2 years passed to Pakistan’s UPR review: Poor progress

The Institute for Social Justice (ISJ) has expressed displeasure over no interest of the government in implementing the Universal Periodic Review’s recommendations given by international community on 30th October 2012 in the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva. The ISJ is also displeased over extremely poor follow up by countries with Pakistan for the recommendations which they gave to Pakistan during the second cycle in the October.

2 years ago, second time Pakistan’s state of human rights was reviewed. Many countries during the review showed displeasure over poor implementation of the UPR recommendations given by countries in the first cycle in 2008 in the HRC. Pakistan was given 166 recommendations to improve different aspects of human rights; one of the recommendations was rejected by Pakistan at the spot.

Out of 166, 7 recommendations were reject, 33 recommendations were noted; and all other recommendations were accepted by Pakistan. Only general recommendations were accepted and specific recommendations were either rejected or noted.

Unfortunately Pakistan has not been able to progress on 5 percents of recommendations. Many countries suggested to control on poverty and decrease it, but poverty has increased alarmingly, people’s purchasing ability has decreased; therefore malnourishment has increased.

Pakistan has not set national commission on human rights, for which it was applauded in the HRC in the October. Governments at national and provincial levels are not pro-human rights institutions. At national law, for the last three years, a law exists for the establishment of human rights commission but no commission, no budgetary allocations, no chairperson and no other human resources. Only Sindh province has established the Sindh Commission on Human Rights in 2013 but it is ineffective because of no human resources and poor budgetary allocations

Pakistan has yet not recognized child domestic labour as worst form of child labour which results murders of scores of children every year. It was recommended to ban child domestic labour through effective legislation and other programmes.

Pakistan has totally ignored and sidelined rights of vulnerable groups, ethnic and religious minorities. There are taken no measures in two years to stop sufferings of people caught in debt bondage and slavery. Minorities are living a fearful live, and deprived of all fundamental rights.

In Pakistan the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights has been mandated to ensure implementation of human rights related provision, but yet the Ministry has not been able to prepare plan of action in light of the UPR recommendations.

The ISJ also regretted over no or poor follow up of the UPR recommendations by various countries who have embassies and consulates in Pakistan, but these countries’ preferences have never been the UPR, but only vested interests.

The ISJ urged HRC to urge Pakistan for submitting 2 years progress report. It also requested Prime Minister of Pakistan and Chief Ministers for giving top priority to the UPR recommendations.