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Dec-11-2012 12:44printcomments

16 Days of Activism: SACH- Struggling for Change in Pakistan

“At the very least, we should ensure a baseline..." "A right to dignity.” - Ms. Khalida Salimi, Executive Director for SACH

Ms. Khalida Salimi, Executive Director for SACH
Ms. Khalida Salimi, Executive Director for SACH

(ISLAMABAD, Pakistan) - The activism is globally observed (November 25 – December 10), the opening of which falls on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the closure on the International Day of Human Rights.

SACH- Struggle for Change, a human rights organization, aims at creating a society free of violence and torture where human being, especially the marginalized sections of the society, can practice their rights without harboring a fear of being exploited. We negate torture & violence, domestic violence, police brutality and injustice by organized criminal mafias to under privileged & disadvantaged group both, locals and refugees, the group says.

SACH- held its event in Islamabad Hotel, Islamabad in collaboration with its partner organization UNHCR to commemorate International Human Rights Day. 45 men and women participated in the workshop, including representatives of the political parties, educational institutions, civil society organizations, media personals, and lawyers etc.

Ms. Khalida Salimi, Executive Director for SACH in her remarks, said that she had started working in this field around 20 years ago. She is a trained sociologist, which explains her commitment to a multi-disciplinary approach to the rehabilitation of torture survivors in a field largely dominated by doctors and lawyers. A multi-faceted view, she says, is highly necessary when working in a country beset by large-scale and ongoing poverty, armed conflict while acting as a recipient of a massive population of Afghan refugees from the long history of conflict in the neighboring country.

She has dedicated herself to continued engagement with all level of both civil society and government. “A holistic approach,” she explained, “means we need to address and the police, the judiciary, the prison systems and then of course the medical professionals and lawyers.”

The other speakers included representative from UNHCR and a trainer Salman Arif, a very well known personality in human rights organizations and Shazia, the host from SACH.

SACH had to reach out to the police authorities to offer them training on sensitization of human rights and the law. They (police authorities) have moved from denial to acceptance that torture exists and it is a problem.”

Earlier SACH arranged a training workshop with Police Department, KPK, in Abbotabad, where more than 25 senior police officials attended the training. In the end, Abdul Karim District Police Officer (DPO) Abbotabad and Ms. Khalida Salimi Executive Director SACH- distributed the certificates among the participants. The project has assisted SACH in producing manuals for police training to continue the ongoing process of ingraining a culture of human rights. “At the very least, we should ensure a baseline- that the police understand that there is a right to life, a right to dignity.”

“The perpetrators are powerful, while the care providers may not have the resources, power and time. But by building our networks and becoming connected, the caregivers are united against torture.”

About Shamim Masih

"I am Christian rights activist and freelancer Pakistani journalist specializing in writing about Christians rights for the different papers in the world. My aim is to create a peaceful environment in the society and to help eliminate Christian persecution through my writing as I bring the plight of these brave people under the spotlight of the whole world."

Shamim Masih was born in Sheikhopura's village and raised in Gujranwala, a city in Pakistan's Punjab province. He earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of the Punjab, Lahore majoring in English, Economics and Statistics; he also received a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

As a freelance writer and author, Shamim has written for different papers in the world; his expertise is in writing articles highlighting different social issues. He has served as freelance chief reporter and column writer in “Minority Times” in Islamabad, and a number of Shamim's articles have been published in local papers as well.

You can write to Shamim at this address: shamimpakistan@gmail.com

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