Pakistan will be reviewed for the second time by the UPR Working Group at the 14th UPR session on 30 October 2012. On this occassion, Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN) and IDSN have prepared and submitted a stakeholders’ report to the OHCHR on 23 April 2012 concerning discrimination against Dalits in Pakistan.
In the Joint UPR Submission, recommendations are made on the measures to be taken by the Government of Pakistan to prevent and address caste-based discrimination.
More specifically, PDSN and IDSN call on UN member states to make the following recommendations to the government, including:
- Adopting a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of caste and take effective and immediate measures to ensure its effective implementation to protect those discriminated against on the basis of caste, as recommended by CERD in 2009;
- Taking specific measures to prevent multiple forms of discrimination against Dalit women (e.g. in access to health services, clean water and sanitation, and in disaster management); and take effective measures to prevent and investigate cases of forced conversion of girls, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable groups such as Scheduled Caste girls;
- Committing to taking serious measures to ensure equal access to education for all, including marginalized children from the Scheduled Caste community;
- Ensuring that Scheduled Caste peasants are given their due share of agricultural productions, so that labourers are not subjected to bonded labour; and extend an invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery;
- Taking special care to address the situation of the most vulnerable groups during relief and rehabilitation work in disaster management laws and plans; and provide special guidelines for assisting scheduled castes in such situations;
- Promoting technical support and assistance to identify suitable policy frameworks and national programmes to prevent and tackle caste discrimination, involving UN experts and international institutions of expertise;
- Endorsing and making use of the draft UN Principles and Guidelines for the effective Elimination of Discrimination based on Work and Descent as a comprehensive framework to eliminate caste discrimination.
In the first UPR, the Government took an active stand on the issue of caste discrimination, after first denying its existence. Read more about the outcome of first UPR of Pakistan in 2008 here.
Link to joint UPR submission:
Other UPR reports on the human rights situation in Pakistan (2012) include:
- UPR Stakeholder submission by the Asian Legal Resource Centre
- UPR Pakistan CSOs Coalition contribution
Pakistan briefing note 2012 (key recommendations, concerns, and references)