ISLAMABAD: The parliamentary committee on appointment of chairperson and members of the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) will meet today to discuss the nominations made by the prime minister and the leader of opposition.
The panel will appoint the chairperson on July 21 and plans to finalise the rest of the members by July 22.
According to the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) Act 2012, the commission will consist of 10 members. This includes a chairperson and a member from all provinces, Fata and Islamabad Capital Territory and minority communities. The chairperson of the National Commission on the Status of Women will also be on the commission. Furthermore, the NCHR legislation says that two seats must be allocated to women within the commission.
However, the federal government has failed to constitute the National Commission for Human Rights despite the fact that the law came into force in May 2012.
According Paris Principles, a set of responsibilities adopted at the first International Workshop on National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights held in October 1991, member states must establish national rights institutions.
Nearly 100 national human rights institutions have been subsequently established by member states.
In India, the NCHR has been functioning since 1993. Some amendments were made in 2006 to the Human Rights Act 1993 to improve their operations.
However, even after 21 years, Pakistan has failed to constitute a national human rights commission.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2014.
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