Making Provincial Governments in Pakistan more accountable for Human Rights
Status: Completed Start Date: Jun 2016 End Date: Mar 2017 Geographic Coverage: National – All four provinces Focus Area: Human rights SDG Goal: – Implementing Partner: SPO Funding Partner: Foreign Common Wealth Office (FCO)
Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) with the financial support of Foreign & Common Wealth Office implemented this project in collaboration with Ministry of Human Rights.
The objectives of this collaboration were to;
Inculcate and strengthen the Universal Human Rights in the provincial Human Rights policy strategies.
The purpose was achieved fully as per this intervention. The intervention was based on a multi-pronged approach whereby the provincial human rights policy strategies based on Universal Declaration on Human Rights were not only drafted but inculcated in the provincial governments. The first prong of the intervention included orientation meetings and stakeholder consultations to formulate provincial human rights policy strategies. In each province, two stakeholder consultations were held which sought to incorporate the north and south of each province and record perceptions other than that of provincial capitals. After this extensive process, a provincial human rights policy strategy was drafted for each province keeping in mind the 18th constitutional amendment and the resulting comparison and contrast of human rights between provinces.
The second prong of the intervention included a training needs assessment, designing of training manuals and a training workshop with representatives of each provincial government. The training were tailored to the specific needs of the provincial government representatives and included representatives from all departments including labour, human rights, social welfare, law and parliamentary affairs, home, police, prison, culture, information etc. The training was first of its kind as it was tailored for provincial government and led by the federal Ministry of Human Rights. The training provided an important component of building capacity of all four provincial governments on international human rights standards, national human rights laws and implementation of provincial human rights policy strategies.
The third prong of the intervention included interface and liaison between the provincial government and federal Ministry of Human Rights. This was achieved through exposure visits of provincial government representatives to the federal ministry of human rights and relevant national human rights institutions. The activity helped create better networking, coordination and liaison between the federal and provincial government institutions. It also created better understanding of international human rights obligations in light of European Union GSP Plus and the struggle of Pakistan to sustain economic benefits attached to it by implementing human rights.
The last prong of this project intervention focused on implementation and institutionalization. The four Provincial Task Forces on Human Rights were notified by the Chief Minister of each province. The Provincial Task Forces on Human Rights have been tasked with the responsibility of implementing human rights which include the activities outlined in this project intervention. The Provincial Task Forces on Human Rights include a cross-section of provincial government departments owing to the cross-cutting nature of human rights. The Provincial Task Forces on Human Rights are a governmental body having the necessary political will to implement human rights in the province. The Provincial Action Plan on Human Rights has also been shared with the Provincial Task Forces on Human Rights to implement the strategy document in respective provinces. On the parallel, Civil Society Watch Groups on Human Rights have also been constituted to act as watch dog bodies to monitor and facilitate implementation of the human rights instruments and interventions carried out in the project.