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Message of Prime Minister on International Human Rights Day

Islamabad, December 10, 2012 (PPI-OT): Pakistan joins the world community in celebrating International Human Rights Day on December 10. The day marks the adoption of Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

The Day provides us an opportunity to take stock of the state of human rights and spread its awareness. This year, the spotlight remains on rights of all people including women, youth, persons with disabilities, minorities and the marginalized.

A progressive, balanced and just society is the one, which ensures that rights of all of its citizens are safeguarded through political, legal, economic, cultural and social instruments and frameworks. For any state to achieve durable peace and foster democracy, it is imperative that it puts in place mechanism aimed at ensuring that rights of the people are protected.

Islam is a champion of the cause of human rights. It establishes the concept of equality for all human beings. Islam provides an environment of peaceful co-existence, free of any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, colour, sex, race and religion.

The Government of Pakistan is committed to upholding the rights of our people. The establishment of a separate Ministry of Human Rights in 2008 at the federal level represents the government’s resolve to mainstream the human rights agenda into public policy.

Women, children and marginalized sections of society are more vulnerable to exploitation. The government has, therefore, undertaken key legal, economic and administrative reforms for women empowerment in line with the vision of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.

In addition to increasing the women job quota in the public sector, the government has enacted legislation to end women’s harassment and exploitation, and restore their rights in accordance with law and religious teachings. The appointment of Women Ombudsperson is yet another initiative to address problems of the working women.

A few days ago, I approved a proposal for appointment of human rights defenders to provide easy, quick and free relief to victims of human rights abuses. In accord with constitutional provisions, Parliament passed a landmark bill on National Commission for Human Rights into law this year aimed at improving the human rights conditions by doing away with instances which promote violation of human rights.

The recent passage of ‘Right to Free Compulsory Education’ for children between ages of 5 and 16 has made the provision of free education a responsibility of the government.

Pakistan, being a responsible state, is fully cognizant of its regional and international commitments. The government has ratified Convention Against Torture, Internal Convention on Civil and Political Rights in addition to ratification of UN Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Practical steps are being taken for the implementation of the instruments.

On International Human Rights Day, we pledge to remain committed to human rights agenda. The protection of human rights for all is a prerequisite for establishment of a civilized and progressive society. We would leave no stone unturned to make this happen.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

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