In 2018, the Pakistani National Commission for Human Rights developed policy guidelines on the protection of human rights defenders (HRDs or defenders). The Commission developed these guidelines in collaboration with the Pakistan Human Rights Defenders Network (PHRDN), a national network of defenders in Pakistan. Through these guidelines, the Commission emphasises the primary responsibility of the state to ensure human rights defenders’ safety.
The guidelines includes a broad definition of human rights defenders and a list of fundamental rights that ought to be protected by State authorities.
Although the Commission expresses their support for human rights defenders in detail, the extent to which they have the power to enforce these guidelines appears rather limited. Nevertheless, these guidelines may serve as a useful document for advocacy purposes or as a guideline for developing national public policies in Pakistan.
Download the policy guidelines here in English (National Commission For Human Rights – (NCHR))