Pakistan has sidelined and ignored human rights

Pakistan is facing serious challenges in the arena of human rights which ranges from missing persons, extra-judicial killings, police torture, honor killings, hunger, malnutrition, extreme poverty, unemployment, child sexual abuse, murders of child domestic workers, bonded and forced labour, illiteracy, militancy and so on.

On the other hand Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Government has categorically ignored and sidelined human rights issues which can be sensed from the fact that the Government has merged the Ministry of Human Rights with the Ministry of Law and Justice which has created serious bureaucratic hurdles and complications in the monitoring, responding and preventing human rights violations as well as promoting human rights culture. In other words, the business of human rights is totally halted. With the merger, there is no central and independent body that could monitor, respond and take preventive measures against human rights violations.

In October 2012, in the Human Rights Council, during the Universal Periodic Review session, Pakistan defended its position by continuously repeating that it has enacted the National Commission for Human Rights Act, through which the National Commission for Human Rights will be set up, and this Commission will panacea of all ills. But sadly to date neither the Commission has been notified nor Chairperson and its members have been appointed nor in the current budget (2013-14) funds are allocated for the running of the Commission.

Pakistan has also not submitted its treaty specific reports to the concerned committees, the reports include: a) The fifth periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child which was due in December 2012 b) The initial report to the Committee on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights which was due on 2010 c) The initial report to the Human Rights Committee on Civil and Political Rights was due in 2011.

The Institute for Social Justice (ISJ) calls on the UN for urging and reminding Pakistan about its role and responsibilities to respect, protect and fulfill every right of its citizens and take immediate actions to: a) respect and implement human rights treaties and submit initial and periodic reports; b) restore independent status of the Ministry of Human Rights; c) after consultation with the apposition, issue notification for the establishment of the Commission; d) appoint Chairperson and members of the Commission; and, e) allocate funds for the running of the NCHR as per Section 23 of the NCHR.