Articles

Articles on issues faced by NGOs or issues on which NGOs are working would be placed in this category.


Of culture and development

Zishan Ahmad Siddiqi Culture is chiefly described as the way of life a society or a group of particular people espouse. Culture is also referred as a communal life style stemming from particular customs and traditions and that are manifested in varying forms of art. Culture hence manifests a society’s appreciation of ideas and intellectual achievements that help embellish collective behavior. Culture, in nutshell covers a broad range of societal characteristics and forms of art. Development is often termed as consequent state of social change. It brings together elements of growth and expansion of a society becoming socially and economically […]


Child, early and forced marriages

Wajahat Ali Malik Child marriage and early marriage mostly refer to a marriage in which one or both spouses are under 18 years of age. However, early marriage is sometimes used to describe a marriage where one or both spouses are 18 or older, but are without free and full consent. For example, the marriage of a 19-year-old who is not physically or emotionally mature, or unable to make decisions, would be considered an early marriage. Whereas in forced marriages, one or both spouses are unable to give full, free and informed consent about marriage, regardless of their age. Forced […]


Children on the streets

Zishan Ahmad Siddiqi Who are the children we see living on the streets? The destitute families that cannot afford to send their children to schools find it more attractive put these children to work. Most of them collect trash or go begging on the fringes. Many children are employed exclusively in the begging stream. Needless to say the children on the streets remain highly vulnerable to abuse and denial of basic rights consequently. The type of work/employment these ill-fated children on the streets have to perform are the worst forms of child labour. Studies conducted to decipher the challenges of […]


Violence against girls impacts our collective future

Benazir Jatoi The devastating consequences of extreme violence against girls has been very recently brought into sharp focus following the rape of a 4-year-old girl in Sindh’s Kashmore, and the not so long ago tragic sexual violence against, and murder of young girls in Kasur. Last week, another 7-year-old girl was struggling for her life after being raped in Lahore. These tragic, unacceptable incidents from Kasur to Kashmore– and everywhere in between– should concentrate minds as to how grave the problem of violence against girls is in this country.  According to Sahil, a national children’s rights NGO, between January to […]


The Transgender Community, Legal Framework, and Implementation Challenges

This write up was provided by Blue Veins The rights of transgender people have been neglected long in Pakistan. It is only now, through the efforts of Pakistani transgender community and support civil society, that the issues concerning the transgender community in Pakistan have gained attention of the policymakers and duty bearers, which has resulted in some improvement in the policies and legal framework around transgender rights. There have been multiple efforts in Pakistan to guarantee the provision of fundamental rights to the transgender community. To the most extent, both the Supreme Court and the Parliament have focused on granting […]


Eliminating the Worst Forms of Child Labour

Zishan Ahmad Siddiqi The International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s Convention No 182, aiming at the elimination of the worst forms of child labour, received universal ratification this summer. All 187 member states of the ILO ratified and have thereupon pledged to provide legal protection against the worst forms of child labour. This convention is not only the first convention, which had been ratified universally but also a convention that has been ratified most rapidly, since its adoption in 1999. ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, stated on this historic occasion, “universal ratification of Convention 182 is a historic first. It reflects a global […]


Anti-rape legislation – some recommendations

Wajahat Ali Malik To curtail the number of rape incidents in the country, the federal cabinet has recently approved two anti-rape ordinances: the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Ordinance 2020; and the Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Ordinance 2020. The new legislation will change the basic definition of rape as provided in Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) 1860 and shall award exemplary punishments to rapists in the form of chemical castration and hanging. It also provides protection to victims of gang-rape and to transgender rape victims. The proposed law further prohibits the controversial “two-finger” test. The cabinet committee on Disposal of Legislative Cases […]


Government, Sanitary Workers, and Third Party Vendors

by Zishan Ahmad Siddiqui he plight of Pakistan’s sanitation workers is not a case that is given much space in our otherwise profoundly vibrant political and societal discourse. Only a few of the horrific accidents the sanitation workers meet while fixing our sewers etc get reported. The number of accidents and consequent loss of life is disproportionately large. Reports produced by some international organisations in collaboration with local partners point to the hazards the sanitation workers face routinely. Recent studies carried out across South Asia region, including Pakistan, have brought to life some shocking facts about the morbidity of their […]


Spotlight on Pakistan amid re-election to UN Human Rights Council

Lahore, Islamabad, October 14, 2020: Pakistan’s re-election into the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday has put the country’s commitment to promoting and protecting human rights under the spotlight for the next three years. Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) and Group Development Pakistan (GDP) congratulate Pakistan for winning a seat with an overwhelming majority, securing 163 votes in the 193-member UN General Assembly. This is an opportunity for the country to reflect on its human rights record, protect the rights of women, children, religious minorities, and other vulnerable and excluded […]


A Success for Transgender Community in Pakistan

Safeer Ullah Khan Transgender community faces multiple challenges in Pakistan. It is only recently that they have been recognized as a separate gender by the State of Pakistan, and allowed to register themselves as citizens. ‘Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018 was another significant achievement in the legal sphere. Though these are no mean achievements, the discrimination against transgender community is too deep rooted in the society to go with mere enactment of a law. Our recent history is choked with horrid cases of gender discrimination. Transgender persons were attacked, many got killed or tortured, and a few could […]


