Government urged to implement Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendations

Thursday 12 March 2015

By Adnan Sajid, Provincial Manager Advocacy & Campaigns, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is often demonstrated as one of the Human Rights Council’s success stories. It can have an impact when countries want to listen, learn from each other and improve their human rights situation. Under the UPR, the Human Rights Council examines the human, child, women, minority and labour rights situation in a country every four years.

The Human Rights Council adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan on March 14, 2013 during its 22nd Session (plenary session). During the Universal Periodic Review process for Pakistan, CRM Pakistan, a coalition of 108 national and international civil society organizations working for the rights of children, also submitted a stakeholder’s report following four consultations with all stakeholders in the provinces, and three consultations with children.

In order to bring attention to the importance of the Universal Periodic Review for the country, a consultation was organized by Child Rights Movement (CRM) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter in Peshawar. Member organizations of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter of Child Rights Movement (CRM) gathered at the meeting to urge the government to accept all the recommendations, a total of 166, which the Human Rights Council (HRC) had made in its session in 2012. The meeting was also attended by female parliamentarians from the ruling and opposition parties who pledged their support to address the rights of children and assured full support to implement the Universal Periodic Review Recommendations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Special Assistant to the Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Social Welfare, Dr. Mehar Taj Roghani, noted the alarming situation for children in the country where a lack of education deprives children of their basic rights. She added that it was pertinent that this situation be addressed carefully. Dr. Roghani called for launching a movement and ensuring quality education so that children could be protected from discrimination.

The enactment of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Protection and Promotion of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Act 2015 was appreciated by the attending parliamentarians and civil society organizations. The parliamentarians shared their views on the importance of the Act for realizing child rights in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Participants also urged the enactment of all pending bills and the increase in budgetary allocation for children-related programmes in the province including health, education and child protection.