National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights in Pakistan: From Development to Implementation
The COVID-19 pandemic brought enormous social and economic consequences for people in Pakistan and added hardships to existing burdens that vulnerable groups have to face. The shutdown measures had a disproportionate effect on women, migrants, minorities, and workers depending on daily or irregular earnings. As informal employment prevails in the country, a lack of written contracts, inadequate protection mechanisms, and poor enforcement of laws and regulations present heightened risks for many workers.
Stakeholders in Pakistan have a collective obligation to ensure that human rights are made an intrinsic part of socio-economic recovery. Responses to the pandemic that ensure businesses respect human rights will result in better outcomes in making the transition process just, resilient, and sustainable.
Pakistan is the first country in the sub-region in adopting a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP). As the country moves toward the implementation of the NAP, it is critical for all relevant stakeholders – the Government, business associations, SMEs, trade unions, the national human rights institution, civil society organizations, academia, activists, youth, and other actors - to work together and play their roles to promote the meaningful progress of business and human rights in Pakistan.
The Country Session will focus on the roles of different stakeholders in informing the progress of business and human rights in Pakistan. The discussion will highlight progress, challenges, and opportunities for implementation of the NAP in Pakistan. In addition, the Session will assess how Pakistan can build a strong ecosystem to move forward human rights agendas under multi-stakeholder approaches. The inputs provided during the Session will inform UNDP Pakistan Country Office, the Government of Pakistan, the private sector, National Human Rights Institutions, civil society, and other relevant stakeholders on their individual and collaborative roles in setting the direction and driving the progress of business and human rights in Pakistan.
The key objectives of this Session are to:
Assess progress, challenges, and opportunities in implementing the NAP in Pakistan and identify country-specific needs in progressing business and human rights;
Discuss triggers and barriers in Pakistan to prevent business related human rights abuses; and
Find different entry points to build a multi-stakeholder, solution-oriented business and human rights ecosystem in Pakistan and call to action to stakeholders to participate in the movement.
Participants will try to answer the following questions:
What are key triggers and barriers to promote the business and human rights agenda in Pakistan?
What are the roles and entry points for different stakeholders to implement the NAP and amplify the importance of the business and human rights agenda for sustainable, resilient, just, and sustainable development?
What are the roles and entry points for different stakeholders to build an ecosystem that connects different actors and enables them to make businesses accountable to human rights for resilient, just, and sustainable development in Pakistan?