HRCP group begins work to highlight threats based on belief

Lahore, June 15, 2010: A working group established by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has formally started working to highlight the challenges and discrimination faced by the communities across the country on account of their belief.

The HRCP Working Group on Rights of Communities Vulnerable Because of their Belief, which was launched last week, comprises members of Christian, Hindu, Bahai, Ahmedi, Zoroastrian, Sikh and Muslim communities.
The group has decided to give priority to initiatives to highlight human rights violations and concerns; analysis of discriminatory laws and practices and recommending appropriate changes; and scrutiny of circumstances that allow advocacy of hatred based on religious beliefs, which constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.

Over the next few months, the group plans to engage in a constructive dialogue with the civil society and policy makers to lobby for change, as well as enhance capacity of members of vulnerable communities. The group is expected to release its first report by the end of the year.

The group has been set up in response to growing vulnerability of members of these communities over the last several years as extremists and militants have increasingly resorted to violence and incitement to violence to target them.

by: I. A. Rehman Secretary – General