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The Human Rights Violations in Pakistan and Federal & Provincial Human Rights Departments

United Nations is primary world organisation catering fundamental rights issues in the world. Despite challenges, it has had a few successes.
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Tariq Mahmood Awan

Articles 8 to 28 describe fundamental human rights. Furthermore, according to Schedule IV of the constitution, it is the constitutional prerogative of the provincial government to establish human rights departments or organizations. The mandate of the Punjab Rules of Business, 2011, regarding the Human Rights and Minorities Department is as follows:


  1. Policy formulation and planning for public awareness regarding: (a) Human Rights and its abuses. (b) Minorities Rights.
  2. Coordination with public and private sector, bodies and institutions: (a) Human rights. (b) Human rights NGOs. (c) Obtaining information documents and reports on complaints and allegations of human rights violations.
  3. Visit of Police Stations, Prisons and Bostal Jails, Woman and Juvenile Refuge Centers, Hospitals, Factories, Brick Kilns and other Institutions and place for providing public service and to report to the competent authorities for necessary action against violation of human rights.
  4. Functions assigned under the Christian Marriage Act 1872 and rules framed thereunder.
  5. Minorities affairs including: (a) Safeguarding the rights and interests. (b) Promotion and welfare. (c) Protection against discrimination. (d) Minority Advisory Council Punjab. 1Substitution of “The Disposal of Land by Development Authorities (Regulation) Act 1998” by Notification No. SO (CAB-I) 2- 30/2013 dated 08.08.2016. 2 Inserted by No.SO(CAB-I)2-30/2013 dated 26.12.2014, published in the Punjab Weekly Gazette at page. 544, dated: 14.01.2015. 3 Inserted by Notification No. SO (CAB-I) 2-30/2013 dated 08.08.2016. Page 79 of 121 79 (e) Coordination with the Federal Government regarding development schemes proposed by the minority members and matters relating to welfare of minorities’ and (f) All other matters relating to minorities.
  6. Harmonization of laws, legislation and practices with the international human rights covenants and agreements. 1 [6A. Establishment and administration of, and matters ancillary to, the Punjab Treaty Implementation Cell (PTIC). 6B. Coordination and collection of data, information and reports from the Federal Government, other Government Departments, Attached Departments, Autonomous Bodies and agencies, on a regular basis, regarding the implementation of treaties, conventions, covenants and protocols. 6C. Collection and preparation of reports about the enforcement of treaties, conventions, covenants and protocols from the concerned departments, consolidation of the reports and transmission of the consolidated reports to the Federal Government. 6D. Identification of gaps and areas in which legislation for policy intervention of the government is required for the implementation of the treaties, conventions, covenants and protocols. 6E. Awareness campaigns to sensitize the relevant departments, entities and the general public about the treaties, conventions, covenants and protocols.]
  7. Refer and recommend investigation and inquiries in respect of any incident of violations of human rights.
  8. Budget, accounts and audit matters.
  9. Purchase of stores and capital goods for the department.
  10. Service matters except those entrusted to Services and General Administration Department.
  11. Administration of the following laws and the rules framed thereunder: i. The Christian Marriage Act, 1872 (XV of 1872). ii. The Hindu Gains of Learning Act, 1930 (XXX of 1930).
  12. Matters incidental and ancillary to the above subjects

Now, the fundamental question arises? Is the provincial department fulfilling its obligation to enforce fundamental rights? If it is not fulfilling its mandate, why is there a need to bear the expenditure on taxpayers’ money?

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In the same way, the federal government is also running a ministry of human rights. Firstly, it is unconstitutional, and secondly, it is not fulfilling its mandate, which is already a provincial subject. It simply means that the state is spending a lot of money, but it is useless because human rights violations continue to grow in Pakistan. However, the mandate of the federal human rights ministry is the following.

Human Rights Division

  1. Review of human rights situation in the country including implementation of laws, policies and measures.
  2. Coordination of activities of Ministries, Divisions and Provincial Governments in respect of human rights, and facilitation functions relating to human rights.
  3. Initiatives for harmonization of legislation, regulations and practices with the international human rights covenants and agreements to which Pakistan is a party and monitoring their implementation.
  4. Obtaining information, documents and reports, on complaints and allegations of human rights violations, from Ministries, Divisions, Provincial Governments and other agencies.
  5. Referring and recommending investigations and inquiries in respect of any incident of violation of human rights, including rights of disadvantaged and child rights.
  6. Pursuing or defending issues, complaints, representations and matters for and against Pakistan relating to human rights before any official or nonGovernmental organizations, body or forum in Pakistan and, in consultation with Foreign Affairs Division, before any international organization and foreign government or non-Governmental organization.
  7. Representation of Pakistan in international bodies, organizations and conferences relating to human rights in consultation and conjunction with Foreign Affairs Division.
  8. Developing and conducting information programmes to foster public awareness about human rights including the rights of labour women and children and laws and remedies available to them.
  9. Formulating programmes for teaching of human rights at educational institutions.
  10. Provision of facilities for professional and technical training at national and international level relating to human rights issues.
    11 Administrative control of the Tribunal for disadvantaged persons.
  11. Human rights NGOs
  12. Representing Pakistan at international and bilateral level, involving all gender related matters;
  13. Administration of the National Commission on the status of Women Act, 2012 (VIII of 2012).
  14. Administration of the National Commission for Human Rights Act, 2012.
  15. Administration of the National Commission for Child Welfare and Development Resolution, 1981.
  16. Social Welfare, Special Education, welfare, development and rehabilitation of children and disabled in the Federal area.
  17. Training and education of disabled in Islamabad.
  18. Dealing and agreements with other countries and international organizations in the field of social welfare.

Apart from federal and provincial public organizations, there are several private human rights organizations in Pakistan. But, unfortunately, they are also not creating the awareness expected of them. Therefore, the people in Pakistan must know human rights and struggle to implement them. The legislature, executive and judiciary must implement human rights in Pakistan.

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