The Peace & Justice Network (PJN) Pakistan is a national Civil Society Rule of Law network consisting of 44 organizations registered under Section 42 as a not for profit institution with Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), working across Pakistan (in all provinces and territories, including GB and AJK) to help build institutions which can strengthen democracy, deliver quick and inexpensive justice, and manage conflict in a way that protects the fundamental rights of citizens. PJN is focusing on implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. We believe that if we want Peace in Pakistan, we have to work for Justice.
PJN strives to provide this platform to serve as a hub for strategic rule of law planning and management, policy advocacy, programme networking, stakeholder communication and coordination, and network partner management of fiduciary and programming risks. This gives PJN certain distinct advantages in designing and executing Rule of Law programming with the highest of efficiency and impact:
"A peaceful society governed by laws where the rights of individuals are secure".
"To help build institutions which can strengthen democracy, deliver quick and inexpensive justice, and resolve conflict in a way that protects the rights of citizens, as enshrined in the Constitution, laws and international commitments pertaining to Pakistan".
Our core strength is our ability to provide upstream policy advice based on ground realities which can help improve the delivery if justice sector services that reflect the needs and priorities of citizens, especially those who are vulnerable.
Public awareness plays an important role in articulating demand for social, political and legal reform as well as changing attitudes and knowledge on law and justice. Awareness of legal and constitutional rights amongst the general public, especially with respect to fundamental rights which must be protected at all costs.
Despite the passage of recent legislation and reforms, the utility of such measures is in serious jeopardy until they can be translated to the grassroots level. Therefore, PJN proposes to raise public awareness on crucial issues related to rights and justice through a sustained, collaborative and intensive effort involving all stakeholders, especially the general public, to contribute towards strengthening the Rule of Law in Pakistan.
For this purpose, PJN intends to engage the media as a key institution in raising awareness and promoting the agenda for policy and law reform to the general public. Today, the media (in particular social media) has the power to affect change and provide a voice to the common man, including vulnerable and underprivileged segments of society, and therefore its crucial importance must not be ignored.
While research is essential, on its own, cannot make an impact on the real world if it remains restricted to published material; “if you produce information and it is not used for policy, or in any way changes people’s lives, then it is useless”.
The impetus for strengthening the Rule of Law in Pakistan can only be spearheaded through an aggressive policy advocacy campaign reaching out to decision makers to emphasise the importance of reorganising and revitalising institutions involved in dispensation of justice. This is the urgent need of the hour; policy makers must be sensitised on the crucial importance of law and implementation reformation. While some efforts by various NGOs geared towards law reform have borne fruit in the past few years, a consolidated vision jointly developed civil society and other stakeholders to inform policy change is required.
A key aspect of this vision is continuous and active engagement with policy makers on a long term basis from all stakeholders using knowledge products arising out of consultative processes accessible to the general public, institutions, government officials and policy makers. While an issue-based focus has its merits, the pressure for reform must be consistent and continuous, regardless of political tendencies in addition to raising a voice against injustices from time to time. For this purpose, the PJN seeks to engage various forums such as open-access debates and social media can be utilised, along with regular knowledge-products including policy and legislative briefs to initiate debate for policy reform.
Networks can play a significant role in policy reform, education and advocacy for strengthening the Rule of Law. The establishment of the Peace & Justice Network is an important attempt in this regard to enable different stakeholders to work together towards the shared goal by coordinating strategies and pooling resources.
PJN aims to include a range of organisations, groups, policy makers and policy makers to garner support and initiate a national movement for effective Rule of Law. We envision that all partners working together in this network can improve the quality and quantity of efforts by creating the necessary space for individuals and organisations to contribute ideas, expertise and resources. We strongly believe this network can collectively achieve the necessary impetus for law and justice reform by strengthening members’ skills in mobilising support for policy reform which will prove useful during policy advocacy.
The PJN aims to pay particular attention to the capabilities and experience of its member organisations, allowing for the diverse collection of individuals and organisations to join hands and work together for the common goal of strengthening the Rule of Law.
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