Pakistan joins the world community today in celebrating the Universal Children’s Day 2020, which is an occasion for all of us to reaffirm our commitment to the fundamental principles laid down in the Constitution of Pakistan, United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Children are the most precious resource of any nation and the sole guarantee for its future. The Government of Pakistan is fully cognizant to its responsibilities towards our children, and is determinedly striving to ensure that child’s rights to inclusive development, education, healthcare, participation, dignity and security, as envisaged in the United Nations Convention on the Rights are implemented.
The present Government has initiated various programs to ensure protection of children’s rights in the country. A National Commission on the Rights of Child has been set up which monitors child rights situation in the country. Two Children, a girl and a boy have been given representation in the Commission. The Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Act, 2020 has been enacted for the protection of missing and abducted children. The Juvenile Justice System Act, 2018 and ICT Child Protection Act, 2018 have been enacted to provide care and protection to children.
The Manifesto of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf provides for enhanced focus on childhood nutrition, Child-friendly learning environment, educating our children, promoting early screening and interaction for children with disabilities. The present Government has also initiated programs like healthcare for all, transforming education and unleashing the potential of the youth. Moreover, the expansion of social safety net, providing clean drinking water and tackling climate change are also among the priority areas. Besides, a caring system for people with special needs is also being created. The rule of law and economic justice are being ensured by undertaking various measures. The Government of Pakistan is constantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the country and accordingly taking all possible appropriate measures in collaboration with provincial governments and development partners to mitigate its adverse effects on people.
The Government is building a welfare state where transparency is being guaranteed to all the citizens. The creation of a violence free society and ending child abuse is one of the present Government’s priority areas among others as the future of Pakistan lies with our children. I reaffirm my pledge for protection of child rights in the country enabling them to become productive members and citizens of the society and the State respectively.
I am confident that with government organizations, civil society bodies, philanthropist establishments, human rights groups, the corporate sector and international development partners all coming together on one platform, no difficulty will be insurmountable, and very soon our children will also enjoy the same care, nurturing, protection and opportunities that are available to children in the more advanced nations of the world.