The Social Security Bill 2010 and Initial report of the ICESCR

Islamabad: The Institute for Social Justice (ISJ) has urged the Government of Pakistan to immediately pass the Constitutional (Amendment) Act 2010 (the Right to Social Security), which was introduce in the Senate of Pakistan on 31st January 2011.

Through the Bill a new Article (19-B Right to Social Security) will be inserted in the Constitution of Pakistan; with the enactment of the law, social security will be the fundamental right of every citizen. The Bill says that (1) Every citizen shall have a right to social security which includes provision of such financial resources or basic necessities like food, clothing and health cover through a system of national security service. 2) The state shall take such steps which are necessary to enforce the previsions of clause (1) of this article, within period of five years. 3) In the absence of steps required under clause (2) a person, in need of necessary social security cover, may approach the Session of the district or the nearest Judicial Magistrate who shall refer his case to concerned authorities for immediate relief without any delay.

The ISJ appreciates the Government of Pakistan for ratifying the International Covenant Economic Social and Cultural Rights on 17th July 2008. In June 2010, Pakistan had to submit initial report which has become overdue and there is no progress after the lapse of about three years. The ISJ is concerned about Pakistan’s this attitude which will not only disappoints international community but also deprives citizens from their basic economic, social and cultural rights enshrined in the ICESCR.

The ISJ notes that the Bill about the social security in 2011 submitted by a private member is step toward legal initaitives for the implementation of the ICESCR.

The ISJ demands Pakistan should immediately submit its initial report and put its serious efforts for the enactment of the Social Security Bill 2010.