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ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a project closing ceremony said that for sustainable peace and a constructive future, the role of civil society is important.

“When civil society comes to work together it gives hope of constructive future to the society”, said Haris Qayyum, Senior Advisor, The Asia Foundation.

He was speaking to the audience of the “Together for Peace” project organised by The Asia Foundation in collaboration with Accountability Lab.

The ceremony was attended by the senior government officials, civil society representatives, academia and media representatives.

Farva Rashid, programs coordinator of The Asia Foundation said that the project was launched by them in 2018 in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh in collaboration with Bytes for All; Initiative for Sustainable Development; Legal Rights Foundation and the Accountability Lab with an objective to reduce violence against the vulnerable segments of the society.

This was achieved through Institutionalizing Pre-emptive Early Warning Mechanism and strengthening support networks for the marginalized population. She further shared that the Punjab Women Protection Authority (PWPA), Directorate of Human Rights (DoHR), Social Welfare Department (SWD) Sindh and National Commission for Human Right (NCHR) were the strategic partners of the project.

Abdul Waheed Shaikh, Secretary Social Welfare Department, Punjab said that a state-of-the-art Early Warning System (EWS) was designed and implemented through this project enabling archiving of human rights violations, timely response, analysis and the future policymaking. The system enabled the inclusion of local government and other state institutions for effective referral mechanism and support to the victims of violence. The deployment has also enabled the department to archive and analyze the data for effective policymaking.

Students from partner academic institutions including Women University Swabi, Abdul Wali Khan University, University of Haripur, Fatima Jinnah Women University, University of Okara, MNS University of Agriculture Multan, University of Karachi and Federal Urdu University of Arts Science and Technology also shared their journey, learning and impact of the program on their lives. They told the audience that Youth Peace Incubation Centres established under “Together for Peace” project at their respective universities played an important role in promoting safe environment at the campuses and building the capacity of the students to be effective and responsible citizens.

Farhan Khalid, Programs Manager of the Accountability Lab told the participants that Accountability Lab also funded eight Social Enterprise Ideas under this project enabling students to design and pilot test enterprise solutions to address the local issues in an organic and sustainable manner.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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