‘Sindh’s own human rights policy to be drafted soon’
Speakers at a consultative meeting held on Tuesday, discussed recommendations put forward by rights activists and working groups to draft a provincial strategy on human rights.
Organised by the federal ministry of human rights and the Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO), activists at the consultation claimed that the draft was in its final stages of formulation.
The meeting was aimed at evolving a provincial strategy to improve human rights situation in Sindh in coordination with all concerned stakeholders.
The working group on ‘Policy, legal & prison reforms’ suggested legislating on improving facilities for jail inmates, and called for amendments, as well as review of the jail manual with respect to provision of facilities and reformation of prisoners.
The group urged to enhance the capacity of prison staff and sensitise the staff to human rights values. Employing psychologists on a permanent basis was also encouraged.
Another group working on ‘Cross-cutting intervention for protection of human rights’ said human rights education should be a part of the national curricula.
Another group working on ensuring rights of the oppressed gender, children, senior citizens among other suppressed groups of people, stressed on the need to build shelter homes, hostels and women police stations. Besides a job quota for transgender people was also suggested to be fixed.
A group working on forming an implementation and monitoring mechanism said a task force including Tehsil and union councils should be formed at provincial and district level for disseminating information regarding laws and policies on human rights.
The group also suggested that a three-digit helpline should be established and every department should set up a media cell to monitor the information and do a follow-up.
The criminal justice system was also suggested to be reformed wherein punishments for those violating human rights were ensured.
Aslam Shaikh, additional secretary law department said there was no offence in amending, adding or altering laws with the passing of time for the greater good of the masses. “We all must put in our efforts to sensitise people over the laws.”
Secretary provincial law department, Parkash Lal Ambwani, assured that every required step would be taken to ensure cooperation of the federal ministry in cooperation with the concerned sections and directorate of human rights and Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC).
SHRC chairperson Justice (retd) Majida Rizvi and senior police officer Hassan Niazi also spoke at the event.