Performance of Pakistan Ministry of Human Rights 2020

The Ministry of Human Rights launched its annual performance report 2020 which highlighted significant initiatives undertaken to protect and promote the rights of women, children, and persons with disabilities, transgender, and other vulnerable population groups. It includes chapters on the Ministry’s progress in projects under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP); special initiatives launched to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic; and well as the engagements of the Federal Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari.

 

Milestones Achieved by MOHR

  1. Protection and Promotion of Women Rights
  • Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Ordinance, 202 which broadens the definition of rape and seeks to provide justice to survivors of rape by stipulating gender-sensitive investigations, prosecutions in special courts
  • Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2019 approved on November 24, 2020
  • MoHR launched an awareness campaign on women’s rights and 16 Days of Activism to promote women’s fundamental rights including a series of short informational videos on sexual harassment, rape, marriage contracts, filing an FIR and women’s inheritance
  • Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Act, 2020 established Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Agency for missing and abducted children

 

  1. Protection and Welfare of Children
  • The Cabinet approved the amendment in the Employment of Children Act, 1991 by inserting Child Domestic Labour as a ‘hazardous occupation’ in the Act. The notification on the same was issued on July 30, 2020
  • Establishment of the National Commission on the Rights of the Child (NCRC) on February 28, 2020, marking an important step towards strengthening child rights institutions in Pakistan
  • Public awareness campaigns on child abuse launched by MoHR, which includes video messages on social and electronic media

 

  1. Protection and Promotion of the rights of the Transgender Community
  • Establishment of the first Transgender Protection Centre in collaboration with UNDP in Islamabad, also creating specific government jobs for transgender persons
  • Pakistan became the first country in the world to include a transgender member in its official designation, Ms Aisha Mughal, at the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women Committee in Geneva, Switzerland on February 12, 2020
  • Awareness and Sensitization Sessions on HIV and stigmatization of transgender persons with NADRA and different varsities
  • Socio-economic assessment and distribution of relief packages to transgender persons during COVID-19
  1. Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disability
  • Formation of a Committee of UNCRPD and other international commitments at the national level to monitor the implementation of the pertaining to disabilities, including the Incheon Strategy
  • Establishment of Resource Unit for Autistic Children at National Special Education Centre for Mentally Retarded Children, H-8/4, Islamabad
  • Directorate-General for Special Education mobile application launched to assist the parents of differently-abled children
  • Up-gradation of National Special Education Centre for Hearing Impaired Children

 

  1. Criminal Justice
  • Legal Aid and Justice Authority Act, 2020 to provide legal, financial and other assistance for access to justice to the poor and vulnerable segments of society in criminal cases
  • Involuntary Disappearances (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill, 2019 criminalizing the enforced disappearances. Bill is forwarded to the Ministry of Law & Justice for vetting.
  • Diyat, Arsh and Daman Fund Rules have also been amended to revise the age limit to 40 years thus opening the way for greater utilization of funds

 

  1. Rights of Senior Citizens
  • ICT Senior Citizens Act, 2019 (Bill) proposed to award certain privileges including concessions in prescribed rates of medicines and tax exemptions to the senior citizens of Islamabad
  • Guidelines for Senior Citizens in Light of COVID-19 in Urdu and English for senior citizens in light of COVID-19. The guidelines focused on the steps senior citizens can take to protect themselves during the pandemic

 

  1. Protection of Journalists
  • Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Bill, 2020 prepared to promote, protect and effectively ensure the independence, impartiality, safety and freedom of expression of journalists and media professionals

 

  1. Protection of Minorities
  • Christian Marriage and Divorce Bill, 2019 finalized through a consultative process with relevant stakeholders. At present, the Bill is with the Ministry of Law and Justice for vetting
  • Several meetings of Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari regarding religious persecution and ensuring a peaceful environment of co-existence between all communities

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