PIPS organises consultation on NAP on business and human rights


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) in collaboration with Oxfam, organized a two-day consultation on the National Action Plan (NAP) on business and human rights here on Tuesday.

The consultation aims to engage human rights legislators and provincial policymakers in debates concerning the legal policy dimension of business and human rights.

Human Rights Federal Minister Mumtaz Ahmad Tarar was the chief guest of the inaugural ceremony of the conference.

The minister accentuated that the country’s sixty-million strong workforce continued to face significant problems, such as salaries below the legal minimum, obstacles in trade union formation, unsafe work conditions, and approximately two to three million children and women in the workforce earning significantly less for the same work as men.

One aspect of human rights was related to tax responsibility of business enterprises which was the vital source of the state in delivering human rights. The minister ensured his support demanded by the stakeholders in legislative matters concerning the subject.

Keynote speaker, human rights expert I.A. Rehman shared this insight highlighting the need for enforcing the guiding principles of the NAP on business and human rights.

PIPS Executive Director, Zafarullah Khan shared his welcome speech and emphasized the importance of this consultation in a national context. The provincial representatives from all the four provinces also shared their observations on the current situation in their respective provinces regarding business and human rights.

Provincial representatives included Punjab Human Rights Secretary Asim Iqbal, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Law Secretary Asghar Ali, Balochistan Human Rights Secretary Mohammad Asghar and Sindh Human Rights Secretary Tanveer Qureshi.

National Assembly members Shehryar Afridi and Sajid Nawaz also highlighted the role of parliament in ensuring and protecting the NAP on business and human rights in Pakistan.

NAP on business and human rights Programme Manager Asim Jaffry said that tax was also an issue of good governance and responsible business practice. There are immediate and meaningful steps that companies can take to improve the impact of their tax behaviour in Pakistan, where they are doing business.