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International Human Rights Day Celebrated in Southern California.

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Mr. Detho originally hails from Shikarpure, Sindh and is visiting USA as Hubert H. Humphrey (Human Rights) at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Mr. Detho has also received a Master of Science in Human Rights from the London School of Economics (LSE). Previously, in Pakistan he was the secretary general of Amnesty International from 2001-2006. He is currently serving as a National Manager for the Society for Protection of Rights of Child (SPARC) in Karachi. He is passionate about human rights and is committed to harmonizing national child rights related legislation with international human rights standards. He has been working towards the prevention of forced marriages, honor killing, and child and bonded labor and written various articles on these subjects.

In his hour long presentation Mr. Detho described the philosophy and motivation behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights document. He said that USA, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh have ratified many International Treaties on Human Rights for which they are morally and lawfully bound to implement. The populations of these states play an important role in human rights advocacy, through education, monitoring, lobbying and demanding for the implementation of these treaties from their respective governments. “Diaspora play an important role in this process,” said Mr Detho. He said the
International Human Rights framework provides a tool, a language and a paradigm for disenfranchised sections of people to demand fair and just policies. He said human rights do not only include the civil and political rights but economic, social and cultural as well as the environmental and sexual rights.

“Cultural relativism is often misused by states to justify their continued incompliance with the international treaties and laws.”

“These treaties and norms are the floor – a minimum mutually accepted set of principles, on which further rights are to be build and law are to be made. This is just the starting point not the end goal,” he further said.

Dr Zahid Ahmed, the professor of anthropology at Jehangirnagar University in Dhaka,, who is visiting California as a Fulbright Fellow and conducting research on Bangldeshi Diaspora in Southern
California., also spoke on this occasion.

This event was jointly organized by Sindhi Association of North America (SANA), South Asian Network (SAN), South Asia Forum (SAF) and World Sindhi Congress (WSC). Others who spoke during the event included Asad Zaid, Malik Dino Shaikh, Bashir Mahar and Saghir Shaikh. Other prominent members of community who attended the seminar were Mr. Zafar Abbass of Urdu Times, Azra Zaidi, Mr Husnain Khaku, Ms. Yasmeen Ahmed, Kavita Tekchandani, Shakeel Memon and Mr Farooq Aziz.