Introduction to Human rights

These are the rights that every human being should have simply because they are humans - regardless of ethnicity, religion, age, economic status, sex or any other attribute. Examples of such rights are the right to life, freedom from torture, slavery and other degrading treatments, and the right to education. Not everyone agrees with what exactly qualifies as a human right, but the most widely recognized document on this topic is the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR), adopted in 1948. As such, IFMSA-Pakistan SCORP uses the UDHR as a framework and a main reference when addressing human rights, not the least for the purpose of advocacy and raising awareness.

Introduction to Peace

Human rights and peace are also tightly related. In its most narrow definition, peace means only the absence of war. Absence of war is in general necessary for human rights to be respected, however, peace can also refer to peaceful and harmonic relations between individuals or groups and the presence of social justice - this is known as positive peace. In such sense, the promotion of peace contributes to the realization of human rights, whereas human rights are an essential part in reaching positive peace.

History

In 1983, the Standing Committee on Refugees was formed, aiming to call attention to the problems faced by the displaced population and to participate in relief efforts. The committee members soon realized that these efforts were merely palliative, whereas a sustainable solution would have to address the root of the problem – violence, conflicts and human rights violations. In 1995, the committee changed its name to Standing Committee on Refugees and Peace, and in 2005 it became the Standing Committee on Human Rights and Peace.

Need of SCORP (Aims and Objectives)

Human rights violations take place in all societies over the world, but we often do not see it. The people mainly affected by such violations tend to be marginalized groups whose voice is seldom heard, and if you are not personally affected by injustice, it’s much harder to notice it, in the same way as you don’t notice norms that you follow. In order to tackle these inequalities, we have to listen to the affected without judging and we have to try to see the bigger structures – how they are affected by our actions, as well as how we are affected by them. Apart from responding to violations and provide support and relief efforts, we should try to find, and understand, the root causes of these inequalities. Human rights violations are often sustained through legislation and common practices, and a change of these can go against societal norms. It requires courage to go against status quo, but it might be necessary to implement a sustainable change.

SCORP has a vision of a world where all individuals are entitled full and equal access to their human rights, where no one is left alone in a disaster and where the entire society, including medical students and health workers, unite to help the most vulnerable people. We do this through empowering and motivating medical students to actively promote and protect human rights and peace, and to introduce the members to different forms of humanitarian action, through capacity building, field project opportunities and much more.

Relation of SCORP and Health

Now, one might ask, what does human rights and peace have to do with health? In fact, human rights can be related to most areas - from cardiovascular diseases to the lack of proper sanitation, if there are inequalities, discrimination or conflict involved, we can most probably address the issue using human rights based approach. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right, and the UDHR points out the right to a standard of living adequate for health and wellbeing.

Conflicts and human rights violations such as torture and slavery are direct threats to health, whereas the human rights to information and education, for example, reduce vulnerability to ill-health. However, we should also remember that health, as WHO defines it, is not only the absence of disease but a state of physical, psychological and mental wellbeing. Hence, it is not difficult to understand that rights such as the right to privacy, right to family and freedom from discrimination can have a big impact on our health. We also have to recognize that the healthcare and health systems themselves can perpetuate and reinforce discrimination and inequality, which will decrease the state of health for affected individuals. As healthcare workers, we will cure, treat and comfort, and we will defend the rights of our patients to prevent ill-health. But, we don’t have to wait - we can start already today to promote health, and to create a better world for everyone.

Structure of IFMSA SCORP

Regions

IFMSA is divided into five major regions:

  • Africa
  • Americas
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Eastern Mediterranean Region
  • Europe

NORP

Each NMO (National Member Organization) of these regions forms its Standing Committee on Human Rights and peace (SCORP) with its National officer (NORP).

Team of NORP

Pakistan NMO selects the National officer for IFMSA-Pakistan SCORP. The National officer (NORP) within the same region tends to face challenges due to the geographical proximity. Hence, it benefit from a closer communication and collaboration with each other. This is why the team of NORP is made with its constituent members that includes,

  • General assistants
  • Regional Assistants
  • Local council coordinator
  • Technical assistants
  • Internal assistants

(The posts may vary)

Areas of work

The IFMSA-Pakistan SCORP play it’s role by enrolling its activities, whether in the form of projects, campaigns, celebrations, workshops, events, trainings or theme based publications. These activities are coordinated by Activity Coordinators locally and nationally with the help and support from Program Coordinators. These activities are often direct services, campaigns or action, but it can also consist of research projects and capacity building activities, as well as organized advocacy efforts on local, national moreover to international level.

  • Displaced Populations
  • Discrimination
  • Sexuality and Gender Identity
  • Mental Health
  • Children Health and Rights
  • Gender Based Violence
  • Children Health and Rights
  • Ethics and Human Rights in Health

Projects under SCORP

IFMSA Pakistan SCORP (Term 2017-18) organized Five major projects.

  • International day of Happiness
  • "Stress, Anxiety, Depression (SAD)"
  • “Be your own savior”
  • International day of persons with disabilities
  • “On your Own"

Join Us

Every year each Local Council and NMO open call for Local officer and National officer respectively. The local officer forms its team with students of the respective local council where as the national officer opens call to constitute its team with members of different local councils of NMO Pakistan.

Only IFMSA members can join LC-SCORP or IFMSA-Pakistan SCORP. To be the member, you have to fill the membership form and submit Rs. 1000/= only to the stakeholder of the local council.

Contact Us:

For Contact or any queries, e-mail us at: norp.ifmsapakistan@gmail.com

Human Rights