Islamabad-Federal Ministry of Human Rights (MoH) and its provincial departments will organise an event to mark official celebration of provincial human rights strategies prepared by the Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO), says a press release. The event will be held at Marriott hotel on Thursday.

The initiative has been supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the British government. Representatives from the federal and provincial human rights ministry and departments, British High Commission and experts will discuss the current scenario of human rights in Pakistan which requires concerted efforts with public-private partnership to ensure sustainable progress.

Kamran Michael, Federal Minister for Human Rights will preside over the session. Javed Jabbar, Chairperson, SPO BoD will present keynote address. Thomas Howe, Second Secretary political and Human Rights, British High Commission , William Middleton, Political Counsellor, BHC, Humera Azam, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Human Rights, Muhammad Arshad, Director General, Ministry of Human Rights, Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, Secretary, Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights Department, Balochistan, Furrul Saqlain, Director, Human Rights Department, Government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwah, Asim Iqbal Secretary, Human Rights and Minority Affairs Department, Punjab, SPO Chief Executive Naseer Memon and board member Abid Rizvi will address the event.

In keeping with these ideals, Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) partnered with the Ministry of Human Rights formulated a National Policy Framework on Human Rights as a narrative with strategic positioning to be adopted by the government.

The ministry of Human Rights also initiated the ground breaking task of producing a National Action Plan for Human Rights – a comprehensive road map for improvement of human rights situation with six thematic areas: Legal and policy reform, implementing key human rights priorities, cross-cutting interventions for promotion and protection of human rights, international/UN Treaty implementation, institutional interventions and implementation and monitoring mechanism. The NAP on HRs was approved by the Prime Minister on 13th February, 2016 and later launched at an event to appraise the public regarding this milestone document. The action plan lists sixty concrete actions to be implemented within a stipulated time frame.

The formulation of the strategy can be seen as the first stage of cultivating the national discussions on human rights that should be held continuously and within the confines of Pakistan’s national legislation and international commitments. The event marks the official celebration of this historic moment in time where after the 18th Constitutional Amendment each province will have its own provincial human rights policy strategy in consonance with the constitutional purview of powers as well as the rules of business enshrined for each provincial government. Each provincial policy strategy is tailored to its existing human rights laws, framework and institutions in keeping with the new era of human rights where the provinces take a lead role in implementing human rights all over Pakistan.