CSOs asks govt to ensure free, independent functioning of NCHR

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PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA’s Community Service Organization (CSOs) members have stressed the government to ensure independent functioning of the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR).
“The NCHR was an important institution setup under an act of the parliament that gives the commission broader mandate to promote and protect human rights as provided for in the constitution and international human rights treaties ratified by Pakistan,” members of CSOs’ Members speaking a press conference, the members at Peshawar press club.
she said that fulfilment of its mandate will help increase protection of human rights and contribute towards consolidation of democracy in the country.
The civil society members expressed concerns that allegedly the government was making continued efforts to curtail powers of the commission. The federal ministry of human rights has attempted to take administrative control of the NCHR through amendments in the Ministry’s Rule of Business, is a violation of National Commission for Human Rights Act 2012. Similarly, the federal government has not been issuing funds to the Commission on regular basis, the (Community Service Organization) CSOs said.

Raedsh Tony, transgender activist, Farzana Riaz, Chairman of the tribal NGOs Consortium,Qamar Naseem and other members includes Shahid Ullah Jan, Taimur Kamal, Nazra Syed, Shafiq Gugyani were also present in press conferences.
The CSOs said that in recent reviews of various human rights reports submitted by Pakistan, various UN committees had also recommended the government to strengthen the independence of the NCHR.
On the occasion Qamar Nasim said that the federal parliament was an appropriate forum for monitoring performance of the NCHR. However, parliamentary forums should balance such role by respecting the independence of the Commission. Parliamentary committees and the NCHR can also collaborate on important human rights issues, as the senate functional committee on Human Rights and the NCHR has collaborated recently on the bill to empower transgender community.

However, civil society members demand the government to ensure independence of the NCHR as provided in the National Commission for Human Rights Act 2012. In addition, there is a need to ensure effective functioning of provincial members. They also stressed that the federal government swiftly releases all funds to the NCHR and recommended that NCHR’s funding should come through Federal Consolidated Fund as such an arrangement will be guaranteed uninterrupted funding to the NCHR.

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