Representatives of govt sectors & civil society give feedback on draft of Balochistan’s First Human Rights Policy

QUETTA: Civil society representatives and government departments gave their feedback on the draft of Balochistan’s First Human Rights Policy at consultative workshops organized by the European Union (EU) funded ‘Promotion of Human Rights in Pakistan (Huqooq-e-Pakistan)’ Project (HeP) in collaboration with Human Rights Department, Government of Balochistan.

The policy, likely to be finalized soon, has been drafted by the provincial government with the support of the EU through the HeP.

The consultative workshops were part of a systematic, methodical and inclusive policy development process adopted to formulate the policy which integrates provincial priorities with international best practices, said press release issued here on Thursday.

Over 20 government departments participated in the workshops besides civil society representation from Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Aurat Foundation, multiple UN agencies and others.

Participants were given an overview of the draft Policy which was followed by presentation of recommendations from different stakeholders.

Guided by the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and pursuant to Pakistan’s international human rights commitments as stipulated in various international human rights instruments, the objective of the Balochistan Human Rights Policy is to mainstream human rights in provincial governance structures in order to safeguard and promote all civil, political, social, cultural and economic rights that the people of Balochistan are entitled.

Recognizing their specific needs and the unique challenges faced by them, the policy particularly aims to safeguard the rights of vulnerable segments of the population including women, children, minorities, senior citizens, differently disabled persons and transgender persons.

Secretary, Social Welfare, Special Education, Literacy, Non-formal Education, and Human Rights Department, Government of Balochistan Abdul Rauf Baloch termed it a big achievement that Balochistan’s first Human Rights Policy is in its final stages.

He thanked HeP team for their support and said the policy would provide basic guidelines and direction for future action plan of the provincial government. “Protection and promotion of human rights is the priority of the present government.

After incorporating the feedback, the policy will be presented before the provincial government, ” he said.

In his welcome remarks, Executive Director Huqooq-e-Pakistan Project Ali Dayan Hasan said the purpose of the consultative workshops was to present the draft of the policy to all stakeholders and obtain their detailed input on each section.

He said the policy will be revised and refined in light of the feedback obtained from these workshops and recommendations would be duly incorporated in the policy before it was approved and formally adopted.

“The HeP is proud of the fact that this is a province led and province controlled process and will empower Balochistan as well as the values enshrined in the 18th Amendment.”