10 September, 2011

CRM stresses for Commission on Rights of Children

Sana Jamal

Islamabad - To observe and protect the rights of the millions of ill-fated children across the country, Child Rights Movement (CRM) has demanded the government to establish National Commission on the Rights of Children, since “there is nobody with a statutory status for the protection of their rights at federal level.”
CRM has appealed to the Parliamentarians including MNAs, group members on Children’s Rights, and Speaker of the National Assembly to delve into the matter and reinstate National Commission for Child Welfare and Development (NCCWD) in the Ministry of Human Rights. It is pertinent to mention that, NCCWD was the sole body responsible for child rights before 18th Amendment.

“It is sad that the Bill of National Commission on the Rights of Children (NCRC) is pending since 2009 without any progress towards its enactment” noted CRM, adding that children constitute almost fifty percent of the total population. CRM urged the government to enact the NCRC Bill and establish a central statutory body within the Ministry of Human Rights in order to honour its constitutional and international obligations.
Government’s decision to place the National Commission on the Status of Women in the Ministry of Human Rights was welcomed by the civil society members but they pointed out that the state of child rights was worsening gradually. “Article 25 (3) of the Constitution empowers the Government for making special provisions for the protection of women and children” they added.
Although Pakistan is the sixth among the world community and first Islamic country to sign and ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and has recently ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Pornography; but the current state of child rights call for immediate corrective measures from the authority.
The CRM meeting, intended to draw attention to child rights, was attended by its members including Bedari, Cavish Foundation, GVO, ITA, Islamic Relief, MRDS, OSD, NIDA, PODA, PCE, Right to Play, Rozan, Sahil, SHARP, SPARC and SSD.