Criminal Responsibility and Pakistani Laws

Wajahat Ali Malik The term criminal responsibility refers to a person’s ability to understand his or her conduct at the time a crime is committed. In other words, what a person is thinking when he commits a crime, or what result is anticipated or expected when a crime is committed. Laws define crimes in terms of an act or omission (actus reas) and a mental state (mens reas), so criminal responsibility relates to the mental state element of a crime. In order to be convicted of a particular crime, there must be proof that the person engaged in the alleged […]


The Juvenile Justice System Act 2018 – An Overview

by Wajahat Ali Malik On May 18 2018, the President of Pakistan approved the Juvenile Justice System Act (JJSA) 2018, which was passed by the Parliament earlier this year. JJSA 2018 overcomes the shortcomings which were present in Juvenile Justice System Ordinance 2000, and provides a much better system for criminal justice and social reintegration for juvenile offenders. The Act defines a child according to the definition of UNCRC as ‘a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years’. JS Act 2018 classifies the criminal offences into following three different categories: 1) Minor, which means an offence for which maximum […]


World Population Day and Pakistan

by Ali Hashaam Asif Peace and Justice Network Overpopulation is a global crisis and Pakistan is slated among the most overpopulated countries. It is the sixth most populous country in the world. The rate of population increase is 1.2 per cent a year, which means the population would double in 58 years. Unchecked population growth in Pakistan is one of the serious challenges that the country faces today. A rapidly growing population creates economic and social problems related to housing, education, health, transport, water and power. The very high rate of population growth lowers the per capita income, which causes […]


You cannot love and respect your mother and abuse others’!

By Taneem Ahmar Having long contained within me the anger and rage, I feel unable to do so anymore. I can’t help but be vocal and express myself in no uncertain terms. I wish to yell and shout that I am not going to tolerate or be a passive sufferer when men use swear words, specially the ‘maa-behan’ ki gaalian (swear words invloving ‘mother-sister’). This goes for all men. But even more for some men I know – family, friends and colleagues, who unashamedly use their foul mouths. What to talk of embarrassment, they seem to take some warped pride […]


What is Community of Practice?

Safeer Ullah Khan Development Professional A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a craft or a profession. The concept was first proposed by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger in their book Situated Learning (Lave & Wenger 1991). A CoP can evolve naturally because of the members’ common interest in a particular domain or area, or some practitioners may create one deliberately with the goal of gaining knowledge related to a specific field. CoPs can exist in physical settings, for example, a lunchroom at work, a community space (chaupal or hujra), or a common room at an office. However, it may not necessarily […]


Attitudinal, environmental barriers hinder transgender people, women & PWDs from observing general elections 2018

Preliminary Findings of Experiential Study by Coalition for Inclusive Pakistan (CIP) ISLAMABAD, September 25, 2018: Despite progressive legislative and policy measures to facilitate participation of transgender people, women and persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the electoral processes, these individuals faced attitudinal and environmental barriers in the exercise of their right to vote and to observe elections on an equal basis with others during General Elections 2018. Preliminary findings of experiential study conducted by the Coalition for Inclusive Pakistan, (CIP) suggest that voters with disabilities and disabled election observers largely found polling stations inaccessible but the attitudes of police, security staff […]


Writing a Professional Email

by Safeer Ullah Khan, and Ashley Barr Writing a professional email is considered a very simple task, and we often believe that there is no need to get any lessons for this basic business requirement. However, we have all received emails that do not make any sense or have missed some of the most important information. These issues are especially problematic when sending emails to donors or important partners. Below are some guidelines for writing a proper professional email. Be Clear about Your Purpose: You need to be very clear what you want to achieve through the email you are […]


Pakistan’s Elections Act 2017: What You Need To Know

Hassan Nasir Mirbahar and Alexander Simm Pakistan’s new election law has caused political uproar since its passage in early October 2017. Major opposition parties have appealed against the Elections Act 2017, with petitions to nullify the law lodged in the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the religious party Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah staged protests against the new election legislation. Escalating in late November, the protests left several people dead and hundreds more injured and ended only with the resignation of Law and Justice Minister Zahid Hamid. As these events have unfolded, the Elections Act has unsurprisingly come in for criticism and attracted […]


Women and Care-giving in Pakistan

By Safeer Ullah Khan Culture plays a very important role in setting gender norms, and unfortunately, culture is heavily tilted against women. As the division of labor is very clear – man is supposed to earn, and woman is supposed to take care of the house. Man earns, so he has the control over finances. Woman takes up the role of the care giver, which is inherently unpaid job, so woman remains dependent on man (on father in her early life, on husband in her middle life, and on son in her later life). In rural areas, she has added […]


What is wrong with KP Domestic Violence Bill, 2016

by Safeer Ullah Khan with inputs from Benazir Jatoi and Valerie Khan   Bad laws are more dangerous than no law at all Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the only province that does not have a law that deals with domestic violence. Though a bill was prepared a year ago, but the coalition of right wing parties that rule the province unnecessarily sent this bill for review by Council of Islamic Ideology (CII). I say ‘unnecessarily’ because provincial assemblies are not legally/constitutionally bound to get CII’s opinion on any bill. It is interesting to note that in the four years of the […]