted the commission’s successes in reviewing laws, receiving and addressing complaints, and training the police, the judiciary and others responsible for providing relief and protection to the victims of human rights abuses.

Justice (retd) Majida Rizvi, SHRC chairperson, opened the launch by describing the successes and future plans of the commission. She said the commission has been established as part of Pakistan’s compliance with the Paris Principles, which requires greater autonomy of national human rights institutions. She said that the recent amendment in the Sindh Protection of Human Rights Act, 2011, is in conflict with the Act, and if it is not reversed, it will undermine the independent functioning of the commission. SHRC spokesperson Adnan Ali Khaskheli presented the key achievements of the commission in the past three years against the objectives set under the first strategic plan.

Rashid Chaudhry, representative of the Trust Democratic Education & Accountability, which provided technical assistance to the commission in developing the second strategic plan, presented the salient features of the three-year plan.

Barrister Pir Mujib-ul-Haq, chairman of the Sindh Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Rights, Law & Parliamentary Affairs, was the guest of honour at the event. He assured the participants that the Sindh government is committed to the cause of autonomous commissions, and the recent amendments undermining the spirit of the independence of the commission will be reviewed shortly.

Women Development Minister Syeda Shehla Raza, the chief guest of the event, appreciated the commission’s progress. She said that ministries and departments responsible for the protection of human and women’s rights must be provided with adequate human resources. She said Sindh is the only province to have two rights commissions working under the dynamic leadership of two women, who are successfully managing the uphill task of the promotion and protection of women and human rights in the province.