HRCP Speaks Out About the Human Rights Cost of Pakistan’s Economic Crisis


Pakistan’s economic situation continues to deteriorate with almost no attention being paid to the impact this has on the weaker segments of society. At its biannual meeting, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) expressed “serious concern over the country’s dire economic situation, purported increase in child labour and exploitative practices, and reports of suicides allegedly triggered by poverty.”


The HRCP reiterated the need “for urgent land reforms to reduce economic inequality and views the growth of high-income housing societies with alarm, given the consequent depletion of agricultural land and associated risk of rising food insecurity.”

Further, “unseasonal rains and the growing prospect of floods in Sindh and Balochistan are cause for alarm. Those displaced by the earlier floods must be rehabilitated in areas that are not vulnerable to further natural disasters.”

HRCP also expressed alarm at “the deteriorating law and order in northern Sindh and southern Punjab, including the increase in dacoities and kidnappings, as well as reports of the growing presence of militants in Gilgit-Baltistan and Kohistan. HRCP is especially concerned over the situation of religious minorities, who continue to face discrimination and violence. A bill criminalising forced conversions, currently with the Sindh government, should be passed without further delay. The Sindh Students Union Act must also be implemented promptly.”

Furthermore, the HRCP reiterated “its utter dissatisfaction with the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, given that perpetrators of enforced disappearances are still not held accountable. We also call for transparency into the resources that were supposed to have been allocated to the newly merged districts in KP and reportedly have not. Additionally, there needs to be a concerted effort to remove landmines in KP.”

In conclusion, the HRCP noted that “the growing political polarisation has undermined parliamentary supremacy. Concerns over the census and allegations of undercounting must also be addressed, given the implications for delimitation of electoral constituencies. Local governments need to be made much more effective in all the provinces to protect people’s rights. HRCP also demands greater judicial accountability and transparency in the appointment of judges.”