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LAHORE, Friday, December 31, 2021: National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), in collaboration with European Union funded Huqooq-e-Pakistan Project (HeP), held a civil society consultation as part of consultative process for Commission’s four-year strategic plan.

Presided over by NCHR Chairperson Rabiya Javeri Agha and led by senior expert from HeP Dr. Osama Siddique, the consultation engaged participants on their views about the state of human rights in Pakistan and their level of awareness of NCHR’s role and mandate.

The participants also held extensive discussions on NCHR functions and ways of effective collaboration between the Commission and human rights stakeholders, especially general public. The Commission plans to hold similar consultative sessions in other provincial capitals in order to gather information and recommendations from all parts of the country.

In her welcome remarks, Chairperson NCHR Rabiya Javeri Agha said that opinions and recommendations coming out from these consultations would be taken into account while preparing the NCHR’s Strategic Plan and determining next steps for the Commission.

Chairperson said that Commission is a broad mandated entity. “NCHR finds it impetus and strength from civil society. The Commission believes in inclusive leadership and collaboration. Our doors are open to engage with CSOs and we hope to work towards a common goal where human rights are realized and protected without discrimination,” she said.

Dr. Osama Siddique said that developing the Commission’s strategic plan through consultations with civil society and the government across Pakistan ensures that diverse perspectives are considered as NCHR charts its plan for the coming years.” He said that human rights is a complex cross cutting area and it is incredibly important that there should be greater synergies and cooperation between all those who stand as custodians of human rights.

In his remarks, NCHR Member Punjab Nadeem Ashraf stressed for collective effort to protect and promote human rights in the country. “There are many seasoned and experienced people present at the consultation and their input is very valuable to the Commission. The efforts civil society is putting in will bear more fruit in terms of being presented at the policy-making level if we work collectively,” he said.

The participants shared a broad range of opinions to devise a pragmatic Strategic Plan for NCHR. They suggested Commission to take measures for better connection at the grassroots level and ensure access of general public to the Commission. They said that civil society look towards NCHR for leadership and advocacy support.

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