ISLAMABAD, Dec 10 (APP):The Ministry of Human Rights (MOHR) Sunday organized a colourful day long festival here at Lok Virsa to mark International Day of Human Rights (HR) for creating awareness on laws and services to protect rights of general public.
The International HR Day is celebrated every year on December 10, the day, United Nations General Assembly had adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
Various government departments and civil society organization set up their stalls in the festival to apprise people regarding the services and the procedure to approach in case of any HR violation.
Senator Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi inaugurated the festival while Ambassador of Neatherland to Paksitan and Secretary Human Rights Rabia Agha Javari and officials of various government and private departments also accompanied him.
Addressing the participants, Senator Ghous said the provision of rights to every citizen of the country without any discrimination was the top priority of the incumbent government. To protect the rights of vulnerable groups, especially women and children, Pakistan had ratified a number of laws and international conventions/treaties, he added.
He said the government was establishing a concrete network through setting up human rights committees at district level to approach women of rural areas as they were among the groups whose rights were mostly violated due to lack of awareness and lack of resources.
He stressed that collaborative efforts should be ensured for the purpose as only the government or civil society could not achieve desired goals while working in isolation.
Secretary Human Rights Rabia Agha said a toll-free help line 1099 was particularly working to give legal aid to the deprived segments of society while an HR Action Plan had been devised with a huge investment of Rs 750 million to improve human rights situation in the country.
Setting up of a national institute for human rights was also on the cards, she said, adding that the National Commission for Human Rights and National Commission on Status of Women were also working tirelessly to cover neglected areas to protect rights of all.
The National Commission for Rights of Child would also be functional soon which would particularly focus on safeguarding rights of the future generation, raising issues related to their health, education and other basic necessities of life, he added.
Around 30 stalls were established in the festival whereas artists of Gilgit Baltistan, Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab attired in their traditional dresses performed separate cultural performances. An instrumental performance on `Rubab and Tabla’ by Lok Virsa artist Adnan was largely applauded by the audience. A live musical show was also part of the festival.
People from different walks of life visited the festival throughout the day taking keen interest in the material and briefings presented by the stall organizers for their education on legal channels to protect their rights.