G.Promoting Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in District Mardan


  1. Donor Agency: Taiwan Foundation For Democracy
    Duration: Five Months (August 2011-December 2011)
    Location/Area: District Mardan, KPK


    Brief Summary of the Project:

    Ever since it came into existence in 1947 as an Islamic republic, Pakistan has been ruled either by military dictatorship or the civil bureaucracy most of the time and they used power instruments at their disposal to subvert the fundamental rights offered by its constitution to the state citizens resulting in weak democratic institutions. The problems arising from restriction of fundamental human rights, political activism and freedom of speech are further amplified in the remote districts of the country especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province due to low literacy level and low access to information. The proposed initiative besides raising awareness among general public on human rights would create an enabling environment for district government officials and civil society entities to work together for improved responsiveness of the public service institutions, and would contribute to improve the credibility of the local government with the people. Increased understanding of fundamental human rights among different target groups is anticipated to promote tolerance, social justice and respect for the rule of law at grassroots level. As mentioned earlier, the project area is a very conservative and under-served district of KPK with very low literacy rates, its effective implementation would play a critical role in bringing about lasting changes in the attitudes and behaviours of the target groups and set up a participatory model for scaling up or replication elsewhere.
    The total requested budget from TFD will be $ 29,519 (77%) and the partner organization (HDPG) will contribute $ 9,054 (23%) in the total project budget

    Project Objectives:

    Specific Objective:

    To improve the general human rights situation in remote and conservative district of Pakistan with particular focus on the increased awareness on fundamental human rights, freedom of expression and access to information.
    Like in most of the third world countries, human rights and fundamental freedoms have never been a priority for the decision makers in Pakistan. Owing to the compliance issues and obligations regarding various international conventions and treaties, human rights laws and policies were enacted in Pakistan but without a demonstrated political will which is evident from the poor implementation of such laws and policies. Constitution of the country guarantees fundamental human rights to all its citizens, and provides protection against discrimination and coercion but ground realities, particularly in far flung and marginalised areas are altogether different. The proposed specific objective supported by awareness raising, alliance building, advocacy and capacity building interventions for a range of stakeholders is expected to make substantial contribution to improve the human rights situation and to empower communities in the targeted district in securing fundamental freedoms and political rights.

    Project Activities:

    The project activities can be broadly grouped into three broader categories namely I) Start up, II) Main implementation and III) the Close up activities. These are briefly explained as under:

    I) Start Up Activities:

    The startup activities of the project will include requisite recruitment of the staff and their orientation, designing of detailed management arrangements for the partnership. Project launching workshop will be organised to orientate the stakeholders on project aims and objectives and to mobilise their support for the project.

    II) Main Implementation:

    Result 1: Enhance awareness on human rights, freedom of expression and access to information among the target groups

    The startup activities of the project will include requisite recruitment of the staff and their orientation, designing of detailed management arrangements for the partnership. Project launching workshop will be organised to orientate the stakeholders on project aims and objectives and to mobilise their support for the project.

    1.1 Community Awareness and Advocacy: This activity will be consisting of the following three main parts;
    1.1.1. Community dialogues-3, Seminars-3, Folk music-1 and Rallies-1.
    1.1.2. Awareness raising events for 4800 students of high schools and colleges on fundamental human rights issues
    1.1.3 3,050 Copies of Information Education & Communication (IEC) & Behavior Change Communication (BCC) materials developed

    Result 2: Improved capacity of the civil society organizations to deal with human rights issues and eliminate human rights violations in their respective areas

    The startup activities of the project will include requisite recruitment of the staff and their orientation, designing of detailed management arrangements for the partnership. Project launching workshop will be organised to orientate the stakeholders on project aims and objectives and to mobilise their support for the project.

    2.1 60 lawyers trained on fundamental human rights, freedom of expression and access to information
    2.2 60 Representatives of Media trained in monitoring of human rights situation, reporting of human rights violations and effective follow up
    2.3. 2-Human Rights Forums (HRF) with 50 members established
    2.4 50 members of HRF trained to monitor human rights situation and to support victims of human rights abuses


    BENEFICIARIES OF THE PROJECT:

    The following is the detail of project beneficiaries:

    Around 1,460,00 men and women sensitized on human rights issues, and educated on access to information and freedom of expression through community based events
    4,800 students of high schools and colleges have enhanced understanding of fundamental human rights.
    60 media persons trained on human rights, freedom of expression, access to information and how to report human rights violations and effective follow up
    60 lawyers trained on human rights, and freedom of expression and access to information
    50 Human Rights Forum members trained on human rights, freedom of expression, access to information and how to monitor human rights situation and support victims of HR abuses.;