UN Core Treaties

International human rights law lays down obligations for States. They are enshrined in international human rights treaties binding only on those States which consent to be bound by them (State parties). The United Nations Human Rights Treaty System comprises of nine treaties, usually referred to as the “core international human rights treaties,” which together form the cornerstone of all efforts to promote and protect human rights at national and international levels.

Out of the nine treaties and nine additional protocols, Pakistan has signed and ratified seven core treaties and two additional protocols. The Government of Pakistan has expressed its will to adhere to the provisions contained within these seven treaties and has pledged to continue engaging with the international community in order to improve the protection and promotion of human rights at home, within the region and around the world.

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) obliges State Parties to pursue by all appropriate means a policy of eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms and promoting understanding among all races, refrain from all acts and practices of racial discrimination and prohibit and prosecute such acts. The definition of ICERD sets out five grounds of discrimination; it includes not only race, but also colour, descent, and national or ethnic origin. The Convention defines racial discrimination and lists civil, political, economic, social and cultural human rights whose enjoyment must be guaranteed to everyone without distinction as to race. It also contains the basic right to effective judicial complaint procedures (legal remedies) in the case of all acts of racial discrimination. Convention

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is a multilateral treaty that commits its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial. ICCPR is structured with a preamble and fifty-three articles, divided into six parts. Convention

Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women

CEDAW requires countries to eliminate discrimination against women in the public as well as the private sphere, including in the family, and recognises that traditional gender roles and stereotypes must be eliminated in order to end all forms of discrimination against women and girls. CEDAW seeks to achieve ‘substantive equality’ or ‘equality of results,’ which stresses that there should be equal access, equal opportunities, and equal results for women and girls. It entails that countries are obligated to take all necessary actions that may be required to make sure women and girls actually experience equality in their lives. The overarching purpose of the CEDAW is the eradication of any such concurrent traditional practices or laws in a State that discriminate against women based on their sex, and to provide them a manifesto of equal opportunities and rights through domestic enforcement of their inherent rights. Convention

The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment

The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (UNCAT) is an international human rights treaty that aims to prevent torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment around the world. The Convention requires States to take effective measures to prevent torture in any territory under their jurisdiction and forbids States to transport people to any country where there is reason to believe they will be tortured. Pakistan signed the treaty on 17 April 2008 and ratified it on 3 June 2010. For the purpose of this Convention, the term “torture” means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to, lawful sanctions. Convention

The Convention on The Rights of The Child

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children under 18 years of age. The rights enshrined in the Convention are intended to enable children to develop their personality and abilities to their fullest potential and take into account their need for protection. The Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989. Two optional protocols were adopted on 25 May 2000. The First Optional Protocol restricts the involvement of children in military conflicts, and the Second Optional Protocol prohibits the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. Both protocols have been ratified by more than 170 states. The Convention consists of a preamble and 54 articles divided into three parts. Convention

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights covers and guarantees human rights in the economic, social and cultural spheres. Together with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), it enacts in a binding framework the rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.The ICESCR includes inter alia the following human rights: Economic: Right to work, just and favourable conditions, right to strike, protection of property; Social: Right to social security, right of families, mothers (before and after childbirth) and children to special protection and assistance, right to an adequate standard of living, right to health; Cultural: Right to education and right to take part in cultural life. The ICESCR obliges State Parties to undertake steps using the maximum of their available resources and by all appropriate means to realise economic, social and cultural human rights (principle of progressive realisation). Convention

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) ensures that persons with disabilities enjoy all human rights and participate in public, economic and social life. It does not contain any special rights but defines universal human rights from the perspective of persons with disabilities. The aim is to promote equal opportunities for persons with disabilities and to prevent discrimination against them in society. Parties to the Convention are required to promote, protect, and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by people with disabilities and ensure that they enjoy full equality under the law. Convention