Participatory Course on Democracy and Human Rights (2nd Module)

January 1-9, 2011


Introduction

The Second module of CHRE’s “Participatory Course on Democracy and Human Rights (PCDHR)” was held on January 1-9, 2011 at Loyola Hall Lahore-Pakistan with the support of National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

17 trainees from Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provinces participated while 4 staff members of the Centre for Human Rights Education also joined as trainees.

PCDHR is a three week course and is the foundation of CHRE programming. PCDHR puts a strong emphasis on transfer of learning and on follow-up activities and participants are required to develop an individual plan to ensure that learnings are put into practice.

Centre for Human Rights Education is a non-profit, non-governmental organization working to strengthen the human rights culture through educational programs and advocacy initiatives.

CHRE supports human rights learning, training of human rights defenders, civil society groups, government institutions, the development of educational materials and advocacy initiatives to advocate and advance the protection and promotion of human rights.

Objectives

  • provide information and conceptual clarity on human rights and democracy
  • encourage the development of skills, and the formulation and application of policies, necessary to transform that information into practical professional behavior
  • sensitize participants to their particular role in protecting and promoting democracy and human rights
  • build partnerships and networking among the participants and their organizations
  • plan and strategize for putting the participants learnings into practice through research and advocacy initiatives

Steps of the PCDHR:

  • First Module of the Course (held on August 21- 29, 2010)
  • Implementation of the Individual Plans- September-December 2010 (PCDHR puts a strong emphasis on transfer of learning and on follow-up activities and therefore all the trainees had developed an individual plan and organized variety of activities to ensure that learnings are put into practice.)
  • Second Module of the Course (held on January 1-9, 2011). At the completion of this module the trainees were awarded the certificates and were called CHRE Alumni.
  • Implementation of the Individual Plans- February-April 2011 (CHRE shall provide small grants to its Alumni to puts a strong emphasis on transfer of learning and on follow-up activities and therefore all the Alumni had developed an individual plan.)

Contents of PCDHR

 Human Rights in Pakistani Society (Panel Discussion)

- Women’s Rights
- Labor Rights
- Rights of Religious Minorities

Assessment of Human Rights Situation (Exposure Visits)

- Corporation Workers
- Sabzi Mandi (Vegetable Market) 
- Transvestites representatives 

Demonstration to Say YES to Human Rights

Human Rights concepts

Human Rights Standards and Mechanism

UN Human Rights System

International Human Rights Instruments & the Status of Pakistan

Structure of the State

Roles and Responsibilities of the State Institutions

Examine the functioning of Parliament (Exposure Visit of Punjab Assembly) 

What is Democratic Culture?

Applying democracy in our lifestyle

Open Forum on “Democratic Culture in Pakistan: Challenges and Solutions” participated by the representatives of following political parties:

- Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)
- Pakistan Muslim League (N)
- Pakistan Muslim League (Q)
- Mutehida Qaumi Movement (MQM)
- Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)

What is Advocacy?

- Advocacy Framework for Human Rights

Monitoring and Evaluation 

Effective use of information technology for advocacy and awareness on human rights

Report writing

- Different ways to document HR violations

Proposal Writing

- Proposal writing with a RBA and difference between project and program
- Clarity of key terms (methodology and activity, objective, purpose and goal)

Promoting Human Rights through Performing Art

Participants Individual Plan

Facilitators

  • Mr. Samson Salamat, Director- Centre for Human Rights Education
  • Professor Hafeez Kumbher, Professor of English Literature, History & Philosophy at Government Muslim Degree Science College- Hyderabad
  • Ms. Uzma Zarin, Project Coordinator, Oxfam GB-Islamabad
  • Mr. Abdul Hameed Gondal, Project Coordinator, South Asia Partnership-Lahore
  • Mr. Iftikhar Hassan,  Research Officer-Centre for Human Rights Education

