The Ministry of Human Rights, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, conducted a two-day consultation workshop focused on “Developing a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights in Pakistan” at the Karachi Marriott Hotel on 1st and 2nd October, 2020.
Representatives from relevant government departments, business enterprises and civil society organisations as well as labour unions were invited to attend the event. The process of development of a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights was shared with the participants and they were engaged in a panel discussion consisting of Mr. Zulfiqar Shah Joint Director at PILER, Ms. Abira Ashfaq, Lecturer at the Institute of Business Administration and Mr. Gulfam Nabi Memon, ex-Director of the Labour Department, Sindh. The workshop provided a platform to the stakeholders to share their recommendations and identify priority areas to be incorporated into the National Action Plan.
The Ministry stated that it is interested to seek input from each province and the key stakeholders who attended the consultation event will help provide recommendations specific to the province of Sindh. Earlier last month, the Ministry conducted a consultation in Quetta to seek recommendations specific to the Balochistan province.
Mr. Malik Kamran Azam Khan Rajar, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Human Rights shared that the Ministry has opted for the development of the National Action Plan to be an inclusive and transparent process and the inclusion of relevant stakeholders from the government departments, civil society organisations and business enterprises is essential to draft a National Action Plan, which can be effectively implemented across the Country.
Mr. Rajar went on to state that the Ministry initiated the Business and Human Rights project in late 2018 and since then, it has conducted consultations in Lahore, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Peshawar and Gilgit.
He noted that holding tripartite consultation meetings with business enterprises, labour unions and government departments across the nation is essential for a successful and inclusive National Action Plan as each has a unique area of focus.