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KARACHI: Sindh Human Rights Department has decided in principle to appoint District Human Rights Officers across the province to prevent human rights violations and ensure justice to the victims.

The Human Rights Department, Government of Sindh organized a training workshop for the members of its Provincial Vigilance Committee, which was attended by Surendar Valasai (Special Assistant to Chief Minister Sindh on Human Rights), Jawed Sibghatullah Mahar (Secretary of the Department), Iqbal Detho (Chairman Sindh Human Rights Commission), Naveed Anthony (PPP MPA), Jameel Hussain Junejo (Executive Coordinator, the Treaty Implementation Cell of the Human Rights Department Sindh), Zulfiqar Shah, Dr Sonu Mal Khangarani, Altaf Khoso Advocate and others.

Surendar Valasai said that the members of the Vigilance Committee are the eyes and ears of the department, as well as, representatives at the public level, whose role in preventing human rights violations is of utmost importance.

“The Human Rights Department intends to amend the relevant TORs to make the cadre of its Vigilance Committee more efficient and effective,” he added.

He said that only Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has been doing practical work in the country, adding that if any party in the country has taken any concrete steps for the marginalized segments of the society including minorities, then it is only PPP.

“Six members in the Sindh Cabinet belong to minorities, out of which 4 belong to Scheduled Castes. Thus, only PPP has given such a prominent representation to the scheduled castes, which has been a socially oppressed class for centuries” he pointed out.

He took notice of the complaint of Shehzadi Rai, a well-known transgender rights activist and member of the Vigilance Committee that the Karachi Police have allegedly registered cases against transgenders. He announced the formation of a committee headed by Vigilance Committee member Sardar Nazakat on the issue and assured the transgender community that the Sindh government would not tolerate any injustice against them.

Sindh Human Rights Department Secretary Jawed Mahar said that the purpose of the vigilance committee is to identify and prevent human rights violations and also to spread awareness about human rights in the society.

“Human Rights District Officers, with educational qualifications of Masters in Social Sciences, will be appointed across the province for the prevention of human rights violations and easy public access to the department very soon,” he added.

He said that his department is currently working with two non-governmental organizations to provide free legal assistance to victims of human rights violations. “The human rights law needs to be amended to make it more effective and the government is working on it,” he added.

Jamil Junejo, Executive Coordinator of the Treaty Implementation Cell of the Department of Human Rights, said that 23 departments of the province report to the Cell on the implementation process of 27 human rights conventions regarding GSP Plus.

He said that in 2014, the Treaty Implementation Cells were established in all provinces including the Centre.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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