The Human Rights and Minorities Affairs (HR&MA) Department organized a Youth conference in collaboration with Bargad Organization for Youth Development and Peace and Justice Network to commemorate international Human rights day on the 11th of December at E- Library , Nishter sports complex.
The event was attended by various scholars, representative of different communities, civil society and academia.
Secretary HR&MA Department Dr Muhammad Shoaib Akbar gave the opening remarks and said that UDHR is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Deceleration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion etc. Secretary HR expressed his concern over the situation of human rights in Kashmir and Palestine and urged the international community to play its positive role in establishing peace.
He said that the historic Declaration of Human Rights includes the inalienable rights that all persons have, regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social status, property. The Human Rights Department has made special laws to protect the rights of women, children, religious minorities, persons with disabilities, senior citizens and transgenders, but for the protection of human rights, every person associated with the government institutions and civil society should play their role. He further said that the Government of Punjab has always been committed to ensuring a peaceful, respectful, prosperous, and free society in line with the vision outlined by Quaid-e-Azam in his speech on the 11th of August, 1947.
The Government is dedicated to ensuring the protection of human rights and minority affairs and working for the betterment of religious minorities.
Executive director of Bargad Sabiha Saheen shed the light on16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international civil society-led annual campaign. She said that it commences from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day, indicating that violence against women is the most pervasive breach of human rights worldwide.
Women Ombudsman Punjab Nabila Hakim Ali Khan said that the government is taking all possible steps to ensure the rights of women in the province, so do not allow anyone to take away your rights or abuse you by remaining silent. She said that if you (women) do not get a share in the inherited property, file a complaint about your share with the local administration and if you are not heard, report to the office of the woman’s ombudsman secretariat. She further said that many measures are being taken by the government at the national and provincial levels for women’s rights and their protection.
Former VC UHE professor Dr Kanwal Ameeen said that women are free to express their opinions but it should be done in a cultured and civilized way, Male and female both have equal rights and they should grow together professionally in all walks of life with the support of each other. a pannel discussion on the topic of peace building in the age of youth and tackle environmental issues regarding human rights also held in the conference.
In which all of the speakers noted the efforts of the Government of Punjab and made recommendations for what could be done in the future.
A documentary on protection of Human rights from HR&MA department was also shown at the event. Community Members who are all actively working in different awareness campaigns related to different human rights issues were awarded the special Shields in recognition of their efforts.
The awardees were included Prof. Ashok Kumar (Assistant Professor Punjab University), Ms. Rabia Dar (Program Officer Bargad), Ms. Riffat (LPS Member UC 237), Ms. Jessica Alyas, (student- LUMS), Zanaya Chaudhary on the protection of transgender community righeand Deputy Director (Human Rights) Muhammad Yousuf moderated the event. Director environmental department Amber Raheel, DO Environment Ali Ijaz, Bilbir Singh, Jessica Ilyas and others also attended the conference.