SHARP-PAKISTAN regularly organizes sensitization and awareness raising trainings workshops for Judiciary, Law enforcement agencies (Police and FIA officials), Public Prosecutors, Lawyers, CSOs, Media and law students on diverse topics; through this initiative SHARP-Pakistan has capacitated over “Ten Thousand” officials on human and refugee rights, human trafficking and smuggling in context of national and international laws, conventions and commitments.
The purpose of these trainings is to equip officials with diverse knowledge and skills and make the conscientious for ensuring rights to individuals and build peaceful society in which they live happy and dignified life.
In order to sensitize Police officials, on 14th March-2019, ALAC Islamabad, organized a one day training on “Human and refugee rights in Pakistan”.
Registration of the Participants
Registration desk was arranged by ALAC 1 and all the participants registered their names, as they entered in hall.
Opening session of Training
Mr. Irfan Afridi opened the training workshop by welcoming all the attendees, speakers and guests; he briefly discussed the agenda points and thanked all participants for their valuable presence in the training workshop.
Recitation of the Holy Quran
Mr. Naveed, one of the participants, recited verses from the Holy Quran.
Norms setting and introduction of SHARP
Mr. Taufeeq Ahmed (Team Lead) thanked all the participants for sparing time for this training. Before giving brief introduction about SHARP; he talked about norms settings of training. After that, he gave a detailed overview about the core functions of SHARP.
He mentioned that Society for human rights and prisoners’ Aid is an Implementing partner of UNHCR and is a non–government and non-profit organization, working for refugees in different parts of Pakistan, through designated offices in Karachi, Lahore, Mianwali, KPK and Head office in Islamabad. SHARP is providing free legal Aid, advice, and assistance to Afghan, non-Afghans Refugees and Asylum seekers in Pakistan, under UNHCR mandate.
Mr. Taufeeq Ahmed also highlighted the operational strategies of the organization and shared that through Al-Qanoon magazine; SHARP is reaching out to all the stakeholders and communities and creating the momentum for promoting and protecting of rights of all segments of the society. SHARP is an implementing partner of UNHCR since last 19 years and has been providing legal assistance to prisoners including juvenile delinquents, gender based violence victims, refugees and Asylum seekers in Pakistan since 1999; Mr. Taufeeq Ahmed also discussed the ongoing projects of SHARP with various partners in his presentation.
Session on “Human Rights” by Mr. Mudassar Javed
Mr. Mudassar Javed highlighted the objectives of the session, as to develop a clear understanding among the society on the concept of human rights, our rights and duties being a rights holder and duty bearer towards other humans.
He concisely discussed the human history and historical events for evaluation of struggle for human rights as well.
Presentation on “Refugee Rights” by Ms. Ghazala Mirza
Ms. Ghazala Mirza introduced United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its mandate in Pakistan. She explained the word “Refugee” under Article 1 (A) of 1951, Refugee Convention and emphasized that there is need to understand the existing laws of Pakistan relating to the status of refugees as their rights and obligations are being mentioned in 1951’s Geneva convention and 1967’s protocol on the status of refugees; together are the most comprehensive instruments which have been adopted to date on a universal level to safeguard the fundamental rights of refugees and to regulate their status in countries of asylum; same as the articles of the 1973’s constitution also protects the fundamental rights of every person. International Refugee Law, International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law and National Laws provide the legal frame work to protect the refugees; so far as the Pakistan is concerned there is no legal framework to deal with refugees, ad-hoc administrative arrangements and Foreigners Act, 1946 regulates the entry, stay and departures of foreigners in Pakistan.
She further cited that mandate of UNHCR is to provide protection to refugees and find out durable solution to their problems.
Ms. Ghazala Mirza well explained the “Principle of Non- Refoulment” U/A 33 of 1951 Refugee Convention (Non-refoulement is a fundamental principle of international law that forbids a country receiving asylum seekers from returning them to a country in which they would be in likely danger of persecution based on “race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion”) and briefed that registered Afghans can stay in Pakistan till 30th June, 2019.
She also explained the procedure of verification of card by sending card number to “7000”. All the participants had shown intense interest during his session, the information shared by him was really constructive for them.
Closing Remarks by DPO Attock
Mr. Syed Shahzad Nadeem Bukhari (DPO), thanked SHARP and UNHCR team for arranging triumphant training workshop for police officials and had provided an opportunity to groom their abilities and knowledge; as professional commitment and public interaction are key elements of this profession.
He quoted the instance of Islamic brotherhood and migration; similarly refugees living in Pakistan are already suffering a lot so being state department your responsibilities are more than any other department as police department has direct interaction with refugees, so try to minimize their sufferings by facilitating them within the law. The training will be benefited for all the participants and will bring advantage to you in life ahead. He took pledge from all attendees to serve humanity at their best without any discrimination and acumen. He advised the attendees to deal refugees with dignity and honor because refugees are also human beings, whoever visits you at your duty station greets him / her with warmth as to be in uniform our responsibility increases more towards our country. This kind gesture will be the beginning of building a facsimile and friendly image of the police department.
Mr. Mudassar Javed, put forth appreciation and gives thanks to Mr. Syed Shahzad Nadeem Bukhari (DPO Attock), DSP Legal, Mr. Azhar Shabbir Khan Deputy, all the participants and supporting staff to grace the occasion with their immense presence. He acknowledged the sacrifices of police while performing their duties; although police department is deprived by the authorities in many aspects yet their performance is remarkable.
Distribution of Certificates and souvenirs
On the closing of training workshop, Mr. Syed Shahzad Nadeem Bukhari (DPO Attock), DSP Legal Mr. Azhar Shabbir Khan, Mr. Mudassar Javed and Ms. Ghazala distributed the credentials / certificates among the attendees; Mr. Mudassar Javed also presented souvenirs to the Chief Guest, Syed Shahzad Nadeem Bukhari and guest of honor, DSP Legal Mr. Azhar Shabbir Khan.