Pakistan ratifies key UN human rights treaty
Pakistan has ratified a key UN human rights treaty and signed two others. “Becoming a state party to UN human rights conventions is a key step to ensuring human rights are respected, protected and realized for all in Pakistan in line with international standards,” said Amnesty International. The organization has called on the Pakistani authorities to grasp this opportunity and address the pressing human rights problems in the country. When presenting its candidature for the elections of the Human Rights Council in April 2006, Pakistan committed itself to early ratification of core human rights treaties. On 17 April 2008, Pakistan moved to uphold this pledge, ratifying the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and signing both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). Amnesty International has repeatedly, over many years, urged Pakistan to ratify these and other UN human rights treaties. Amnesty International has called upon the Government of Pakistan to promptly ratify the ICCPR and the UNCAT and enact implementing legislation to ensure that the three treaties become part of Pakistan’s domestic law. It should also ratify all other human rights treaties and their optional protocols, as well as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and give full effect to international human rights treaties in policy and practice. Amnesty International has also urged the new Pakistan authorities to release, or else disclose, the fate and whereabouts of all victims of enforced disappearance; to end all secret, incommunicado and administrative detentions; to end all torture and other ill-treatment and repeal all laws which carry cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments; and to declare a moratorium on all death sentences and commute the death sentences of the over 7000 people currently on death row.