ICRC Pakistan: Snapshot 2021

ICRC Pakistan: Snapshot 2021

The year 2021 has been an interesting one for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Pakistan. From formalizing partnerships with emergency responders, creating spaces for dialogue on international humanitarian law (IHL), sensitizing journalists on ethical humanitarian reporting, to strengthening existing partnerships in the fields of physical rehabilitation, humanitarian forensics and health, this year saw a healthy mix of the old and the new.
Article 21 January 2022 Pakistan

Years of research and advocacy on the issue of violence against health care culminated in the passage of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Protection of Health Care Workers and Facilities Act 2020. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly passed this law with the support of the ICRC. Continuing its efforts to build awareness around this key topic, the ICRC's Health Care in Danger (HCiD) unit organized training sessions on de-escalation of violence for health-care professionals working in emergency settings and expanded into the digital realm.

As partners in humanitarian action, the ICRC and the Pakistan Red Crescent (PRCS) continued to support the restoration of contact between families separated by disasters and migration or those detained abroad. Both the organizations, which belong to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, collaborated on raising awareness about risks related to weapon contamination, first-aid training programmes and sensitization and awareness campaigns on key operations.

We also signed a general MoU with Punjab Emergency Service "Rescue 1122" with an aim to strengthen and streamline the work being carried out in the areas of disaster management, emergency response and dignified recovery and identification of mortal remains, among other relevant and cross-cutting areas of operation. Considering the safety and protection of emergency responders, particularly those handling hazardous materials, we continued to deliver training sessions on safer handling of explosives to bomb disposal units in KP and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

In an attempt to keep the public discourse around principles of IHL and humanitarian action abuzz, we regularly organized art, essay and moot court competitions. In tandem, we strengthened the promotion of contextualized understanding of IHL through the establishment of the Diplomacy, Law and Policy Forum in partnership with the Research Society for International Law. Similarly, niche audiences like law enforcement and military officials were imparted training in international standards of human rights and humanitarian law, and how it applied in the context of Pakistan's legislative framework.

After a gap of two years, we were finally able to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, organizing the final match of the National Physical Disability Cricket T20 Championship in Karachi on 3 December. At the ICRC, we take great pride in the work that we do in service of those in need of humanitarian assistance and support. It's a joy and privilege to share these key moments from 2021 with you. If you want to know more about our work in Pakistan or across the world, do visit our website or drop us a message on Facebook.