PAKISTAN: Children need concrete steps for their welfare

[ISLAMABAD, 20 November 2011] - No concrete steps were taken by the government to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child, said a Child Rights Movement (CRM) press release.

In the wake of the universal day for children, [celebrated annually on 20 November], SPARC has demanded to accelerate concrete actions for children mere than empty gestures. National Programme Manager Violence Against Children Mohammed Imtiaz Ahmed said though the government has submitted four periodic reports, the content of concluding observations and recommendations (CO&R) made by the committee remained the same.

The exercise of submitting reports provides an opportunity to member states to conduct a comprehensive review of various measures undertaken to harmonise law and policy with the Convention and public scrutiny of government’s policies but in Pakistan it has not transcended beyond rhetoric and formality.

Pakistan’s poor performance with reference to the implementation of the CRC is evident from the fact that successive federal governments have failed to introduce child specific laws and policies in light of Pakistan’s international obligations of being a state party to the CRC. Resource allocation, establishment of effective coordination mechanisms, training and sensitisation of the professionals are also almost non-existent despite 20 years of the ratification.

CRM urged the government to show their commitment on this Universal Children’s Day (November 20) and come up with effective steps for improving the state of child rights in the country instead of empty gestures. The government should initiate a proper plan of action for the implementation of the concluding observations of the UN Committee, approve the National Child Protection Policy and children related laws, increase resource allocation for health, education and child protection, establish a National Commission on the Rights of Children and include child rights in the training curricula of all professional training colleges and academies.

CRM also urged the government to bring in new legislations in provinces other than Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where a new legislation has already brought into force for child protection.


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