IT is heartening that Pakistan has finally ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as well as the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).
Pakistan has already ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in 2008, which commits its parties to work toward the granting of economic, social, and cultural rights (ESCR) to individuals, including labour rights and rights to health, education, and an adequate standard of living.
These are significant steps taken by the incumbent government. However, one fails to understand why the government is silent on the issue of preparing and submitting its initial report under the ICESCR (which was due in April this year).
The government of Pakistan should also take into consideration the ratification of the two optional protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. Pakistan has signed both the optional protocols (September 2001). The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, while considering the Pakistan Periodic Reports in 2003 and 2009, strongly recommended ratifying both the protocols.