Chairperson Sindh Human Rights Commission visits juvenile, women jails

HYDERABAD   -   The Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) in collaboration with the Sindh Prison and Correctional Services on Tuesday has conducted a two-day ‘Capacity Building Training Workshop for Sindh Prisons officials on Human Rights Education. Chairperson of the SHRC Iqbal Ahmed Detho while addressing the training session said the comprehensive training covered various international, national and provincial legal frameworks, aimed at enhancing participants’ understanding. He said the overarching goal was to enhance knowledge and awareness of prisons officials to contribute to a just legal system which focused on human dignity, rehabilitation and reformation of prisoners. He enlightened the participants about the national and international human rights principles especially those focusing on uploading the right to dignity provided under Article 14 of Pakistan’s Constitution.

The Chairperson also shed light on the Sindh Protection of Human Rights Act, 2011, and the 2022 Amendment and the UN Minimum Standards on Treatment of Prisoners, encompassing Mandela Rules (for Adult Prisons). Detho spoke about the Sindh Prisons and Corrections Services Act and Rules 2019 as well. SHRC a legal adviser Barrister Rida Tahir enlightened participants about the rights of women and children in the prisons. She highlighted the rights of pregnant women and young mothers in prisons.

She elaborated the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, often referred to as the Beijing Rules, a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly regarding the treatment of juvenile prisoners and offenders.

Rida Tahir spoke about how the Juvenile Justice System Act, 2018, protected the rights of female child offenders while explaining the role of Remand Homes as reformative mechanism under the Sindh Children Act, 1955, and the Sindh Remand Home Rules, 2011.

The training institute’s Principal SSP Ashfaq Kalwar acknowledged the usefulness of the training workshops for the professional development and career advancement of prison personnel. He said understanding of human rights principles and legal frameworks could help the prison staff to protect human dignity and contribute to the rehabilitation and reformation of prisoners.

Deputy Commissioner of Hyderabad Tariq Hussain Qureshi underscored the importance of viewing inmates as individuals who deserved to be dignified and respected, regardless of their past actions. He observed that prisons should be considered as a last resort for any inmate to undergo correction and rehabilitation. The workshop which concluded at Sindh Prisons Staff Training Institute, Hyderabad, was attended by 140 prisons officials including 30 female wardens.

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