Islamabad – UNIC hosted the first public briefing session on the Universal Periodic Review and the treaty bodies, on Wednesday.
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Ms. Christine Chung, Human Rights Officer at the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights in Geneva, gave a briefing on the Universal Periodic Review at the UN Information Center (UNIC) in Islamabad.
While conversing with the parliamentarians, government, media and civil society delegates and college understudies, Ms Chung explained that the Universal Periodic Review is a one of a kind inter-governmental mechanism of the Human Rights Council intended to improve the human rights situation in the 193 United Nations Member States.
Under this mechanism, the human rights circumstances of all UN Member States is reviewed at regular intervals of 4.5 years. Pakistan is among the 42 member states which are being reviewed in 2017.
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Apart from explaining the Universal Periodic Review Ms. Chung also shared very useful information on how civil society and commoners can contribute to the reviews of the Universal Periodic Review and other treaty bodies.
After the briefing, parliamentarians, university students and human rights activists interacted with Ms. Chung about the human rights issues, state’s responsibilities and obligations that need to be fulfilled to guarantee effective protection of human rights.
As part of the 3rd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, Pakistan has submitted its report that will be part of the review on 13th November. Pakistan went through the Universal Periodic Review in 2008 and 2012, respectively.
Even before the review, UN and International bodies have showed concerns over the counter-terrorism and law enforcement abuses, attacks on minorities and sectarian violence, condition of religious minorities, lack of freedom of expression and censorship, situation in Baluchistan, situation of Afghan Refugees in Pakistan, attacks on health workers, gender violence, children rights and death penalty in Pakistan.