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Remarks by Pakistan during the Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and Special Rapporteur on right to education
(35th Session of HRC)
6th June 2017
Pakistan aligns itself with the statement of OIC. We appreciate the comprehensive reports of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and Special Rapporteur on the right to education.
We strongly supports the right to education and believes that education is the only tool that can ensure human dignity, promotion and protection of human rights ,and viable and inclusive socio-economic development. Article 25-A of our Constitution makes it legally binding on the Government to provide free and compulsory education to children as a matter of their fundamental right. We believe that Non Formal Education programmes are characterized by their variety, flexibility and ability to respond quickly to new educational needs of children or adults. There are numerous steps taken by Pakistan in promoting non formal education, however, I would highlight a few due to paucity of time:
- Primary Education Program named “Basic Education Community Schools in the country” (BECS), focuses on social equity and gender equality. 80% of the teachers and 60% of the students are women /girls;
- National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) facilitates, regulates, and provides policy direction for skill development in Pakistan;
- The Federal Capital’s program for providing free text books is running successfully since 2005;
- Madrassah’s in Pakistan provide formal and non formal education to huge number of children belonging to poor and vulnerable segments of the society. Under the National Action Plan (NAP), registration and regulation of madressahs is taking place. International financial cooperation and commitment would go along way in formalizing, registering, modernizing, and validating the madrassah education system in Pakistan.
The Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and association has rightly pointed out that active Civil Society is an important part of functioning democracy and can play its role in promoting accountability and good governance. Collaborations based on national priorities between the civil society and the state institutions would benefit the society. Moreover, the significance of Civil Society in the 2030 Sustainable development agenda as an important stakeholder cannot be overemphasized.
Pakistan has always been supportive of work of human rights defenders and civil society organizations. On the occasion of universal Human Rights Day celebrated on 10th December, 2016, 40 human rights defenders were awarded in recognition of their services for protection and promotion of Human Rights.