Children’s parliament calls for early legislation on child rights
By Noor Aftab
Islamabad: The government should take immediate initiatives to ensure legislation in parliament that can truly reflect the principles of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Children.
This demand was made by 34 members of the Children Parliament of Pakistan (CPP), established recently by the Society for Protection and Rights of Children (SPARC), at a joint news conference here on Saturday. Prime Minister CPP Zainab Samantash, Speaker Bakht Jamshed and opposition leader Bakhtawar were also present on the occasion.
Zainab Samantash on the occasion said that CPP has been established with a realisation to give children a platform to voice their concerns and demands about the issues and challenges they are confronted with in the society. “Almost 50 per cent of the country’s population is under 18 years of age but there is no separate ministry for these youngsters, who possess tremendous talent and can bring laurels for their country,” she said.
Zainab urged the government to give top priority to children related issues and pass the Child Protection Bill in the Parliament to enable Pakistani children to become honourable citizens.
Bakht Jamshed said the successive governments have not done enough to protect child rights over the last six decades and now is the time to take initiatives in the right direction.
“We will go all-out for winning a chance for every child to enjoy his/her rights, as children are not only the country’s future but also its present,” Bakht said and demanded of the government to sign an optional protocol as well as evolve a strategy for the elimination of child labour.
Bakhtawar, the opposition leader, said from this platform of CPP, they would raise all issues faced by the children in Pakistan and push those in power for their early solution. “Change will come only when rights are granted to boys and girls alike and all segments of society join hands against aggressors,” she said.
Bakhtawar said the dream of having a real democracy would continue to be unfulfilled until the state is run through mutual consent, taking into confidence all stakeholders in the country. “We need to develop democratic values, attitudes and behaviour in our lives to help develop democratic norms and promote democracy in the country.”
Source: The News