Pakistan: ‘One Million Signatures’ for enforcing basic rights?

pakistanGovernment added Article 25A in the basic rights section of the Pakistani Constitution, via the 18th Constitutional Amendment, passed into law on April 19th, 2010.[1] The inclusion was a major victory for all, including our partners, who have been advocating for quality education for all children in Pakistan. Now the task is to get 25A implemented.

Despite almost two years having passed since 25A was added, federal and provincial governments have not moved forward on implementation. Laws for operationalizing 25A at provincial levels and plans, including financial provisioning, for implementation have not been made public.

Our partners are working on strategies for advocating implementation of 25A. Options include constitutional challenges in courts, advocacy with political parties (national elections expected within a year), and campaigns for citizen awareness and organization through/with media.

One partner, South Asian Forum for Education Development (SAFED), launched, on March 6th, 2012, a ‘One Million Signature Campaign’ aiming to put pressure on all stakeholders through the process of organizing for these signatures from across Pakistan and beyond. They aim to get 90 percent of these signatures from children.

To date the campaign has collected over 600,000 signatures so far. Many prominent citizens have joined the campaign by signing in and many have become vocal supporters. SAFED hopes the campaign will continue to gain momentum and lead to lasting changes in government commitments on education.

For learning more about the campaign, seeing progress and lending your support, visit the campaign site at:

[1] Article 25A: “The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such a manner as may be determined by law.”


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