On 30th August 2018, SHARP/ALAC II team organized a very successful one day training workshop for the police officials on the topic of “Human & Refugee Rights in the Light of Relevant Laws and Notifications”, aiming to highlight the current status of Human Rights & Afghan Status in Pakistan.
The participants included senior Police officials from District Gujranwala.
Introduction of sharp by Ms. Imrana Hasham Lawyer ALAc II
Ms. Imrana welcomed the participants with the introduction of Society for Human Rights and Prisoners Aid (SHARP) an Islamabad based non-governmental organization (NGO) established since 1999. She briefly described that SHARP is running various welfare projects for the society and refugees in collaboration with National and International organizations.
An Informative Presentation on Human Rights by Mr. Mudassir Javed Project Director SHARP
Mr. Mudassar gave a detailed description on Human Rights and its violation. He elaborated that the basic concept of rights, i-e the right must be regarded as a claim and not a need, as a claim it has to counter balance of obligation and these two coherent perspectives supplement each other, these two elements cannot be separated from the society.
Presentation ON Refugees rights & unhcr mandate by Mr. Mudassir Javed Project Director SHARP
Mr. Mudassar gave a presentation on the topic of “Refugee Rights International protection and the Legal Status of Afghans in Pakistan “. He elaborated the Mandate of UNHCR/SHARP, definition of Refugees and their rights, International Protection, 1951 Convention, 1967 Protocol, Role of UNHCR in protecting the refugees and Due process of law. He further told the audience that Mandate of UNHCR is to provide international protection to refugees and to seek durable solutions for refugees by assisting Governments to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of refugees or their integration within new national communities.
He highlighted the role played by the Government of Pakistan and people to protect Afghan nationals in Pakistan. He also explained the process of asylum as well as the role and responsibilities of asylum seekers in the country of asylum. He discussed Article A1 (2) of 1951 Convention which defines “who is a refugee” and those elements which defines refugees in detail. He also described the International customary law and threw light on the concept and principle of non- refoulment. He mentioned the responsibilities of a refugee in his / her country of asylum that he should respect laws of the land where he resides.
PESENTATION ON FOREIGNERS ACT 1946 & NOTIFICATION BY Mr. USMAN GHANI REPRESENTATIVE AFGHAN COMMISSIONERATE OFFICE
Mr. Usman described that The Foreigners Act, 1946 is a Pakistani law enacted to grant the certain powers to Pakistani government in matters of foreigner in Pakistan. According to Foreigners Act 1946, every householder or other person shall report to the officer in charge of the nearest police station upon arrival or presence in his household or any other premises occupied by him or under his control of any foreigner, if he knows or has reasons to believe that he is a foreigner. Arrests of Afghans under 14 Foreigners Act is against the spirit of the agreement and could tantamount to breach of the agreement. Such arrests can act as a ‘push factor’ and result in unsustainable return of Afghan national.
Mr. Usman delivered detail presentation on Punjab Temporary Residence Act 2015. He also briefed participants about the methodology, implementation and proceedings of the said Act in the court of law. At the end he answered quires of participants regarding Punjab TRO, 2015.
Address by Chief Guest Mr. Waqar Shoaib Anwar SSP Gujranwala
Mr. Waqar graced the closing session of the workshop as Chief Guest. He diligently observed the entire workshop, appreciated, and congratulated the SHARP for arranging such a wonderful awareness session for the Police officials. He shared his personal experience and briefed that such intellectual programs should be promoted for the progress of the entire society. He said that this is the responsibility of all stakeholders of the society to work together for the betterment and uplift of the vulnerable segments of the country.
AWARD CEREMONY AND CERTIFICATE DISTRIBUTION
Mr. Mudassar Project Manager SHARP Presented a shield as an honour to Mr. Waqar SSP Civil Lines
Police officials were individually invited on stage and handed certificates by Mr. Waqar Shoaib Anwar SSP Civil Lines. Participants collectively expressed their gratitude to SHARP for facilitating them with such an interesting workshop, from which they received valuable knowledge and are up to date with human rights and the situation of refugees in Pakistan and on an International level.