LAHORE: Activists raised voice for nomads/Roma or gypsies people to include recommendations in Punjab Human Rights Policy 2018 at the end of the training seminar on “Human Rights among public servants” that concluded at local hotel on Friday.

The nomads of Punjab gained an unusual support in the form of recommendations for inclusion of policy guidelines in Punjab Human Rights Policy. According to reports, most of the gypsies belong to Kenghar, Bazigar, Changar, Odh, Gurajmar, Bhatu, Jogy and Gugray cast.

These nomad tribes are living along the bank of River Ravi in their unique lifestyle. These people live in most deplorable conditions and usually do not have National Identity Cards. Neither do they receive any monthly stipend from city district or provincial government.

Nazir Ahmed Ghazi from Grass-root Organization for Development of Human-being (GODH) said Punjab Human Rights policy should also include policy gypsies, who are the most vulnerable community having no rights.  

On the occasion, ministry promulgated and approved country’s first provincial Human Rights Policy prepared in the light of National Action Plan on human rights.  

Minister HR&MA Khalil Tahir Sandhu acknowledged the recommendations including those for nomads and said the policy guideline will include all such communities.

Minister said Punjab is the first province to have its Human Rights Policy approved that provides strategic direction for promotion, protection and implementation of human rights in the province.

He said that primary responsibility  lies  with  the HR&MA department while all  concerned  departments  of  the  Punjab  government will  mark  the  Punjab  Human Rights  Policy  as  top  priority document  in  their  business.

Khalil said the government approved Punjab Sikh Marriage Act which is unique in its own way.

Secretary HR&MA Asim Iqbal said protection of human rights is not only a constitutional right but also an obligation as per international human rights laws.

The perspectives of the participants were duly noted to be provided to the Punjab Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Department, he added.

Deputy Director HR&MA Muhammad Yousaf, stated that his department will be contacting the relevant stakeholders again to formulate an implementation framework to facilitate implementation of the Punjab Human Rights Policy 2018 in letter and spirit.

MPAs representing minorities, Secretary HR&MA Asim Iqbal, representatives of social welfare, women, law and parliamentary, health, C&W, school education, sports, P&D and PID departments were present.