Press Release, April 18, 2008
Karachi: In a statement issued to the press, Iqbal Haider, Co-Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan welcomes the ratification and signatures of three core UN human rights instruments by Pakistan
On Thursday, Pakistan ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESR), which is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 16, 1966, and in force from January 3, 1976. It commits its parties to work toward the granting of economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR) to individuals, including labour rights and rights to health, education, and an adequate standard of living. The ICESCR is part of the International Bill of Human Rights, along with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the latter’s first and second Optional Protocols.
HRCP notes with appreciation that the truly elected Government of Pakistan has accepted the long outstanding demand of the human rights activists by signing and rectifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as well as Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). CAT is an international human rights instrument, under the purview of the United Nations, that aims to prevent torture around the world. The Convention advises states to take effective measures to prevent torture within their borders, and forbids states to return people to their home country if there is reason to believe they will be tortured. The text of the Convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1984 and, following ratification by the 20th state party, it came into force on 26 June 1987; 26 June is now recognised as the International Day in Support of Torture Victims, in honour of the Convention
Mr. Haider said that the ratification and signatures of these three crucial UN human rights instruments are indeed significant step forward by the present elected Government of Pakistan in fulfilling its pledges and commitment to promote human rights of the people of Pakistan in accordance with international human rights law. Joining the main international human rights instruments reflects the commitment of the democratic Government to promote and further strengthen the mechanism to protect the human rights of the people in Pakistan, including the rights of women, children, minorities and the unprivileged.
Mr Haider emphasized that implementation of these very important UN human rights conventions, is an equally important task of the present Government and he hoped it will follow and abide by these UN instruments, in their letter and spirit.
Iqbal Haider, Co-Chairperson