PR No. 165 Islamabad
A national consultative meeting to finalize the Pakistan’s Third Universal Periodic Review Report was held in Islamabad on Monday under the Chairmanship of Ms. Rabiya Javeri Agha, Secretary, Ministry of Human Rights. Large number of stakeholders representing different federal and provincial governments as well as representative of Civil Society Organizations attended the consultation. Ms. Rabiya Javeri Agha, during inaugural Session, informed the participants that the Ministry of human rights is mandated to represent Pakistan at international level and in previous months, the Ministry presented and defended Pakistan’s reports on CRC, CAT, ICESCR and ICCPR before United Nations. She further stated that the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. It basically provides an opportunity for Pakistan to declare what actions we have taken to improve the human rights situations in our country. She further elaborated that the Pakistan’s report will be presented on 13th November 2017 before Human Rights Council. The Pakistan’s human rights situation has been reviewed/ accessed during its first cycle held in 2008 and during second cycle of UPR held on 30th October 2012, she added further. Several States forwarded recommendations to the Pakistan to improve its overall human rights situation by initiating Constitutional amendments and reforms, legislation, improving institutional arrangements for protection of human rights, resolving gender issues including violence against women, trafficking in women and girls, improving women’s health, protect rights of individuals and vulnerable groups, reducing enforced disappearances, improving economic, social to housing, clean water and sanitation, providing social security and alleviating poverty etc. while explaining about the role of Ministry of human rights, she stated that the Ministry disseminated the recommendations in 2012 and after wide consultations at provincial headquarters, ministry has drafted a national report which provides information on constitutional, policy, legislative, administrative and institutional arrangements and initiatives taken to improve human rights situation in their respective areas. She further stated that the report has been uploaded on the official website of the ministry to have views of all relevant authorities.
Mr. Muhammad Hassan Mangi, Director General (IC), ministry of human Rights stated that the report is to be submitted to the Foreign Office by 31st July 2017. He appreciated that relevant information has been received from federal and provincial governments which enabled this ministry to draft the report in line with United Nations Guidelines and format. He explained that the report should not exceed 10,700 words; therefore, it was not possible to include descriptive information, however, the relevant information can be annexed with the report. In mostly cases, relevant portions have been forwarded to the stakeholders to update their information, he added further. During presentation, he informed that Ministry intends to include new areas in the report like prisons, entrepreneurship, sports, land and sanitation etc if relevant information is provided by the stakeholders. He also raised number of issues/ problems which Pakistan faces while defending the report before particular committees of United Nation.
He further informed that Ministry of Human Rights has drafted the report and bifurcated the information into thematic clustering which includes cross cutting issues, Civil and Political rights, economic, social and cultural rights and rights of vulnerable groups. He elaborated that steps taken by federal and provincial governments in collaboration with civil society organizations to uplift the standard of living of a common man have been mentioned in the report. He, however, invited participants to update the information, add missing information and initiatives taken recently.
Representatives of federal and provincial governments and civil society organizations appreciated the efforts of Ministry in drafting a comprehensive report including all major steps taken by them to improve human rights situation of the country. They further informed about their initiatives, schemes, plan and updated the information relevant to their divisions/ departments/organizations.
The meeting ended with vote of thanks from the Chair.