Since its inception in 1999, SHARP is moving towards achieving its goals and objectives. The details of its achievements is as follows:
ADVOCACY:In order to achieve its objectives, SHARP gives equal importance to advocacy for raising awareness about different issues relating to human rights. SHARP keeps on arranging seminars and workshops on regular basis. Most of the advocacy events are need based, arranged to sensitize and educate various groups of people working in different capacities.
Basic purpose of advocacy campaign is:
• Introduction of legal framework concerning human rights
• Recommendation for amendments in existing laws
• Awareness regarding human rights and current issues
NETWORK OF ATTORNEYS OF HUMAN RIGHTS:In order to train a body of Lawyers knowing laws related to the rights of children and women contained its national as well as international legislation, SHARP in collaboration with UNICEF arranged a workshop in November 2000 for Lawyers to train them on human rights and named them as Human Rights Attorneys. SHARP has successfully completed the year-long programme of training workshops throughout the country titled: ATTORNEY OF HUMAN RIGHTS with the collaboration of Action Aid Pakistan in all the provincial capitals of the country which is the first ever proper network in Pakistan. The programme aimed at training 30 Lawyers from each province on “Human Rights” with a view to enable them to conduct human rights abuse cases from all over the country, thereby improving the overall human rights situation of the country. It is in fact great privilege for SHARP to have trained 120 Lawyers from Pakistan for the said purpose.
- All four provincial workshops
- National Conference
- Directory of Attorneys
APPOINTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICERS IN POLICE STATIONS:SHARP arranged a one day training for the sensitization of the police officials of the various police stations in the SHARP Islamabad jurisdiction this year. The chief guest during this training was Mr. Sikandar Hayat, SSP, Islamabad who proved to be very encouraging for the awareness raising cause and in his remarks said that he wishes that SHARP would hold such trainings in the future. After the training SHARP Training Certificates were awarded to 20 Police Officers who immediately after the training were deployed in the various Police Stations of Islamabad. Theses Human Rights Officer after the SHARP training are better able to provide services to the Public as now they are equipped with the various National and International instruments relating to the HR issues.
EARTHQAUAKE THE CATASTROPHE AND AFTERMATH:A shockwave hit Pakistan on 8th October 2005. More than 100,000 injured and 80,000 dead and about 4 million homeless. SHARP understanding its role in the society and its responsibility towards its people, established four relief camps in its field offices, Peshawar, Mianwali, Lahore and Islamabad. Soon after the initial needs assessment, SHARP relief camps started collecting contributions comprising of food and non-food items. All such goods were collected from the field camps and were duly transported to Abbottabad medical base camp wherein those were distributed to the affected people in Mansehra, Balakot and Abbottabad in collaboration with Pakistan army. The SHARP Base Camp comprised of doctors and volunteers under the supervision of Dr. Nauman Mujahid. Responding to the global appeal by SHARP for assistance for the victims of earthquake, Direct Relief International, a USA based NGO joined hands with SHARP and supplied medical relief items to SHARP, Islamabad office which were delivered to the earth quake victims.
“EID DAY” A DAY OF SILENCE:Soon after the earthquake catastrophe, SHARP dedicated the Eid Day to the earthquake victims and spent the Eid Morning at Margalla Tower. On Eid ul Fitr, SHARP invited everyone to join in praying and observing a minute of silence for the departed souls.
SHARP HELPLINE is based in Islamabad and providing legal assistance for the victims of human rights violations. The public is given easy access to the counseling and legal assistance via this facilities. Various human rights violations were identified under different heads in the year 2005, which includes murder, suicide, judicial killings, domestic violence, kidnapping, sexual abuse and harassment child cases.
From its inception SHARP has been working for prisoners’ rights and continues to do so. SHARP keeps a close eye on the prisoners in Pakistan and is actively working in close collaboration with different organizations and individuals for making positive changes in the running of the jail system. SHARP to fulfill this objective also held seminars on the state of Juvenile Prisoners in Pakistan and with such seminars hopes to develop the public awareness on these issues.
CHILD CARE CENTER:
The norms at international and national level require special attention for the welfare of refugee children. Pakistan is hosting one of the ever-largest numbers of refugees for the last more than three decade. SHARP, identified, a slum area of I-11 in Islamabad that was accommodating approximately 40 to 50 thousands Afghan refugees, but without an educational institution for their children. Most of the inhabitants of the Kachi Abadi belonged to Pashtun ethnicity having a traditional living style. Their children are far away from any kind of education either formal or informal and they are exposed to many social evils. SHARP, realizing the miseries of Afghan refugees, had established a Child Care Center for refugee children in 2002 with the aim to equip them with informal education and basic know how of principles to live a decent and healthy life so that when they return back to their country of origin they can join the mainstream.
