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Civil society holds peaceful rally in support of human rights

Faisalabad: Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM), Peace and Human Development (PHD Foundation), Lyallpur Development Organization (LDO), Participatory Organization for Women’s Empowerment and Rights (POWER) and Liaison for Enforcement of Human Rights (LEHR) jointly staged a rally titled “Human Rights for All” to observe the international human rights day.

The participants of the rally showed their grave concerns over the situation of human rights in Pakistan, and urged the government to take tangible steps for the promotion and protection of human rights. At this juncture, the participants strongly condemned the recent NATO attack on the soil of Pakistan, killing brave soldiers of Pakistan, and shouted slogans in support of human rights and in opposition to human rights violations.

They also criticized violence, discrimination, class division, feudalism, capitalism, sexual harassment, injustice, exploitation, extremism, intolerance, terrorism, inflation and corruption present in the Pakistani society. They were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans in favour of peace, human rights, justice, tolerance, harmony, equality, freedom, protection, development and prosperity.

This rally started from Press Club and dispersed peacefully at Clock Tower Faisalabad. This peaceful rally was led by Khalida Mansoor (Parliamentarian), and was joined by over 150 Muslim and Christian participants from different schools of thought including representatives of civil society groups namely; AWAM, PHD, LDO, NCJP, POWER, CARE, Harmony Foundation, LQM and WPP.

Speaking on the occasion, Khalida Mansoor, Shazia George, Nazia Sardar, Tahir Iqbal and Sajid Iqbal Safdar discouraged all state and non-state elements responsible for massive human rights violations in Pakistan.

The participants for the promotion and protection of human rights demanded that: Government must review its foreign policy towards USA, keeping in view the national interest of Pakistan; The rights of marginalized groups such as; women, minorities, children, workers and persons with disabilities must be protected; Lives and properties of the citizens and religious sites of all communities including shrines must be protected; The educational curriculum must be free from all forms of biases in order to make it a source of peace promotion, whereas material promoting human rights, peace, harmony and religious, sectarian and ethnic tolerance must be included in the syllabus; The women workers must be protected against harassment and discrimination at work places, and safe women friendly atmosphere should be created at work places; The unrecognized women workers engaged in informal sectors including home-based workers, peasant workers and domestic workers should be recognized legally as part of the labour force, whereas ILO conventions protecting rights of home based workers and domestic workers must be ratified; Sincere efforts must be put to control unemployment, inflation and loadshedding of gas and electricity; The government should speed up the work to establish an independent, impartial National Human Rights Institution according to the Paris Principles to promote and protect human rights and to monitor situation of the marginalized groups and to redress the complaints in this regards.

For more information, contact:
Naseem Anthony
Executive Secretary
Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM)
Street No.9, Block ‘D’, Barkatpura, G.P.O 665, Railway Road,
Faisalabad-38000 Pakistan
Tel: +92-41-2004270
Fax: +92-41-8721370
Email: contact@awampk.org

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