Institutional changes: ‘Human rights violations affecting global image’
KARACHI:Democracy in Pakistan has been termed ‘fragile’ by the European Union (EU) in its recent report on post Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) plus status for compromised human rights in the country, shared Hassan Nasir Mirbahar, a governance expert associated with Democracy Reporting International.
Mirbahar was speaking at an event on the maintenance of GSP plus status and human rights policy in Pakistan at the Marriott hotel on Thursday. He suggested that Pakistan, being a beneficiary of the EU preferred status, must take measures to maintain it by ensuring compliance, adding that it was in favour of the country and its people to benefit from this trade incentive package.
The EU awarded Pakistan GSP plus status in December 2013, allowing duty-free access to the country’s products in European markets. With this access, the country has, however, been asked to maintain standard human and labour rights procedures.
Discussing the state of labour in the country, Zulfiqar Shah of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research said that a large number of the workforce associated with agricultural and industrial sectors are deprived of their right to form unions and employ a collective bargaining method.
Shah said that the country’s ranking on the gender parity and modern slavery indexes was the worst and could affect its global image. He urged the government to draw immediate attention towards these issues.