available languages: english October 9, 2019

Pakistan – implementing human rights commitments to maintain GSP+ trade status with the EU; focus of event with parliamentarians, human rights officials and businesspeople

Around thirty parliamentarians, human rights officials and business community members from across Pakistan met in Karachi on 1 and 2 October 2019 to discuss how to effectively implement the country’s human rights commitments to maintain and maximize the benefits of GSP+ trade status with the EU.

Participants met with the Chief Minister of Sindh province, Syed Murad Ali Shah, who lauded DRI’s initiative to bring parliamentarians from across the country to discuss these issues. He emphasized the efforts made by the Sindh government to improve human and labour rights, such as banning child marriages, police and prison reforms, and initiatives for people with disabilities, women and senior citizens.

Throughout the event, participants underlined the importance for political parties to stay updated about GSP+ opportunities and conditionalities to fully benefit from the scheme. Parliamentarians were briefed on the financial benefits, challenges and significance of GSP+. The participants then met with the Speaker of the Sindh Assembly to discuss initiatives taken by the assembly related to human rights.

Zulfiqar Shah, Member of the Sindh Human Rights Commission and Executive Director of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research started the second day by leading a discussion on the progress of compliance with human rights obligations and civil society recommendations for the GSP+ monitoring process. This was followed by a panel discussion by Justice (retired) Majida Rizvi, Chairperson of the Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC), Nuzhat Sheerin of the Sindh Commission on the Status of Women and Veerje Kholi, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on Human Rights. They discussed the role of SHRC as an example to promote and protect human rights, as well as gender and religious minority rights in Pakistan.

This event was part of the “Fostering the Protection of Human and Labour Rights through Trade Instruments” project funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), through which DRI helps the promotion and protection of human and labour rights in Pakistan.

Find out more about the benefits of GSP+ on DRI Pakistan’s Facebook Page.