26 November, 2010

Children Parliamentarians of Pakistan demand due rights

Published in Pakistan Observer (25 Nov. 2010)
Sana Jamal
ISLAMABAD: The Children Parliament Pakistan has called for establishment of a separate ministry to care for children’s rights, firm action on child labour issue and to ensure equal treatment for women at grass root level.

This has been stated in a resolution adopted by the Members of the Children’ Parliament Pakistan in Islamabad Wednesday during the one-day session of the Rawalpindi Regional Assembly (RRA), Punjab.

Arslan Latif, Speaker of the Regional Assembly, Rawalpindi said “CPP is a platform which provides opportunity to the children of Pakistan to present their problems and submit suggestions for evolving policies on child rights.”

Children’ Parliament Pakistan (CPP) is an initiative of Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), supported by Strengthening Democracy through Parliamentary Development (SDPD). The idea of the parliament was conceived in 2007 and put into practice a year later.

Talking to Pakistan Observer, Marvi Sirmed, National Project Manager of SDPD (UNDP) said that parliamentary procedure should not only be kept to the parliament but it should be made part of our lives. “The basic aim of this project was to politically aware the children hence making them responsible citizens who are aware of their rights and duties.” This is an awareness campaign to bring attitudinal changes in our behaviour towards democracy, she added.

‘Chief Minister of RRA’, Hamid Ali briefing about the achievements of CPP in Chakwal said that, “We have collected information about 204 vulnerable children in Chakwal and have also sent a proposal to construct an institution for them.”

Explaining the democratic system to the elected parliamentarians, Former Speaker of Children Parliament Bakht Jamshed said “Democracy is a system which gives voice to common man”.

Three hundred Members of the CPP from 30 districts of Pakistan are serving as the representatives of the children of Pakistan in 10 Regional Assemblies. The Assemblies holds 2-3 meetings annually to discuss the pertinent issues and come up with the resolutions in order to ensure the rights of the children in Pakistan.