Rights of children Government urged to implement UPR recommendations -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Rights of children Government urged to implement UPR recommendations

LAHORE: The human rights activists have urged the government to implement the child rights related recommendations for the country made in the previous Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report on Pakistan.

They also urged the government to accept new recommendations of recent Human Rights Council’s (HRC) session held on Oct 30 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The participants in a consultation on Children Rights in UPR, organised by Child Rights Movement (CRM), Punjab, at a local hotel on Thursday, regretted non-implementation of the previous recommendations made by the Movement.

National Commission for Justice and Peace Executive Director Peter Jacob said it was an alarming situation for children, who were deprived of their basic rights. If this situation was not addressed carefully, he said, it could lead to disaster. He called for launching a big movement, besides ensuring quality education, so that children could be protected from discrimination.

Child rights activist Iftikhar Mubarik said the situation in Pakistan was reviewed for the first time in May 2008 and a number of recommendations were made in the UPR for improving rights status of children in the country. However, he said, Pakistan had progressed slowly on the implementation of these recommendations.

Mr Mubarik said Pakistan was again reviewed on October 30 this year and was again given a number of concrete recommendations for taking appropriate administrative, legislative and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognised in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The country was urged to take measures to the maximum extent of their available resources, he added.

SPARC’s Sajjad Cheema said human rights record of Pakistan was reviewed recently under UPR and during this process civil society of Pakistan was disappointed by the stance of the government on the issue. He regretted though child rights situation was bleak in the country, the government was claiming a lot of progress on the issue.

At this stage, he stressed, the civil society had a chance to play its role by pushing the state to act upon a maximum number of recommendations with regard to child rights.

Abdullah Khoso from Save the Children said the Human Rights Council was examining the situation in the country after every four years in terms of human, child, women, minority and labour rights.

Mr Khoso urged Pakistan to accept and implement all child rights related recommendations made in the HRC session that included establishment of a national commission on the rights of children and abolition of child domestic labour that was tantamount to slavery.

Aashima Husain from ActionAid, Riaz Ahmed from Bunyaad, Dr Naeem Zafar from PAHCHAAN, Nazir Ahmed Ghazi from Godh, Munawar Shahid, a media representative, also spoke on the occasion.