Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2014.
The federal government has failed to constitute the National Commission for Human Rights for the promotion and protection of rights in the country in view of the National Commission for Human Rights Act, 2012. Though the law was promulgated in May 2012, the federal government has yet to start the process of appointing members of the commission.
According to the Paris Principles which were adopted at the first International Workshop on National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights held in Paris in October 1991, and endorsed by the UN General Assembly, member states must establish national rights institutions.
Nearly 100 national human rights institutions have been subsequently constituted by member states. However, even after nearly 21 years, Pakistan has failed to constitute a national human rights commission.
However, PPP MNA Nafisa Shah told The Express Tribune that a meeting is being held tomorrow (Monday) to finalise the names of members of the commission, adding that there are names from the government and the opposition.
According to the National Commission for Human Rights Act 2012, the commission must consist of 10 members, including a chairperson and a member each from the four provinces, Fata and Islamabad Capital Territory, minority communities and the chairperson of the National Commission on the Status of Women. Two seats must be allocated to women within the commission.