11 December 2012
Australia supports Human Rights NGOs in Pakistan
To mark International Human Rights Day, Australian High Commissioner Peter Heyward announced major human rights funding grants to the Acid Survivors Foundation and the Jinnah Institute under Australia’s Human Rights Grants Scheme.
Both groups will receive A$100,000 (PKR10 million) towards their important projects.
Australia supports civil society organisations and human rights institutions in 126 countries including Pakistan through the Human Rights Grants Scheme. In Pakistan, past projects supported by the scheme include interfaith harmony, enhanced religious understanding, child rights and awareness about forced marriages.
Mr Heyward commended the excellent work of the Acid Survivors Foundation and the Jinnah Institute in the field of human rights.
“These organisations are a testament to the vibrancy of civil society in Pakistan and I particularly admire the dedication these groups have to eliminating violence against women and promoting strong human rights principles throughout the country and the region.”
He said the Acid Survivors Foundation has been working tirelessly to provide care and rehabilitation to acid-attack victims. The new funding will assist the Foundation to help victims seek legal recourse by ensuring that there is nation-wide awareness and implementation of the recent legislative changes against acid-based violence.
The Australian High Commission is also supporting the Jinnah Institute in its efforts to advocate for the inclusion of positive human rights messages and awareness of internationally accepted human rights standards in middle and high school curricula.
The High Commissioner took the opportunity to congratulate Pakistan on its recent election to the UN Human Rights Council and hoped Australia and Pakistan would continue their productive relationship and dialogue at the UN Security Council next year when Australia took up its non-permanent seat alongside Pakistan.
“Australia will continue to be a strong advocate for human rights, interfaith harmony and for the rights of women and girls in Pakistan and play an active role in providing for basic human rights including education and health assistance for some of Pakistan’s most remote and marginalised communities,” Mr Heyward said.