Pakistan proposes action plan to EU

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Recently Pakistan has presented an eight-point National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (2021-26) to the European Union during the review of progress on the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) plus scheme. The incumbent government has agreed to an action plan which will certainly be a tread towards optimistic image building. It will also improve Pakistan’s position during the review. According to some reports, the current GSP scheme would be reinstated with a new arrangement, which would come into effect in January 2024. After this initiative, all political parties must support the action plan the same as they supported the National Action Plan. Any such signal would have a great impact on the entire world. The Ministry of Human Rights, with the collaboration of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has developed Pakistan’s first National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. It is based on the United Nations guiding principles on business and human rights. The action plan has been organized after a two-year nationwide review procedure with stakeholders from the government, civil society, business and academia. The plan has been prearranged around 69 projected actions connected to the performance, intensification and execution of legislation, policies, institutions and implementation mechanisms.

It also has eight precedence areas which comprise of financial lucidity, corruption and human rights standards in public procurement contracts; anti-discrimination, equal opportunity and inclusion; human rights due diligence; labour standards and the informal economy; child labour; forced or bonded labour; occupational health and safety; and right of entry to remedy. It is also pertinent to mention that the current plan is a five-year plan covering 2021-26. This action plan will also be the first of its type in South Asia and third in Asia. Therefore, the execution of the action plan will guarantee the fortification of human rights in business activity and certainly, it will serve as a positive image-building initiative for Pakistan in the future. 

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