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Media plays crucial role in protection, promotion of human rights: NCHR

December 23, 2021
Media plays crucial role in protection, promotion of human rights: NCHR

National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) Chairperson Rabiya Javeri Agha has said one of the main functions of the commission, a broad-mandated entity, is to inform the government of the problems faced by the people and civil society in the form of reports, while the second major role is to provide relief to victims and survivors through its civil court and suo moto powers.

She said it while addressing two consultative sessions held with civil society representatives and media on Wednesday. The NCHR organised the sessions with the European Union-funded Huqooq-e-Pakistan Project (HeP).

Presided over by Agha and led by senior experts from HeP Dr Osama Siddique, the consultations engaged participants on their views about the state of human rights in Pakistan and their level of awareness of the NCHR’s role and mandate.

Agha said opinions and recommendations coming out from these consultations would be taken into account while preparing the NCHR’s Strategic Plan and determining the next steps for the commission. “A robust connection between the commission, civil society and media would empower the NCHR to effectively perform these two vital functions,” she said.

She said the media played a crucial role in the protection and promotion of human rights. “It informs, educates and sensitises the general public as well as policymakers, civil society and those implementing the laws and policies. Besides that, it connects people with the government and other stakeholders,” she said.

Member NCHR and eminent activist Anis Haroon highlighted the need to learn from past practices, while Tehreek-e-Niswan head Sheema Kermani talked about the role of art in spreading awareness of human rights.

Siddiqui said human rights are a complex cross-cutting area and it is incredibly important that there should be greater synergies and cooperation between all those who stand as custodians of human rights.