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Two-Day Consultation on National Human Rights Policy Framework and National Human Rights Defenders' Mechanism in Pakistan

SPO in collaboration with Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR) and with the financial support of CARE International organized a two day consultation on Human Rights Policy Framework and Human Rights Defenders Mechanism.

Historically, despite ratification of UDHR, Pakistan has still not devised any Human Rights Policy. The objective of the first day was to engage the participants in a discussion on such a human rights policy framework. SPO hired services of a legal consultant, Ms. Riffat Butt to lead the discussion and prepare a policy framework. The discussion was held on four themes:

Theme 1: Scope of Commitment by the State

Theme 2: Human Rights Dilemmas in Pakistan: A Gap Analysis

Theme 3: Governance Policy

Theme 4: Prioritization and Focus: On national, provincial and district level

The major outcome of the day was a consensus among participants from all over Pakistan on the above mentioned themes. The suggestions and recommendations of the consultation are being compiled by the consultant. Once these are compiled, SPO will present a National Human Rights Policy Framework to the MoHR and civil society at large for further consultations. Here it is important to mention that this is for the first time in the history of Pakistan that such a policy is being made.

The second day of consultation was assigned to discussion on a Human rights Defenders’ Mechanism in Pakistan. Though various models are already working in Pakistan but this mechanism will be unique as it will be the first time in history of the country that the public and the private, will work in partnership for defending human rights. The objective of the discussion was to envisage such a mechanism of human rights defenders in consultation with the participants.

The major outcome of the day was collective envisioning of a mechanism. Recommendations pertaining to structure, scope, monitoring, referral systems of the mechanism were solicited. The consultant is in the process of preparing a detailed report. Once it is complete, SPO will share the report with MoHR. Plan is to pilot the recommended model in Islamabad District, in the beginning. Later, it can be replicated on a larger scale in Pakistan.

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