It is a matter of great pride that we are celebrating Universal Children Day today. Pakistan is committed to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and its provisions in true letter and spirit. It is a vital document which provides the basic principles for the rights of the children. The Government throughout the years has taken concrete measures to ensure children’s rights to survival, development, protection and participation as envisaged in the UNCRC.
It is our national duty to protect the best interests of our children. Children are a vulnerable segment of society, particularly in developing countries. In this context we have to reaffirm our commitment for protection of child rights to make our children useful citizens. I have approved the legislation proposed by the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights with regard to Child Abuse, Child Pornography and enhancing the minimum age of criminal liability. I have noted with pleasure that Punjab and Sindh have introduced amendments in the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929. I am hopeful that we would establish an autonomous and independent National Commission for Child Rights in the near future. The Punjab government has launched a Mega Project for elimination of child labour in all the districts and I am hopeful that other provinces will also take initiatives for eliminating child labour. A major focus of the government is to improve the education and living conditions for the girl child.
I, urge the civil society, NGOs, philanthropist, international development partners, media and corporate sectors to come forward as partners and play an effective role for protection of child rights. I am glad to note that the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights is making all out efforts for protection and promotion of child rights in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders and practitioners in the country.
I urge the Federal Ministries and Provincial Government to sincerely undertake the required legislative, administrative and social sector reforms to create an enabling environment for children. I also appreciate the UN agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations for their efforts for continuously advocating and highlighting the child rights. I hope they will cfontinue to pursue this important mission with the same zeal and vigor.
May Allah bless us in this noble cause-Ameen.