Trafficking in persons is a heinous crime with serious international dimensions. Internally organized crime syndicates involved in migrant smuggling, trafficking of narcotics and arms, often control trafficking in persons as well. Trafficking is an exploitative process starting with the recruitment and transportation of persons, after which they are sold or forced into all forms of labor and servitude, including trafficking into forced marriages, and forced prostitution. Trafficking is a crime that violates the fundamental human rights of its victims, along side of which there are a number of consequences for the countries of origin, transit and destination involved, not withstanding risks for national and international security. International Organization for Migration (IOM) with the support of the Canadian International Development Agencies Program for the Advancement of Gender Equality (CIDA - PAGE) has been implementing its 2 year counter trafficking project entitled “Development of a Conceptual Framework and Strategies to Combat Trafficking”. This project has focused on bringing together representatives from governmental institutions, international organizations, UN agencies, civil sector organizations, media and academics in a unique forum called “Pakistan Thematic Group on Human Trafficking” (PTGHT). This forum facilitated the PTGHT members to study, debate, and reach consensus on pertinent issues regarding the nature, causes and consequences of the phenomenon of trafficking to identify viable solutions in tackling the crime. SHARP has been a proud voluntary PTGHT member since the inception of this project and actively participated on the activities of PTGHT from the day one till last. SHARP had the advantage in arranging events in this regard and translated its experience and expertise with the group.
BEIJING + 10 & CEDAW, 11th JANUARY 2005:
On 11th January SHARP was invited to the National Assessment of Beijing + 10 meeting, and during the meeting, 7 different tasks were assigned to 7 NGOs, out of which the portion for the recommendation of CEDAW was entrusted to SHARP. From specifying the participants to arranging the group work was carried out by SHARP and at the end the recommendations were incorporated in the consolidated report which was being submitted from Pakistan. Hence SHARP, was entrusted with a national task, and the efforts of which were acknowledged by submitting the recommendations in the report. SHARP facilitated a group on CEDAW in national Assessment of Beijing +10 by civil society partners in collaboration with Ministry of Women Development Government of Pakistan on 11th January 2005. SHARP chaired the group and formulated recommendations on CEDAW in order to incorporate in second consolidated draft report of Pakistan to CEDAW committee.
CENSUS & VOLUNTARY REPATRIATION OF AFGHANS, FEBRUARY 2005:
According to UNHCR the number of Afghans repatriating from Pakistan had passed the 2.7 million mark, until 30th September 2004, as the UN Refugee Agency’s largest voluntary repatriation programme in the world continues to assist refugees to return to Afghanistan. The UNHCR programme was launched in 2002 from Pakistan and Iran – the two main countries hosting Afghan refugees. Nearly 1.6 million Afghans returned from Pakistan in 2002, followed by some 340,000 in 2003 and more than 380,000 last year. UNHCR has repatriated over 415,000 Afghans so far in 2005.“. SHARP-ALAC team has been assisting UNHCR repatriation team in compiling Afghan refugee’s information to speed up the voluntary repatriation process. ALAC also assisted in the release of Afghan refugees from different Police stations so as to remove any hurdles, which may have stopped a family from repatriating to Afghanistan.
GENDER DISCRIMINATION & SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT THEWORKPLACE:
On 26th July 2005 SHARP organized a seminar on “Gender Discrimination & Sexual Harassment at the Workplace” in which representatives of various NGOs and other organizations were invited to discuss the different aspects of the very important issue.
Ms. Anisa Zeb Tahirkhaili, Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting as Chief Guest, honored this Seminar. The Minister highly appreciated the efforts of SHARP and praised for having such a seminar along with other NGOs where they could also share their thoughts. She stressed the need of organizing such kind of dialogue among the stakeholders which could guide the government and other agencies and also help in making their policies.
Minister at the end shared her views that the issue needs to be dealt at a social level and stated that the women have to be encouraged to study at the domestic level and that they should be made aware of their fundamental human rights which will start off the process of Gender Equality.
