Human rights and databases
By: Ikram Junaidi
ISLAMABAD: Preservation of records is the most important factor because a record certifies history. Besides, researchers need references which can only be found from a preserved record.
It was stated by renowned scholar and writer I.A. Rehman, during launching ceremony of online searchable databases which contain data pertaining to human rights issues, by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Saturday.
He said that the record from the social media should also be included in databases because social media is going to play a vital role in decision making in the future. Social activist Dr Fouzia Saeed said that the trend of getting information from online archives is continuously increasing and younger generation depends on data collected through the internet.
Earlier, Adnan Aadil, representative of HRCP informed that database contains newspaper clippings, documents and data pertaining to human rights issues and democratic development in Pakistan.
He said that each year hundreds of students, journalists, writers, civil society activists and researchers from within Pakistan and abroad visits the HRCP’s archives, at its head office in Lahore.
“Researchers now can benefit from this resource from all over the world. The project will strengthen monitoring, documentation and dissemination of human rights issues in Pakistan,” he said.
“Currently, the electronic archival database contains more than 600,000 records covering a period starting from 1st January 2006 to 30th July 2012.
The work is underway, to add archival records of the years 2003-2006 and at the same time the database is being updated on current happenings,” he said.
The database comprises both Urdu and English documents and news clippings. The HRCP archival website is distinct from other popular search-engines like Google in that it gives focused results pertaining to particular subjects and events in Pakistan in a chronological order, he said. At the moment, HRCP’s database is the only digital archive available through the Internet in Pakistan and it covers 72 different subjects.