Dastak’s mission is to support women and children who are victims of violence or of denial of human rights and fundamental freedoms and to make available to them adequate protection and support services in situations of crisis. These services are directed towards facilitating their access to justice through provision of legal aid and other necessary interventions to ensure their protection, care and rehabilitation.

The overriding concern of the Trust is that protection and services to such women and children should be provided in a manner that recognizes and respects their right to liberty, dignity and safeguards their best interest. Its long term objective is to provide political support to women and child rights and to give them confidence in the legitimacy of these rights as well of the efforts to attain them.

The organization also subscribes to the critically important objective of institutionalizing this concept among State and non-state actors and to put in place a comprehensive protection system for women and children at national and sub-national levels.

Our History

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.