Govt urged to form commission on child rights | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Govt urged to form commission on child rights

Pakistan Press Foundation

LAHORE: Child Rights Movement (CRM), a coalition of 30 civil society organisations, has urged the Punjab government to establish a provincial commission on the rights of children without delay.

“It is unfortunate that even after ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) 25 years ago, there is no body with a statutory status for the promotion and protection of child rights in Pakistan,” said a CRM spokesperson on Saturday.

The Punjab government should immediately take legislative actions to establish a Provincial Commission on the Rights of Children (PCRC) with the aim to monitor, promote and protect children’s rights.

After 18th Amendment, child protection had now become a provincial subject. The Punjab Commission on the Rights of Children Bill lying pending with the provincial assembly should also be passed so that the proposed commission could be established to act as a focal point for effective supervision and coordination of children’s rights related matters (survival, development, protection and participation of children) in general and children at risk in particular at provincial level.

“The proposed commission will help analyse existing government statistics on children to identify gaps or the need for disaggregated data and where there is a lack of existing information, it will produce data of its own through commissioned research, or urge the government to undertake any necessary research as well as collect and publish data on the situation of children and take appropriate steps to protect and promote the rights of such children,” said the spokesperson.

The CRM demanded that the government also make some amendments in the Punjab Destitute and Neglected Children Act 2014 to enhance its purview and cover uncovered issues of child protection.

“There is also an urgent need to develop a comprehensive provincial plan of action for children with special focus on prevention, interventions and rehabilitation of children from all forms of abuse and, a good opportunity would be to engage the local government representatives in future to act as ambassadors, and protector of rights of children,” said the spokesperson.