Special Assistant to Chief Minister Sindh for Human Rights Surendar Valasai has said that various activities would be held during Human Rights Week going to be observe from today (Monday 6th December) till 10th December 2021,by the Sindh Government .
These activities will culminate in a seminar in Karachi to mark the International Human Rights Day being observed all over the world.
Surendar Valasai said that the International Human Rights day has significance as on the same date in 1948 the United Nations member countries including Pakistan signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
He said that this day has also significance in the history of the Pakistan People’s Party for upholding democracy and fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan.
The PPP’s first government of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto has the credit to get passed a consensus Constitution of Pakistan in 1973 from the Parliament, which has provided almost all the fundamental rights outlined in the UDHR.
Surendar Valasai has said that another credit goes to the PPP, as its previous governments played a key role in the passage of the landmark 18th Amendment in the Constitution that paved the way to provincial autonomy and implementation of human rights related provisions at the provincial level.
Majority of International Human Rights Conventions were ratified during the various PPP governments.
He added and said that Pakistan People’s Party government of Sindh gives importance to human rights and for that purpose, it has taken significant measures. Sindh is the first province, which created a provincial Sindh Human Rights Commission under the able chairmanship of the first woman Judge of any High Court Justice (Retd.) Majida Razvi,he said.
Surendar Valasai said that the Sindh government has formed many other human rights-related bodies including the Sindh Commission on Status of Women, Sindh Child Protection Authority and Ombudsman against Sexual harassment,while Sindh police has a special human rights cell at CPO.
He said that a Treaty Implementation Cell and Task Force on Human Rights under the coordination of Human Rights department are fully functional and play the role of coordination among various departments in reporting on human rights indicators.
Surendar Valasai said that Sindh Government has recently established Human Rights Management System with the support of UNDP, which would further help in data collection and reporting on human rights issues. He emphasis that we are well aware of the challenges being faced by people in Sindh and our government is making serious efforts to ensure the provision of fundamental rights to all citizens. He further said that the Human Rights department has already announced an Essay Competition for all students of Sindh to write essays in three languages (English, Urdu and Sindhi) on the topic of “Importance of Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its relevancy with Human Rights contexts in Pakistan”. We have received very good essays and a jury is reviewing all the submissions and results would be announced soon.
He further said the week has already started with this press conference and on 7th of December, 2021 we are going to organize an awareness walk from the Sindh Assembly building to Karachi Press Club. We have invited all human rights, women rights and labour rights organizations, lawyers’ bodies and civil society organizations to participate in this walk. On 8th December we are going to organize a series of seminars on Human Rights in Hyderabad, Sukkur and other major cities in which speakers from various districts of Sindh would speak and highlight the human rights issues in the province.
On 9th December we will going to launch our human rights awareness campaign in collaboration with Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) and Sindh Madistraul Islam University. This campaign will continue throughout year and we will try to reach major universities and colleagues in the first phase. On 10th December the main function would be held in Karachi. This will be a seminar on the topic “Human Rights Reforms in Sindh: Context, Challenges & Way Forward”. Honourable Mr Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman Pakistan People’s Party, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister of Sindh and other senior Party leaders, Ministers, Human Rights experts, lawyers and journalists are invited to address this seminar.
We also invite all of you to attend all the activities during the Human Rights Week. The main objective of observing week long activities is to highlight the importance of protection and promotion of human rights and create human rights awareness.
As you all would agree with me that respect to human rights is important for any society to progress and in the challenging environment where proactive approach is must. We all have to work together to root out hatred, extremism and intolerance from the society and build a peaceful society where human rights of all citizens are respected.