The Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR) launched its annual performance report 2020 at an interactive media engagement session held on Monday.
The report highlighted significant initiatives taken to protect and promote the rights of women, children, people with disabilities, transgender women, and other vulnerable population groups.
The report also included chapters on the ministry's progress in projects under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP); special initiatives launched to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic as well as the engagements of the Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari.
Speaking at the session, MoHR Minister Shireen Mazari highlighted the progress of the ministry in terms of strengthening grievance redressal mechanisms including the establishment of the 1099 national helpline application as well as the Zainab Alert application on the Pakistan Citizen's Portal for missing children.
Mazari also underlined initiatives in terms of overcoming gaps in legislation to ensure that the rights of citizens, particularly the vulnerable, are protected. Recently, the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Ordinance 2020 was enacted to protect the rights of women who have been victims of gender-based violence.
Video animations developed by the ministry to raise awareness about these initiatives as well as the recently launched Human Rights Resource Portal were also showcased at the event.
The amendment to include child domestic labour as a form of hazardous activity under schedule I of the Employment of Children Act 1991 is also an important legislative milestone.
She further spoke about the Zainab Alert Response and Recovery Act and the ICT Rights of Persons with Disability Act that were enacted in 2020.
Minister also apprised about special initiatives undertaken to mitigate the impact of Covid-19. This included upgrading the 1099 helpline, an extensive awareness campaign targeting vulnerable social groups, and special research undertaken including a policy brief on the Gendered Impact and Implications of Covid-19 in Pakistan, and a comprehensive report on "Covid-19 and Disaster Vulnerabilities in Pakistan: A human rights-based analysis."
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2021.