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Media and promotion of human rights

KARACHI: Chairperson, National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) Rabiya Javeri Agha Wednesday said media plays a crucial role in protection and promotion of human rights.

It educates and sensitizes the general public as well as policy makers, civil society and those implementing the laws and policies. Besides that, it connects people with the government and other stakeholders.

She expressed these views while presiding over the consultative sessions organized by NCHR in collaboration with European Union funded Huqooq-e-Pakistan Project (HeP) at a local hotel.

Chairperson NCHR said opinions and recommendations coming out from these consultations would be taken into account while preparing the NCHR’s strategic plan and determining next steps for the commission.

Rabiya Javeri said commission was a broad mandated entity.

“One of the main functions of the Commission is to inform government of the problems faced by the people and civil society in the form of reports.

The second major role is to provide relief to the victims and survivors through its Civil Court and Suo Moto powers,” she said adding that a robust connection between NCHR, civil society and media would empower NCHR to effectively perform these two vital functions.

Senior expert from HeP Dr. Osama Siddique said “Developing the Commission’s strategic plan through consultations with civil society and the government across the country ensures that diverse perspectives are considered as NCHR charts its plan for the coming years.”

He said human rights was a complex cross cutting area and it was incredibly important that there should be greater synergies and cooperation between all those who stand as custodians of human rights.

In her remarks, Executive Director HeP Seema Jaffer talked about the initiatives been taken by the HeP Project.

She said protection of human rights was the basis of all democratic and progressive societies. Internationally, human rights indicators determined the image of a country.

The participants of sessions suggested NCHR to take measures for better connection at the grassroots level and ensure access of general public to the Commission.

They recommended Commission to engage with political parties and raise strong voice for human rights issues which had long been ignored.

Member NCHR and eminent activist Anis Haroon highlighted the need to learn from past practices.

Famous classical dancer Sheema Kermani talked about role of art in spreading awareness on human rights.

The participants ensured the commission of their full cooperation and assistance at every level.

The NCHR in collaboration with European Union funded Huqooq-e-Pakistan Project (HeP) has launched its country-wide consultative process for Commission’s four-year strategic plan.

The Commission plan to hold similar consultative sessions in other provincial capitals in order to gather information and recommendations from all parts of the country.

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.