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Ansar Burney, a human rights trailblazer, founded the first ever civil and human right organization of Pakistan in Karachi–Ansar Burney Welfare Trust, Prisoner Aid Society, Bureau of Missing and Kidnapped People– in 1980. It’s an independent organization and is not affiliated with government or any political party. The founder of the Trust, Ansar Burney is a renowned lawyer, human and civil rights activist. He has been sent to jail for being vocal about various issues. It was then, he learnt about the innocent prisoners, who were illegally detained in jails. This experience touched him so deeply that he decided to form a Prisoner Aid Society.

Prisoner Aid Society:

The main aim of this society is to secure the innocent prisoners, children who are born in jails and prisoners who have been imprisoned for as many as 50 to 55 years. In order to achieve it, the trust has successfully collected the data of Pakistani Prisoners in the country and abroad. Not only this, but the trust has gathered data of foreigners who are unlawfully imprisoned in Pakistan’s gaols. By protests and persistent struggle of the Trust, over 700,000 prisoners have been released Pakistan and abroad and have safely been sent to their respective lands.

Prisoner Aid Society is also playing a remarkable role in getting free mentally sound people, confined forcefully, in lunatic asylums. Around 20,000 people have been released by the dedicated work of the Trust.

The Trust has 84 dedicated people working for prisons and mental asylums. They provide legal advice, service and aid. Also, reformative work is being done in Police Stations, Prisons and Mental Asylums by the Trust.

Bureau of Missing and Kidnapped People:

Bureau of Missing and Kidnapped People is working hard to abolish the evil system to slavery. Children, young girls and boys are sold to Gulf countries for labor, camel jockeys and other small works. Ansar Burney managed to track down around 100,000 children and young girls. All of them are delivered to their families, under the supervision of the Trust.

Also Hindu Harees (bonded labor), in interior Sindh, Pakistan, were kept as slaves and forced labor. The Bureau fought for them and liberated around 2,000 Harees.

For Ansar Burney’s heroic achievement and bravery, he was declared an “International hero” in a 2005 U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report. The Report euloges his efforts and his ways to subvert children and women exploitation, it says :

“Ansar Burney has worked relentlessly to bring to light the plight of thousands of South Asian and African children trafficked to Arabian Gulf countries for exploitation as camel jockeys. These abused children, some as young as two years of age, are purposely malnourished (to keep them lightweight) and denied education. As a result of Mr. Burney’s efforts, the Government of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) established its first-ever shelter for rescued child camel jockeys, and rescued 68 such children and repatriated 43 through the shelter.”

Campaigns:

Campaigns are held to bring forth various issues to spread awareness and seek remedies for it. The Campaigns cover the following issues:

1.Persons Released,
2.Women’s Rights,
3.Children’s Rights,
4.Forced Labor,
5.Human Trafficking,
6.Humanitarian Aid and Relief Activities,
7.Free Legal Advice and Services.

Other works include offering free of cost legal advices and services to indigent people – all 7 days a week.

The Trust also publishes newsletters and human reports to put various issues into the consideration of the authorities.

In recognition of his exceptional humanitarian work, he has received over 200 awards in Pakistan and abroad. It should be noted that, Ansar Burney is the first human rights activist to be awarded “Sitara-e-Imtiaz” (Pakistani National Civil Award) on 23rd March 2002.

Because of his remarkable efforts in the field of human rights and commendable work, on 25th March 2008, Ansar Burney has been elected for 3 years term, as a member of United Nations Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.

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