Resource Persons

  • Ms. Shazia Shaheen, Project Coordinator- Simorgh
  • Ms. Saeeda Diep, Chairperson- Institute for Peace and Secular Studies
  • Ms. Bushra Khaliq, General Secretary- Working Women  Helpline
  • Mr. Mobin-u-Din Qazi, Zonal Incharge- Mutehida Qaumi Movement (MQM)
  • Ms. Mehnaz Rafi, Vice President- Pakistan Muslim League (Q)
  • Mr. Ashique Diyaal, Additional Secretary- Pakistan Muslim League (Q)
  • Mr. Muhammad Iqbal, Ex-Nazim- Pakistan People’s Party
  • Ms. Ayesha Javed, Member Provincial Assembly- Pakistan Muslim League (N)
  • Ms. Shamsa Ali, General Secretary (Women Wing)-  Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf

Key Events during PCDHR (2nd Module) 

The contents of the Participatory Course on Democracy and Human Rights involve variety of activities other than the outdoor sessions to ensure that the trainees assess themselves which they learn theoretically during the sessions and also interact with the different audiences and communities. Following events were held during the 2nd Module of PCDHR:

Launching of a decade for democracy

Centre for Human Rights Education- Pakistan and its member organization dedicated the 2nd decade (2011-2020) of 21st Century for the promotion of democracy in Pakistan based on its basic principles of democracy equality, non-discrimination, rule of law, free and fair electoral system and process and respect and tolerance for religious, cultural and ethnic diversity.

A ceremony in this regard was held on January 1, 2011, the first day of the new decade CHRE and its member organizations presented a Charter of Demand “A Road Map to Democratic Development in Pakistan” for the promotion of democracy in Pakistan and pledge to continue their efforts for democratizing the Pakistani state and the society. 

The forum was participants by a large number of the members of the local civil society including human rights defenders, political activists, journalists, teachers, students and CHRE Alumni from different cities of Pakistan.

Peace Rally

Centre for Human Rights Education and Alumni participated in a Peace Really on January 1, 2011 organized by the AMAN ITTEHAD (Committee of NGOs working for the Promotion of Peace). The rally started from High Court Lahore and ended at Punjab Assembly. The participants chanted the slogans in favor of Peace and denounced religious extremism.

Ms. Asma Jehangir (President Supreme Court Bar Association), Mr. Irfan Mufti (Deputy Director SAP- PK), and Ms. Bushra Khaliq (General Secretary, Working Women Helpline) addressed the participants of the rally.

Exposure visits to assess the situation of human rights

The participants of PCDHR made exposure visits to assess human right situations in Pakistan and understand the functioning of different state institutions on January 3rd and 6th, 2011.

Following were visited:

  • Sanitary Workers
  • Labourers working in the fruit and vegetable Market
  • Transvestites  representatives 
  • Punjab Assembly

Demonstration “Say YES to Human Rights”

Centre for Human Rights Education - Pakistan along with its Alumni and like- minded organizations held a demonstration “Say Yes to Human Rights” in front of Lahore Press Club on January 3rd, 2011 to enhance the realization of a human rights friendly Pakistan.

Human Rights Defenders (CHRE Alumni) from different cities of Punjab, Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa expressed their concerns over the deteriorating situation of human rights and demanded that the government should take concrete actions for the protection and promotion of human rights to ensure that the citizens should be treated equal without any discrimination and religious, ethnicity or cultural diversity should be respected. They further demanded that the changes should be brought in the constitution, statutory laws and policies where ever necessary to make them human rights friendly.

Open Forum “Democratic Culture in Pakistan: challenges and solutions”
Center for Human Rights Education organized an Open Forum on “Democratic Culture in Pakistan; Challenges and Solutions” during the 2nd Module of Participatory Course on Democracy and Human Rights held in Lahore on January 1-9, 2010. The forum was participated by CHRE Alumni from different cities and members of local civil society.

