Human Rights – Lack Of Data
The Federal Minister of Human Rights has acknowledged that though taking steps to protect human rights in Pakistan has made tangible progress, obtaining data regarding the human rights themselves is challenging.
The Minister made this statement during one of the meetings of the Treaty Implementation Cell, held to review the steps taken by the government in order to comply with the twenty-seven (27) United Nations’ Conventions mandatory for the Generalised System of Preferences.
The Generalised System of Preferences for Pakistan means the Conventions of the United Nations that the country is required to comply with, in order to maintain its access to the European Union markets. One of the major conditions of these Conventions is an improvement in the state of human rights within the country.
A senior official of the Human Rights Ministry informed the meeting that the establishment of the Commission on rights of children is in progress. Related provincial departments along with district committees are also being set up for the protection and fortification of the human rights regime on a sustainable basis. Nevertheless, the Ministry has faced real challenges in obtaining data regarding human rights.
There have been several meetings held with the provincial governments for the implementation of provision pertaining to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, with a working paper being drafted on the crucial areas highlighted in the meetings by the members of the United Nations Committee on the Convention.
The National Commission on Human Rights is an important institution of Pakistan. The respect for the independence of the institution as well as criticism of its work will help improve the human rights regime in the country, enhancing its image internationally.
However, only twenty (20) percent of its total budget has been released. There is a demand for the higher allocation of budget as the current budget is being spent on recurring costs leaving behind only a meager amount for awareness programs.