PAKISTAN: SPARC denounces that 76 per cent of parents are in favour of corporal punishment

Summary: The findings were presented at a conference aimed at sensitising the media on the issue, at which media representatives were also urged to report the issues of violence against children and abuse responsibly without humiliating them or their families by revealing the identities of the victims.

[ISLAMABAD, 6 October 2011] - According to a survey conducted by Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Children (SPARC) in five districts has revealed that around 76 per cent of parents are in the favour of corporal punishment and believe that such punishment is necessary to correct the child s behaviour.

The finding was shared at a media consultation on child rights organised by SPARC  on Wednesday. The orientation was aimed at briefing the print and electronic media persons on the child right situation in the country and also to sensitise them on these issues so that they can play their responsible role in protecting and reporting child rights.

In his presentation on State of Pakistan s Children, National Programme Manager on Violence against Children, SPARC, Imtiaz said that in Pakistan, there are about 19.5 million children of primary age group, out of which 6.8 million are out of school and 60 per cent of these out of school children are females.

He said that estimated 460,000 children under five die each year in Pakistan that is one of the highest rates in South Asia.

Highlighting the educational problems of children, he suggested that budgetary allocations to education must be substantially increased to meet the target of 7 per cent of GDP by 2015, as committed in the National Education Policy, 2009.

Imtiaz also shared the harmful aspects of some traditional practices that directly affect the lives and future of children. He urged the media to report the issues of violence against children and abuse responsibly without humiliating them or their families by revealing the identities of the victims.

Discussing the situation of child labour in Pakistan, he said that there is child domestic worker in every fourth household in the country. He stressed the need to differentiate between child labour and child worker and said that children who have no choice but to earn for their family should work under specified standards of work for children and should be provided an opportunity to study as well.

National Manager for Juvenile Justice and Child Labour, SPARC, Abdullah Khoso talked about the situation of child rights in post 18th Amendment scenario. He appreciated the insertion of Article 25-A in the law, which makes education free and compulsory for children of 5-16 years of age, but said it can serve the nation only after the law is effectively implemented.

Khoso expressed concern on the non-implementation of the national and international laws regarding promotion and protection of child rights, specially the minimum age of child labour and criminal responsibility. He said that government should establish National Commission on the Rights of the Children, as there is no national body for the child rights after 18th Amendment.

Scholar and Columnist Khurshid Nadeem said that crime rate, militancy, unrest, illiteracy and poverty are the results of ignoring children in the past. A person returns to the society what he receives from his or her childhood. He also stressed the need of collaborative efforts by media and civil society to highlight the issues of children.


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