The 1973 Constitution of Pakistan is intended to guide rule of law, its enforcement, and the governance of its institutional system. It identifies the state (its physical existence and its borders), people and their fundamental rights.
Federal & Provincial human rights legislation that protects the rights of women, children, differently abled, elder persons, transgender persons, minorities, prisoners and other marginalized and vulnerable groups in Pakistan.
There are 7 core international human rights conventions ratified by Pakistan. 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.
International conventions cover areas including trade, disarmament, and human rights. A convention becomes legally binding to a state when that state ratifies it. Signing a convention indicates support for the principles of the convention and the country’s intention to implement these principles to protect and promote and rights of all citizens.
International labour standards are legal instruments drawn up by the ILO's constituents (governments, employers and workers) and set out basic principles for labour, daily wage earners and the rights to livelihood and work.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union brings together important personal rights and freedoms guaranteed of all citizens of the EU in to one legally binding document.
The Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) was created to help developing countries integrate into the world economy. The GSP+ is a special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance. A dozen countries have GSP+ mechanisms in place. These mechanisms incentivize the promotion and protection of human rights through trade subsidies and other economic benefits.
In order to maintain GSP+, Pakistan has to keep ratification and effectively implement 27 international conventions on human rights, labour rights, and environmental protection.
Pakistan's status and progress in fulfilling its international treaty obligations and monitoring and reporting Pakistan’s progress regarding core human rights conventions are reflected in yearly GSP+ assessments reports.
The Ministry of Human Rights is a federal government agency dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights of citizens in Pakistan. The Federal Minister is Shireen Mazari, the Federal Secretary is Inamullah Khan, and the Joint Secretary is Muhammad Akhtar Abbas.
The committees monitor government activities, identify issues suitable for legislative review, gather and evaluate information, and recommend courses of action to the Parliament.
Provincial Human Rights Departments are set up in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, GB, & KPK. These departments are responsible for promoting and protecting human rights at the provincial and district level. With varying human rights law governing the provinces, these departments are responsible for building awareness around provincial protection systems for citizens and the development and implementation of the provincial human rights policy.
Treaty Implementation Cells are aimed at implementing, monitoring and reporting Pakistan’s international Treaty Obligations. Cells work on Pakistan’s international Treaty commitments, in order to identify the gaps in implementation of the said treaties. Cells also intend to digitalize reporting mechanisms, making them more efficient and reliable.
These systems include a number of human rights commissions and representative officials to protect and promote human rights in Pakistan. Often structured within ministries, statuary bodies include the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW), National Commission on the Rights of the Child (NCRC), National Commission of Human Rights in Pakistan (NCHR), among other integral institutions that make up the human rights governance framework in Pakistan.
Minister Shireen Mazari addresses the survivors at the Benazir Women's Protection Centre