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December 11, 2015

Call to ensure human rights

Lahore

 
December 11, 2015

LAHORE

Men, women and children belonging to the most marginalised segments of society  have questioned the government about their human rights in a rally held on The Mall on Thursday.

The participants i the rally chanted slogans against the discrimination on various grounds and against the government's failure in defending their human rights and demanded immediate measures to ensure fair treatment without any religious or other form of discrimination, equal opportunities in education, jobs and other matters of public life, right to justice, quality education, proper health facilities, safe drinking water and clean and safe environment.

Speaking to the participants, Director of the Centre for Human Rights Education-Pakistan Samson Salamat said "International Human Rights Day is a reminder for our government and the state institutions that  implementation of human rights standards and principles is a key for a better society therefore human rights should be given a priority to make our society a human rights friendly where all citizens are treated equally without any discrimination". Samson Salamat further added "it is very sad reality that the human rights situation is getting worst day by day.

The worst part of the situation is that the space for the civil society is shrinking day by day, which is not a healthy sign.

Abdullah Malik, President of Civil Society Network, said "it is the constitutional responsibility of the government and the state institutions to provide equal rights to all the citizens without any discrimination on the bases of caste, colour or creed.  

Deedar Ahmed Mirani, Chief Executive of PAHEL PAKISTAN, said attitude and policies of the current government towards the civil society organisations and human rights defenders is quite disturbing.

Concern over status of women: The Punjab Commission on Status of Women in collaboration with the White Ribbon Campaign Pakistan held a seminar on Women's Rights and Empowerment at Lahore College for Women University on International Human Rights Day.

A large number of students and faculty members of the university participated in the seminar that was aimed at creating awareness on women's rights and link of denial of rights with violence against women. 

Among key speakers were Chairperson PCSW Fauzia Viqar, SHO Women Police Station Bushra Aziz, Chief Executive White Ribbon Omer Aftab, Additional Advocate General Punjab Asma Hamid, Head Surgeon Medico Legal Punjab Waseem Haider, Member Punjab Assembly Shunila Ruth and Director Women Institute of Learning and Leadership Sarah Shahid.

Speakers expressed concern over the status of women in Pakistan and admitted that although there are good laws introduced by Punjab government, there is lack of awareness amongst women at all levels about their legal rights. The young students were encouraged to pass on the messages to other females to create a chain of change and spread awareness. Omer Aftab referred to the legal literacy campaign being run by the White Ribbon and Punjab Women Commission to aware women of their basic legal rights and remedies available in the law.

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