Conference “Is Suspension of Pakistan’s GSP+ Status Overdue?” 

This conference organized by HRWF will take place in-person at the Press Club, Brussels, at 11:00 – 12:00 (CET), Rue Froissart 95, 1000 Brussels


Thursday September 9th

The conference will also be live-streamed

Topics to be addressed:


  • The legal basis of the Blasphemy Laws, and the way in which they are abused.


  • Pakistan’s continued contravention of a number of the 27 international conventions that beneficiaries of GSP+ status are required to ratify.



  • Towards EU’s sanctions including suspension of the status?


  • What message does the European Commission’s failure to suspend Pakistan’s GSP+ status send out to other developing nations, or to rogue states?


Following the event, letters outlining the conclusions and recommendations of the conference will be hand-delivered to High Representative Josep Borrell at the European Council, and to the office of President David Sassoli at the European Parliament.


Provisional Agenda





Willy Fautre, Director, Human Rights Without Frontiers. Former chargé de mission at the Cabinet of the Belgian Ministry of Education and at the Belgian Parliament. Member of the International Consortium on Law and Religious Studies.



Keynote Speakers


Ján Figel, First EU Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union (2016-2019); he was instrumental in the release of Asia Bibi.


Peter Van Dalen, Member of the European Parliament, Co-chair of the Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief.


Andy Vermaut: Association pour La Défense de la Liberté Religieuse (AIDLR)


Marcela Szymanski and Akmal Bhatti: Aid to the Church in Need: Testimonies


Dr Zsuzsa-Anna Ferenczy, Former political advisor, European Parliament (Foreign Affairs, Human Rights) from 2008 to 2020. She is a Ph.D. Research fellow at the European Union Centre in Taiwan at National Taiwan University, Taipei. Author of “Europe, China, and the Limits of Normative Power” (Edward Elgar Publishing)