The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a mechanism under which the Human Rights Council examines the human rights situation in every member state of the United Nations. Each country is examined once every four years. The UPR is an inter-governmental process whereby the human rights records of a given country will be reviewed by other countries. On October 30, 2012, the situation of Human Rights in Pakistan was reviewed after four years by the member countries at Human Rights Council in Geneva, in which Pakistan was given a number of concrete recommendations for taking appropriate administrative, legislative and other measures to improve the situation of children’s rights recognized in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Pakistan was asked to come up with efficient legislation to prohibit and prevent the employment of children as domestic workers, the ratification of the optional protocol to UNCRC on the involvement of children in armed conflicts, expedite the adoption of the ‘Charter of Child Rights Bill’ which has been pending for many years at the national level. Strengthening measures aimed at providing protection and assistance to children affected by natural disasters and to protect them from trafficking and exploitation should be prioritised at the earliest. This is indeed a matter of concern for our civil society and the government, at both the national and the provincial level, to come forward to devise an action plan to ensure the implementation of recommendations to improve the situation of Human Rights including Children’s Rights in Pakistan.

IFTIKHAR MUBARIK,

Lahore, June 30.