TRAINING WORKSHOP ON HIV/AIDS, 4th – 7th AUGUST 2005:
SHARP and the Welfare Hand Organization (WHO) launched a project by the name of ‘Rough Sehat’ on HIV / AIDS Awareness among Jail inmates in district jail Kohat. Objective of the project are to create awareness of HIV / AIDS among jail inmates in Kohat jail. In this regard a Workshop was arranged from 04 – 07 August 2005 at Peshawar. The 4-days workshop was designed based on close consultation with SHARP. The methodology of the training workshop was extremely participatory; the facilitator used slides, visual aids, flip charts, group work, role-plays, and cards for detailed explaining various topics mentioned in the training schedule. Handouts were provided to the participants at the end of each session for their review and future reference. Most of the sessions focused on intensive group work, presentations and plenary discussions related to HIV/AIDS & STIs. Pre-KAP and Post-KAP tests were also conducted in order to assess the contributions of the training workshop in improving the know-how of the participants. Counseling skills were discussed among the participants. The facilitator defined counseling as a developmental process in which the counselor provides guidance, encouragement, challenge and inspiration to the client in managing and resolving practical, personal and relationship issues in achieving goals and self realization.
PARLIAMENTARIAN COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS & ASIA PACIFIC FORUM, 1ST SEPTEMBER 2005:
SHARP staff attended a meeting on 1st September 2005 on “Role and Functions of National Human Rights Institutions” arranged by Parliamentarian Commission for Human Rights and Asia Pacific Forum. The delegation of Asia Pacific forum then visited SHARP to familiarize themselves with the activities of the organizations. “Pakistan needs to have a National Human Rights Commission with representation of the Civil Society, to counter Human Rights violations within Pakistan” were the views expressed by Stephen Clark, Information Officer of the Asia Pacific Forum (APF), at a meeting held at SHARP.
Representatives of SHARP, Asia-Pacific, Parliamentarian Commission for Human Rights (PCHR), National Human Rights Commission of Korea and Sri Lanka attended the meeting. The APF currently consists of 17 member states and is looking forward to enhance its membership. The APF aims at strengthening its member countries in terms of defending & promoting the concept of Human Rights in making the lives of their people better. Mr. Liaqat Banori, Chairman SHARP stated that “It is in the best interest of Pakistan to come up with a National Commission of Human Rights as it will enable the government of Pakistan to keep proper check on the HR violations taking place in the country.
THE PLIGHT OF JUVENILE PRISONERS, 5th SEPTEMBER 2005:
SHARP organized a seminar on the Plight of Juvenile Prisoners on 5th September. The seminar was attended by different stakeholders, ranging from government officials to local NGOs. Dr. Shehzad Waseem, Minister of State for Interior was the Chief Guest on the occasion. The Minister concluded the seminar by sharing with the audience that very recently a merit standard for police officials has been issued by the government and this step has been taken to educate the police officials about core Human Rights standards including Child Rights.
SENSITIZATION OF SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS 4th October 2005:
This seminar held at ALAC Mianwali was aimed at the sensitization of working women in the different sectors on the importance and organization of Human Rights. Individuals, NGOs, and students from different universities took part in this event.
PROMOTION OF WORKERS RIGHTS – A 4-DAY TRAINING DEC 2005:
A 4-Day training workshop on “Strengthening Civil Society Participation to Promote Workers Rights” was organized from 12th – 15th December 2005, by SHARP in collaboration with ISCOS. During the 4-day training, different aspects were touched upon, some of which included educating the audience in the light of, Women Rights in Pakistan, UN Conventions on CEDAW, CRC, Industrial Relations, Labor policies in Pakistan, Bonded Labor and its practices in Pakistan. On the concluding day, as per schedule, a visit to the brick kiln was conducted, the purpose of which was to demonstrate to the participants the factual situation of bonded labor in Pakistan. The training proved to be a success and a learning experience for the participants, and many of them reiterated the fact that such similar training programs should be done on a regular basis, so that they should be well versed with the rights of the working class, as these rights don’t get much heed in Pakistan. Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Gujar, the newly elected President to the District Bar Association, Islamabad also attended the training workshop and highly appreciated the joint efforts of SHARP and ISCOS.
