Combating violations: PBC forms Human Rights Committee
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has formed a Human Rights Committee to address key human rights violations and rights-related issues.
PBC executive member Raheel Kamran Sheikh is the chairman of HR committee whose function has been divided into four categories.
The first function of the committee is policy advocacy, wherein the committee will address key human rights violations and issues through ‘Letters for Rights’ addressed to the state functionaries at all appropriate levels including, if required, to the prime minister.
Likewise, the committee will urge the government of Pakistan to ratify, honour and implement international covenants calling for greater access to justice, ensuring uninhibited provision of rights and better mechanisms to actualize the same in collaboration with different bodies of the United Nations.
The panel will also assist the government in drafting policy proposals and maintaining dialogue with domestic bodies such as the National Commission for Human Rights (‘NCHR’), HRCP and international NGOs and networks such as the Alliance for Conflict Transformation etc.
The committee will also work for the access to justice, wherein a network of lawyers will be set up to engage in pro bono cases, with a specific quota for rights based litigation and/or mediation for social justice. These volunteer lawyers, advocates and mediators could then be steered towards specific issues such as Child Rights, Gender Equality, Labour Rights and Fair Trial Rights etc. by dividing them into clusters or focus groups.