Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Need for protection of child rights stressed

Growing cases of violation of child rights should be a matter of grave concern for every responsible individual. Government, civil society and media should join hands for checking these violations.

These views were expressed by speakers at a seminar titled “Violation of Child Right-Media Responsibilities” organised by Hameed Nizami Press Institute of Pakistan (HNPIP) in collaboration with Sahil and Actionaid on Tuesday. The seminar was presided over by Justice (r) Nasira Javed Iqbal. MPA Arifa Khalid Pervez was the chief guest while Director HNPIP Absar Abdul Ali conducted the meeting.

The speakers stressed the need for improving child rights situation in the country.
The speakers included Taseer Mustafa (Journalist), Shoib Mirza (Editor Phool Magazine), Dawood Saqlain (Provincial Manager Actionaid), Iftikhar Mubarik.(Sahil Coordinator), Akmal Awaisi and Sajjad Cheema. While speaking on the occasion, Nasira Javed said the US, despite claiming so called champion of human rights, was still avoiding to sign the UN Child Rights Convention.

“The Convention on the Rights of the Child (an international treaty that recognises the human rights of children) is the most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty. Only two countries, Somalia and the United States, have not ratified this celebrated agreement”. She said the teachings of Islam are the best source of guidance for the solution of every problem.

She also highlighted the need for family planning, which in her view, had become a forgotten idea for Punjab government. However, she hoped for the good future regarding overall human right situation in Pakistan. “No need to worry as many individuals, NGOs has been working to improve child rights situation in the country”, she added.

HNPIP Director, earlier, told the participants of the event that over 1.2 million children have become street children in society, having no roof to sleep under and passing their life without any care. The speakers expressed their grave concern over increasing number of street children in Pakistan. The speakers said the cases of violation of children’s right were reported almost on daily basis.

“Trafficking, torture and abuse of children is rife in many parts of the country,” they observed. They regretted hundreds of thousands of children were engaged in forced child labor, while the number of street children was also on a constant rise. They stressed free education, healthcare and shelter to citizens including children was the responsibility of the state. The speakers appreciated the HNPIP for organising the seminar on important issue, saying, when the huge number of children were working in hazardous, it was need of the hour that the government, the civil society and the media work jointly for improving the child rights situation in the society.