PUBLIC AWARENESS ON HUMAN RIGHTS PRESERVATION WITH FOCUS ON REFUGEES RIGHTS DECEMBER 30, 2005:
The seminar was arranged in Chakwal by SHARP Mianwali, which focused on problems relating to Refugees’ that highlighted the need to generate awareness among the public about the rights and status of refugees. Mr. Qaiser Siddiqui, Project Manger, SHARP, discussed human rights in the international perspective by talking about the international instruments; Human Rights Declaration 1948, Geneva Convention 1951 and its Protocol 1967. Mr. Hassan Raza Pasha, Member Punjab Bar Council appreciated the efforts of SHARP on arranging such an important seminar in District Chakwal for awareness raising among the public about Human Rights preservation. Dr. Qazi Mohammad Amin, Senior Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan was the Chief Guest on this significant occasion. He highlighted the obligatory role which a host country plays to honor the fundamental rights of refugees and provides maximum protection to them while they seek asylum on the soil of a host country. He stressed on the fact that a host country has a moral obligation towards honoring refugee rights and status and emphasized that this duty needs to be understood by all members of the host society. He stressed the need for flexibility in law and said that the Constitutional Law of Pakistan has guaranteed that.
CAPACITY BUILDING - AFGHAN CENSUS & REPATRIATION TRAININGS 7TH JANUARY 2005:
In this regard prior to the launch of the voluntary repatriation campaign, formal training was held to equip various IPs to have a professional and qualified repatriation team. These training were conducted by the staff of UNHCR and the Repatriation team in the beginning of the year so as to enable a smooth operation, which was proven with time.
25TH MARCH 2005:
UNHCR organized a training program for SHARP Mianwali & the staff of the District Administrator, Afghan refugee camp Kot Chandna, on 25th March 2005. The UNHCR Voluntary Repatriation (VOLREP) team explained to the participants that the current year (2005) is the last year of the Tripartite Agreement & jointly UNHCR, CCAR, CAR & ALACs would make efforts to disseminate the information according to the Operation Plan to the Afghan refugees’ community living in the camps & in the surroundings of District Mianwali. Emphasis was made on the enhancement of the assistance & to disseminate the information. The team also highlighted to the participants about the aims & the purposes of the forthcoming Come & Talk Visit. The participants were informed that such Come & Talk Visits would continue from High Return Areas as well Low Return Areas.
INTERPRETATIONAL SKILLS, 3RD AUGUST 2005:
On 3rd August 2005 one day training was arranged for SHARP, within SHARP office and it was facilitated by the UNHCR staff. After each presentation there would either be a role play or a group activity and further there would be discussions to talk about any improvements in the given scenarios. The training was arranged for polishing the skills of the interpreters and also the other staff members; the lawyers attended this training so as to know their own responsibility and also that of the interpreter’s during an interview.
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT , 5 – 8 SEPTEMBER 2005:
UNHCR had invited its Implementing Partners working in Islamabad, from 5th to 8th September, 2005. The topic of the workshop was ‘Financial Management’, which was facilitated by Ferguson & Co., in Margalla Hotel, Islamabad. SHARP’s higher management attended this workshop; the objective behind this workshop was to enhance capacity of participants in financial management as a pre-requisite for sustainable development of the organizations in taking care of their financial well being as well as incorporating financial control procedures so as to retain transparency.
MANAGERIAL SKILLS FOR NEW SUPERVISORS, 29 – 30 SEPTEMBER 2005:
SHARP staff participated in a 2 day workshop, focusing on the managerial skills involved in the middle management of an organization. The workshop was held from 29th – 30th September in Awari Hotel, by NGO RC, a project of Agha Khan Foundation. The workshop was targeting the middle management, and 16 participants attended this workshop, who were engaged throughout these 2 days in excessive group work. The workshop proved very beneficial towards the participants.
DATA BASE TRAINING:
In the year 2003 a module was needed for the efficient running and documentation of the office record keeping, hence at that time a database system was suggested by SHARP to UNHCR, for ALAC and LA projects. Quiet a large number of Afghans are living in Pakistan, who are being facilitated by SHARP, through two different projects; ALAC and LA. Dealing with such a huge population the need arouse for such a data maintaining system which would assist the teams in maintaining records for speedy and easy access for resolving such cases. SHARP took the initiative and generated such a database system, and it came into operational working in the year 2004. In the primary stages the database was used by the IT personals, but with increase in the work load, the legal staff of the office was also in need of such a system. Hence for the smooth running of the database, numerous trainings were conducted throughout the year in all three ALAC offices by SHARP IT department, so as to educate and well equip the legal staff with the handling of the database.