In Pakistan, the children in prisons are a forgotten population. One day the Child Rights Unit (CRU) of the Dastak Charitable Trust decided to do something that had never been done in any prison in Pakistan: to bring a popular band to play for the children in prison.
Award winning and widely respected human rights defender Ms. Hina Jilani was elected as the new president of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) at the organization’s General Assembly meeting in Geneva in the end of November 2016. OMCT is the leading international umbrella organisation in the fight against torture. In addition to global advocacy work, OMCT works in cooperation with over 300 member organisations to protect human rights defenders and to end all forms of torture, and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the world.
KIOS Foundation warmly congratulates Hina Jilani for the nomination and OMCT for the new president. KIOS Foundation supports the work of AGHS Legal Aid Cell in Pakistan.
In OMCT’s media release, Ms. Jilani stresses that today, more than ever, it is important to make visible commitment to human rights defenders’ work against torture, human rights violations and impunity, since human rights are being increasingly challenged in the name of national security.
Ms. Jilani is known for her dedication to promote peace, human rights and women’s rights both in Pakistan and internationally. She was the first UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders in office between 2000—2008. She is also a member of the Elders group together with the former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari and the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, among others. The Elders are a group of global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela to promote peace and human rights worldwide.
In Pakistan Ms. Jilani co-founded the first organization offering legal aid, AGHS Legal Aid Cell, as well as its predecessor, the first women law firm, AGHS Law Associates. She has been advocate at the Supreme Court of Pakistan since 1992. She also was one of the founders of Women Action Forum and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (NGO).
KIOS has supported the Child Rights Unit (CRU) of the AGHS Legal Aid Cell since 2013. The aim of the programme is to promote the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and to contribute towards the creation of systems and institutions that increase the prospects for effective implementation of laws and sustainable initiatives for child protection in Pakistan.
More information from KIOS expert Kristiina Vainio, kristiina[at]kios.fi