Oxfam hosts Referral Directory launching ceremony

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KARACHI: A launching ceremony of Referral Directory was organized by Oxfam in Pakistan in collaboration with SAFWCO, here at a local hotel. The ceremony convened senior officials of provincial Government, academia, lawyers, and justice providers to launch a directory on referral mechanisms in Sindh province, says a Press release.
Oxfam in Pakistan is implementing its project, “Improved Access to Fair, Legitimate and Effective Justice in Pakistan”, with SAFWCO (Sindh Agriculture & Forestry Workers Coordinating Organization) in Hyderabad, Sanghar and Hyderabad districts. The project focuses on citizen’s legal empowerment and strengthens confidence-building measures between citizens and formal justice institutions.
Suliman G. Abrogreeted the participants in her welcome note. He applauded Oxfam’s contribution in improving citizen’s access to justice through improving confidence and trust between citizens and justice providers.
Addressing the conference, Ghulam Mustafa Sangrasi PC ARC project the importance of rule of law and inclusion of women and marginalised groups in the justice system, who are often ignored in their pursuit of justice.
Musrat Nasreen Director Social Welfare Department Sindh in her speech lauded the efforts of the ARC team in shape of Referral Directory that encompasses the process of complaint mechanism along with addresses and the contact numbers. She praised the contribution of the OXFAM and SAFWCO in giving opportunity to the victimized communities for approaching the right forums of the justice under state regulations to stand for the right to justice.
Advocate Javeed Qazi added “Usually applicants have less knowledge about the proper forums of justice; this Referral Directory is very helpful for the communities of rural areas to approach the institutions and resolve their issues from relevant forums. Hence this is an important tool for victims to seek justice.”
Justice Aslam Sheikh Judicial Member of Sindh Human Rights Commission while highlighting the importance of the directory, he appreciated it as very authentic document for public to approach to the right forums for the redressal of their issues. He added that “The Commission’s platform is always available for further collaboration and coordination among stakeholders”.
He said that details of mechanisms defined in directory are very useful for the complainants to approach right forums and get issue resolved from the competent forum. He said that SHRC is proper authentic forum who recommends various amendments and bills for policy legislations. He invited SAFWCO and OXFAM to utilize this opportunity to proceed in drafting and tabling of legislations in Sindh assembly.
Shahila Qureshi SSP Central Karachi said that the police in recent years have taken several initiatives to ensure access to police services to marginalised sections. Women complaint cells has been established at the DIG level and human rights cell and complaint cells are also working at SSP offices across the province. “The printed Referral directory is very useful document for communities to reach out to the proper forums and register as well as resolve their complaints.”
For Witness protection videos are being recorded and presented in court for adjudication. On line recording of witness are being introduced to save their time and energy of the individual and contribute in providing justice.
Jami Chandio, a social expert and researcher presented policy asks developed under ARC Project with regards to ensure justice of citizens especially women and marginalized groups and key recommendation on Legal Review of Laws in Sindh 2021-22. He highlighted lacunas in Hindu Marriage Act, home base workers as well as implementation gaps in family laws that are a big challenge at gross root level.
Others who spoke at the ceremony included Altaf Nizamani ED SAFWCO and Advocate Ali Plah and representatives of police WDD departments from Hyderabad and Sanghar. – TNL