Pakistan’s second review – 14th session – 30 October 2012:

Pakistan was reviewed for the second time by the UPR Working Group at the 14th UPR session on 30 October 2012.

In advance of the review, Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN) and IDSN had prepared key recommendations and a report on caste-based discrimination in Pakistan, as well as two press statements together with other NGOs to raise awareness about the mecanism:

As a final outcome of the review, two states made the following recommendations on caste issues (as reflected in the final outcome report from the UPR Working Group). Pakistan accepted the recommendations.

122.92. Continue its efforts for the improvement of the health system and the elimination of discrimination against women and discrimination on the basis of caste (Holy See). This recommendation was accepted with the following explanation: “Recommendations that enjoy the support of the Government of Pakistan and have already been implemented or in the process of implementation”

122.103. Take effective measures to prevent forced or early marriage, in particular with a view to ending rape, sexual exploitation and forced conversions of scheduled caste girls. (Austria).This recommendation was accepted with the following explanation:Recommendations that enjoy the support of the Government of Pakistan”.

Even though the Pakistan delegation did not respond to the recommendations during the interactive dialogue, or addressed the situation of Schedules castes in the state report, they accepted the above recommendations in the written response of the Government)

To access all official documentation on the UPR of Pakistan, visit the OHCHR website here

Below is more information on the outcomes of the review:

Other UPR reports on the human rights situation in Pakistan (2012) prior to the review included:


PAKISTAN’s first review – 2nd session – May 2008:

Pakistan was reviewed by the UPR working group at its 2nd session in May 2008. In advance of the review the following joint report was submitted:

As an outcome, the following specific recommendation on caste was made:

31. To take measures to eliminate discrimination against castes and high degree of poverty suffered by castes (Luxembourg) and take specific and targeted measures to effectively prevent discrimination against Scheduled Castes (Denmark).

Questions from states (interactive dialogue)

In the interactive dialogue, many states expressed concern about discrimination against minorities and three states raised the issue of caste-based discrimination.

40. Luxembourg recommended that Pakistan bring an end to inequality between men and women, including with regard to access to property; continue to increase substantially public spending on health in order to increase access to health care; to take effective measures to allow women, in particular in rural areas, to have access to health care, education, clean water and sanitation; and to take measures to eliminate discrimination and severe poverty experienced by the castes. It asked about measures to end discrimination between men and women, in particular in connection with the right to property; and initiatives envisaged eliminating discrimination and acute poverty, from which the castes are suffering.

67. Denmark referred to indications that the lower castes, Hindus officially known as Scheduled Castes (Dalits), are exposed to caste-based discrimination. It noted the absence of specific laws and measures prohibiting discrimination against Scheduled Castes. It asked about a proper legal framework to prevent discrimination on the basis of caste, descent and occupation. Denmark recommended (a) that Pakistan take specific and targeted measures to effectively prevent discrimination against Scheduled Castes; (b) the repeal of laws discriminating against non-Muslims, if any; and (c) that ICCPR and CAT be ratified as a matter of priority.

Recommendation from UPR working group

These questions lead to the following recommendation in the report of the UPR working group (A/HRC/8/42):

31. To take measures to eliminate discrimination against castes and high degree of poverty suffered by castes (Luxembourg) and take specific and targeted measures to effectively prevent discrimination against Scheduled Castes (Denmark).

Pakistan’s response

In response to these questions, Pakistan stated in the interactive dialogue that “it is a Muslim country and does not have the concept of Dalit or Scheduled Caste. Pakistan noted that it is free from such kind of prejudices, and the existing norms do not contain discrimination on the basis of caste or creed” (para. 99 of A/HRC/8/42).

However when the head of delegation responded to the report of the working group a few months later in an addendum to the report of the working group(A/HRC/8/42/Add.1), the delegation said that efforts are made to eliminate discrimination wherever it exists and to give maximum support to Scheduled Castes:

11. Discrimination on the basis of caste is prohibited under our law. Efforts are made to eliminate discrimination wherever it exists and to give maximum support to scheduled castes. The Federal Government has relaxed upper age limit for the scheduled castes for government jobs. The Ministry of Minorities intends to associate one member form the scheduled caste of Hindu community in the National Commission for Minorities. The Government of the Province of Sindh, where most of the scheduled caste Hindus live, has appointed an advisor from scheduled castes. We are encouraging NGOs to highlight the issues of scheduled castes to seek redress to their grievances.