PR No. 118 Islamabad

Federal Minister for Human Rights Senator Kamran Michael has said that It is our national and constitutional obligation to safeguard and protect the human rights including the rights of women, minorities and children.

He expressed these views while chairing the 2nd Meeting of National Task Force to review and monitor the implementation of National Action Plan here in Islamabad on Wednesday. Senator Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi and Member National Assembly, Ms. Shahzadi Umar Nawaz Tiwana being member of National Task Force also participated in the meeting. Besides Secretary Ministry of Human Rights, Ms. Rabiya Javeri Agha, Joint Secretary, Human Rights, Hamaira Azam, all DGs of Human Rights, representatives from provincial human rights departments and federal ministries were also among the attendants.

Minister for Human Rights welcomed the participants of 2nd Meeting of National Task Force established by the Prime Minister to review and monitor the implementation of Action Plan.

Kamran Michael reviewed and monitor the implementation of national action Plan to improve the situation of human rights in the country. Participants of the meeting also shared their progress update on implementation of Action Plan.

Director General Human Rights, Muhammad Arshad briefed the participants of the meeting about the prevailing human rights situation in the country and also highlighted the steps taken for the promotion and protection og human rights.

The meeting discussed in detail about the effective functioning of Provincial Task Forces to review and monitor the initiatives for promotion and protection of human rights, formulation of Provincial Strategies for implementation of Action Plan at the provincial level, review of legal framework for brining amendments/new legislations in line with constitution of Pakistan and GOPs national and international commitments. Establishment of District Human Rights Committees to monitor the human rights situation at the grass root level and Initiatives for human rights education, sensitization, awareness, research and communication for brining behavioural change in the society and promote tolerance and interfaith harmony were also under discussion.

Addressing the meeting, Minister for Human Rights shared that it’s been almost 15 months since the implementation of Action Plan kicked off with the collaboration of federal ministries & provincial departments and the Ministry of Human Rights is taking lead for its overall implementation. He shared with the members that institutional mechanisms have been put in place for promotion and protection of human rights both at federal and provincial level. National Task Force at the federal level having representation of honorable members of parliament  and  relevant federal ministries are taking initiatives for implementation of the plan and regularly sharing updated status on achievements. He said that it’s heartening to share that Provincial Task Forces in Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhaw, Balochistan and AJK have also been established having representation from provincial parliaments and relevant line departments. Ministry of Human Rights has facilitated PTFs through organization of orientation sessions at provincial capital for the members of PTFs.

Michael said, keeping in view the cross cutting nature of human rights realization,  initiatives have to be proactively taken by the  various social sector federal ministries and provincial departments to improve the overall situation of the human rights in the country. He further emphasized on the key role of provincial governments and federal line ministries for implementation of Action Plan.

Secretary human Rights, Ms. Rabiya Javeri Agha said that scores of initiatives have been taken by the Ministry of Human Rights under the Action Plan including policy intervention, legal reforms and capacity building of stakeholders, inclusion of human right in the curriculum at various levels. Human rights violation redressal and financial assistance to victims and last but not the least massive public awareness campaign at the grass root level, she added.

It is pertinent to mention here that Prime Minister of Pakistan approved the Action Plan to improve the human rights situation in the country on 13th February, 2016.