PESHAWAR: The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa together with UNDP Pakistan celebrated International Human Rights Day in Peshawar, under the slogan “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stands for Human Rights and Inclusive Recovery”. Due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, the event was attended by a limited number of people who strictly observed all SOPs.
The objective of the event was to raise public awareness on human rights principles and Pakistan’s national and international commitments of human rights, particularly the rights of marginalized communities including women, people with disabilities, and transgender persons who have faced additional rights-based challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the event Mr. Masood Ahmad, Secretary for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said: “The Provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is taking all possible measures to ensure human rights of its citizens are protected, especially those who are vulnerable and marginalized”. He further said, that “although International Human Rights Day is celebrated on 10th December each year, we in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are taking the opportunity to observe and celebrate human rights progress and International Human Rights Day for the entirety of this week”.
UNDP’s Representative Mr. Ejaz Mustafa congratulated the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on their ongoing commitment to the protection, promotion, and enforcement of human rights, of all those living in the province, while recognizing the emerging rights-based challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He iterated that “UNDP looks forward to continued collaboration with the Department of Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights, including support to strengthening human rights policy implementation at all levels of governance, coordination and collection of human rights data and implementation of the Business and Human Rights National Action Plan.”
Secretary Masood Ahmed and representatives of the Social Welfare Department jointly distributed relief packages to the transgender community whose incomes were affected by the prevailing COVID-19 crisis. In the current situation, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with facilitation from UNDP has taken several steps to ensure the protection and promotion of the rights of vulnerable populations who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic i.e. women, children, transgender persons, and persons with disabilities.