In response to the needs of women in distress, human rights activist and lawyer Hina Jilani established Dastak in Lahore in 1990 with the objective to provide immediate safe haven to women escaping violence and in need of protection.
Dastak started as a project of AGHS Legal Aid Cell, a legal aid organization cofounded by Hina Jilani. Within six years this transformed from a project into an institution. The Dastak Charitable Trust was set up in 1996 as an independent entity and has since provided support to over 8000 women from within and outside of Pakistan.
Today, Dastak not only runs a model shelter for women in Lahore, it carries out an extensive advocacy and capacity building program for the promotion and protection of women and child rights all over Pakistan.