Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) has initiated a project in January 2020, titled “Civil Society for Independent Media and Expression” (CIME) along with two other implementing partners namely Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) and Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) funded by EU. The overall objective of this project is to protect and promote Freedom of expression (FoE) offline & online and to facilitate citizen’s right of Access to Information (ATI) as stipulated in articles 19 and 19-A of the constitution of Pakistan respectively. The target beneficiaries of this project include human rights defenders especially freedom of expression activists, media rights activists and digital rights activists, women’s rights activists and feminists working on issues of inclusion of women working journalists, editors and media managers, internet users who are individually engaged in digital journalism and advocacy, human rights lawyers , concerned legislators and parliamentary committee members and state institutions like National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR), National Commission on Status of Women (NCSW), Parliamentary Commission on Human Rights (PCHR) and Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Studies (PIPS).
This initiative has been designed to respond to the EU’s priority of promoting freedom of expression (online and offline) and access to information. The project design includes activities geared to enable specific changes to advocacy for enactment of these policies at the national level while further paving the way for introduction of second generation RTI laws at the provincial level in Balochistan. The proposed action is a step forward towards ensuring transparency and accountability in governance via access to information, journalists’ safety by delivering holistic security training and ensuring FoE, legal support to journalists, and advocacy for an independent media regulation that will collectively lead to development, strengthening democratic institutions and citizens access to viable information.