Posts Tagged ‘justice’
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.
Kindly find hereby a press article and a few photos that highlight the event and the interface between survivors and parliamentarians. To us, these exercises are essential as they are contributing to promoting democratic processes such as dialogue between elected representatives and constituencies, and demand to access and obtain justice.
The final outcome of this event was simple and needs further follow up: parliamentarians promised that they would support both laws when submitted in the chambers (domestic violence bill, comprehensive acid and burn crime bill), but till then, how to ensure the submission? How to make bureaucracy deliver and work for the citizens who are paying taxes and are therefore entitled to be served by this very same bureaucracy? No tangible solution was presented, although its seems that one option could be the following: question from parliamentarians on the national assembly floor to the relevant administration, so let us ask for a question from parliamentarians: when will the Ministry of interior send the comprehensive acid and burn crime bill back to the NA secretariate so that the bill can be tabled in the NA?
A performance at the event. PHOTO: THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE
In a moot trial on Thursday, a jury of women affected by violence called on parliamentarians to legislate for greater protection for women and better accountability for perpetrators of violence, said a press release.
The moot court, conducted at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts, was convened in a bid to collectively mark 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Girls and Women, an annual campaign that lasts between November 25 and December 10.
Parliamentarians, civil society members and UK Deputy High Commissioner Alison Blake attended the court.
As the mock court case progressed, proceedings transformed to resemble those of parliament, making a candid point that ending violence against women is a legislative issue which then needs to be implemented and enforced effectively in the courts. The debate focused specifically on acid crimes and domestic violence. The debate also touched upon the political empowerment of women and getting more girls into school.
UK Deputy High Commissioner Alison Blake said, “Investing in girls and women is transformational — for themselves, their families, and their communities. The UK is deeply committed to supporting Pakistan to empower women and to end violence against them.”
Over the coming years the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) aims to help a million more women vote, and will provide important support for some two million girls in school.
Renowned showbiz personalities Sania Saeed, Haseena Moeen, Ayub Khoso and Samina Ahmed participated in the event as petitioners, whereas parliamentarians from different political parties including Senator Saeeda Iqbal of Pakistan Peoples Party, Members National Assembly Tasleem Siddiqui of Pakistan Muslim League (N), Sufyan Yusuf of Muttahida Qaumi Movement, and Asiya Nasir of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) participated as respondents.
The event was sponsored by the DFID. Groups including UN women; AAWAZ, the Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Alliance; IHI; We can Campaign; Men Engaged; Women Action Forum; Legislative Watch Group; and Raising Her Voice, spoke to demand stronger legislation to protect women.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence is an international campaign that originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2012.
20th November 2012: Universal Child Day, ASF Working For Child Protection In Collaboration With Global Funds For Children, Acting For Life and Smile Again Italy.November 27th, 2012
15% of acid victims are children, the youngest victim having been attacked at the age of one year old…
Acid Survivors Foundation Focuses on a child friendly rehabilitation process that has been funded by Global Funds for Children and tries to make sure that these children ultimately join school back as “normal” children. Acting For Life has also supported ASF-Pakistan, providing trainings and tools to work on child protection and facilitate the counseling process. Acting for Life and Smile Again Italy have also supported ASF preventive action at community level to sensitise children on self protection and acid violence and enhance enrollment of children in formal school.
We are thankful for their precious support but also would like to express our rewarding such activities are: empowering children makes us believe in a sustainable positive future: the picture that are posted hereby reflect hope and show that yes, it is possible to live happily and safely after the worse. ASF team remembers this every single day in its action against acid violence and GBV as a whole. 20th November? A day to remind us of our duty and our only chance to build a humanistic society.