This forum meant to bring together the representatives of Pakistan’s political parties before the public and present their party position on the subject.

Professor Hafeez Kumbher opened the discussion on behalf of the Centre for Human Rights Education while representatives of the political parties presented their party position on the subject. The speakers included Mr. Mobin-u-Din Qazi, Zonal Incharge, Mutehida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Ms. Mehnaz Rafi, Vice President, Pakistan Muslim League (Q), Mr. Ashiq Diyaal, Additional Secretary, Pakistan Muslim League (Q), Mr. Muhammad Iqbal, Ex-Nazim- Pakistan People’s Party, Ms. Ayesha Javed, Member Provincial Assembly- Pakistan Muslim League (N) and Ms. Shamsa Ali, General Secretary of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Women Wing) 

The trainees of the PCDHR and other participants of the forum asked different questions to the speakers related to democracy and presented their recommendations for a democratic Pakistan. Mr. Samson Salamat presented a charter of demand “A Road Map to Democratic Development in Pakistan” which was unanimously endorsed by the speakers and the participants.

Protest against the assassination of Mr. Salman Taseer (Governor Punjab)

CHRE along with its Alumni and other likeminded organizations participated in a vigil in front of Governor House Lahore on January 7, 2011 against the assassination of Mr. Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab on the charges of Blasphemy.

Participants chanted slogans against the religiously motivated violence, especially the assassination of Mr. Salman Taseer, just because he had denounced the fake blasphemy charges against a Christian Woman Assia Bibi who was awarded death sentence. 

Certificate Distribution Ceremony

At the end of the course, the certificate distribution ceremony was held and certificates were awarded to the participants by the Mr. Wilson Lee-Program Officer of National Endowment for Democracy and Mr. Samson Salamat –Director of CHRE. Mr. Lee felicitated the Alumni and CHRE at the successful complementation of the Participatory Course on Democracy and Human Rights.

Alumni Comments

Ms. Muqadas Abroo, Program Officer, Women Social Organizer-Muzafargarh

For me this course is very productive because before it I was shy, dependent and felt hesitation to communicate. But during PCDHR (1st Module) I gained my confidence which I practiced in the implementation of my individual plan and organized different activities on human rights and democracy independently that also facilitated herself. So now at the moment I am different Muqadas Abroo.

Ms. Ambreen Fatima, Volunteer-Sargodha

The course in terms of contents and its participatory methodology was very fruitful. The course helped me to apply democratic culture in my life and family because I am elder in my brothers and sisters so due to that I behaved them as a dictator but even when I allowed them that they go to market for shopping independently, they were quite happy and I felt a inner satisfaction. 

Mr. Sarwan Kumar, President, ADRASH, Mirpur Khas  

Since my career I attended many training workshops, but this course is really amazing in every aspects. Before PCDHR I was not computer literate and was dependant on others but with the support and encouragement of CHRE now I can operate computer as well as I can check my E-mails and also respond them now I have also my account on face book. Moreover I learnt a lot about human rights and democracy but especially I enjoyed my experience of the implementation of individual plan because this is something new for me.

Mr. Umar Farooq, Project Coordinator, SAHARA, Haripur Hazara

I have attended the training “Participatory course on Democracy & Human Rights” which was conducted by Centre for Human Rights Education Lahore.

As we all know that what the situation of our country is and how much critical situation for human rights activists to work in such conditions. There is too much short strength of human rights activists which are working for promotion and protection of human rights in the Pakistani society. There are no proper institutions available to educate the society about human rights. I am also working with a human rights organization and we are working for human rights in our area. I was feeling difficulties while I was working in the field because I was having some confusions and miss understanding regarding right based approaches and human rights concepts. But now at the day I am feeling myself much confident and now I can talk about the human rights and defend the human rights concepts without any hesitation. I once again want to thank the CHRE for providing me the chance to participate in the training. I also request CHRE for continuity of such kind of trainings in future.