In partnership with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), the ICJ convened and participated in a one-day workshop on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council, held in Lahore on 22 November 2014.
The workshop was convened by the ICJ and HRCP as a follow up to, and in response to requests by participants at, training workshops held in Pakistan in February 2014. Now half way between Pakistan’s second and third periodic reviews under the UPR mechanism, the workshop brought together representatives from civil society from throughout Pakistan working on a wide range of human rights issues. It drew from the experience of national and international advocates and human rights lawyers and defenders to discuss:
- The importance of international human rights law at the national level;
- The UPR as a mechanism for human rights protection and how it fits within the broader framework of UN human rights mechanisms;
- Opportunities for NGO engagement in the UPR, especially in the development of a mid-term civil society evaluation report and in preparation for Pakistan’s third cycle UPR in 2017; and
- Weaknesses in Pakistan’s engagement with the UPR.