Pakistan to present human rights report in UN on Nov 13
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has prepared a detailed report on improvement in human rights in the country and will present it before the United Nations Human Rights Council on November 13 this year.
An official of Ministry of Human Rights told Business Recorder on Tuesday that Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a periodic review of human rights record of all 193 United Nations member states. The Universal Periodic Review provides Pakistan an opportunity to inform the international community about steps taken to improve human rights in the country, he said. Pakistan’s report would be presented on November 13, 2017 before Human Rights Council, and it has already been submitted to the Foreign Office for an internal review.
Pakistan’s human rights situation had been reviewed during its first cycle held in 2008 and during second cycle of UPR held on October 30, 2012 in the Human Rights Council, he said. He said that several states including the European Union had forwarded their recommendations to Pakistan to improve the overall human rights situation by initiating constitutional amendments and reforms and improving institutional arrangements. Majority of the recommendations were about resolving gender issues, trafficking of women and girls, reduction in enforced disappearances of citizens from different parts of Pakistan, providing social security, poverty alleviation, revival of moratorium on death penalty etc, he said. He said the report would also help allay concerns of the European Union about human rights situation in the country and its impact on Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP-plus) status granted by the EU in December 2013.
Pakistan has to comply with all the 27 United Nations conventions including human rights, labor and environmental laws under the GSP-Plus status and Pakistan has ratified all the required UN conventions however implementation remains weak.
The official said that Pakistan is trying its best to improve all the indicators of human and labor rights to benefit from the GSP-Plus till 2023. He said the Ministry of Human Rights has prepared the national report on human rights after wide consultations with provincial governments and other relevant departments in the centre and provinces.
As per UN guidelines and format, he explained, the report should not exceed 10,700 words; therefore, it was not possible to include descriptive information about each and everything in the report. He said the ministry intended to include some new thematic areas in the report like prisons, entrepreneurship, sports, land and sanitation, etc. but unfortunately they could not get the required information from relevant stakeholders.