August 3, 2023

By Maryam Missal


The Sindh Cabinet on Wednesday approved a five-year human rights policy to protect and promote the rights of women, minorities and other marginalised communities residing in Sindh.

The draft of the law was presented to the Sindh Cabinet by the Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC), with technical inputs and assistance from the the Huqooq-i-Pakistan project team and other specialists.

The policy would be in effect from 2023 to 2027, and will be reviewed every five years to take into account the most recent changes in the world arena as well as the state of human rights in the province. Furthermore, it covers the Civil and Political Rights (CPR) and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) of marginalised and oppressed communities.

According to the SHRC, the policy will set directives for mainstreaming human rights discourse through curriculum development as well as compliance with international covenants such as GSP+ and others.

Prior to it being presented before the Cabinet, it was ensured that the draft was reviewed by 19 departments and institutions of the provincial government and 24 civil society representatives.

The focal components of the policy are the rights of women, children, minorities, senior citizens, persons with disabilities and transgender persons. It also included a number of objectives across several fields, including the establishment of human rights degree programmes at the university level.

Significant focus is paid to the protection of minority places of worship, curriculum reforms to encourage tolerance, and the prevention of hate speech directed at religious minorities. It also sets goals to develop and implement comprehensive strategies and programmes to address flaws in the criminal justice system and the police service, as well as to create a strong system for vulnerable communities to access free legal aid.

Additionally, the policy mandates that the Sindh Government create an action plan to end anti-women practices such as forced marriages and honour killings.

Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) Sindh and Special Assitant to the Chief Minister (SACM) Sindh on Human Rights, Surendar Valasai, speaking about the perks and beneficiaries of the policy said that it sets a target to address defects in the criminal justice system, and facilitate access to justie for all communities.


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