Participants of a rally organised on Saturday to mark the International Human Rights Day expressed concerns over the state of human rights in the country, in particular the condition of working women and children.
They demanded that measures be taken to protect women workers against harassment and discrimination at workplaces.
They also demanded that the government recognise workers engaged in the informal sector of the economy, including home-based and domestic workers, by ratifing the International Labour Organisation conventions.
They said the work be started on establishing an independent and impartial National Human Rights Institution, to monitor the situation of the marginalised groups.
They said educational curricula should be purged of hate literature so that it promotes values of peace and respect for human rights.
Speaking to the participants, MNA Begum Khalida Mansur said freedom of expression and justice for all should be ensured.
She said Pakistan was a signatory to the United Nations charter on human rights but most people were unaware of their rights. She said a movement should be launched to raise awareness about human rights issues in the country.
The rally titled ‘Human Rights For All’ was organised by the Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation, Peace and Human Development Foundation, Lyallpur Development Organization, Participatory Organization for Women’s Empowerment and Rights and Liaison for Enforcement of Human Rights.
The participants condemned the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a recent attack by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops, terming it a violation of international covenants on human rights.
They asked the government to review its alliance with the United States.
A similar walk was organised to mark the International Human Rights Day in Sialkot . Speaking on the occasion, Rose Human Rights and Welfare Organisation president Muhammad Ishfaq Nazar said the United Nations was ignoring human rights violations by Nato forces in Afghanistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2011.