LAHORE - The International Day of Human Rights will be observed on Monday (today) in Pakistan like other parts of the world.  Punjab Minister for Human Rights Ejaz Alam Augustine told The Nation that the Punjab government is committed to ending violence against women and defending rights of individuals.

He said the PTI government had decided to introduce human rights as subject at the Punjab University and schools. He said a provincial taskforce on human rights is working on safeguarding people’s rights.  Augustine will address a seminar on Monday (today) on human rights at Alhamra on The Mall.  The Punjab Human Rights Policy 2018 was launched by previous government on May 22, 2018. The incumbent government has not introduced any amendments or changes to the policy.  On the other hand, marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan organised a public lecture by IA Rehman held at Dorab Patel Auditorium to review Pakistan’s performance during its third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2017.

In a statement issued on Sunday, HRCP has said that it is ‘gravely concerned at the exponential rise in the number of recommendations Pakistan has received from its peers with respect to human rights concerns in the country.

In 2008, it received 51 recommendations, of which it accepted 43 and rejected eight. At its second UPR in 2012, Pakistan received 167 recommendations, of which it accepted 126, “noted” 34 and rejected seven.

‘It is a matter of serious concern that, from 167 recommendations in 2012, Pakistan’s human rights barometer now stands at 289 recommendations received under the third UPR in 2017. Of these, it has “supported” 168, “noted” 121 and “rejected” four recommendations.

‘It is encouraging to note that many of the recommendations “supported” in principle under the third UPR relate.

By 2022, the country’s human rights record must be seen to improve substantially – not merely to uphold an international image, but because these principles are part of the state’s moral and responsibility to its citizens and residents under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , to which it is a signatory.’  HRCP stated. 

According to Amnesty International report on human rights situation 2017-18, 58 percent of households in Pakistan were food insecure as per National Nutrition Survey. Estimated 44 percent of children remained underdeveloped or short for their age. The percentage was significantly higher in Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Balochistan.

The 1992 Bonded Labour Abolition Act was still not adequately enforced; reasons included a lack of clarity regarding the law on the part of lower court judges and lack of action by police when complaints were filed,” Amnesty international.

In its 2017 review, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights noted that more than 73% of workers, a majority of them women, were in the informal economy with no labour or social protection.