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May 27, 2019

Protecting children

Newspost

 
May 27, 2019

The first step in creating a child protection system ought to begin by knowing the facts and the data. Our existing information on child abuse is the result of a voluntary or a funded effort by an NGO or an international body. The state of Pakistan itself is easily the least informed party. Why does our own state not collect its own data of its own most precious and vulnerable population? The last child labour survey was conducted in 1996. The next was initiated (at least on paper) in March 2019. As almost every project with foreign aid has failed in the past, the fate of this Unicef-sponsored survey could be no different.

It is important for the state to shed all petty pillars of international piety and set up its own national database for the children of Pakistan. Complete details of every child from birth to at least 18 years of age must be known to the state, which should include as a minimum data relating to birth record, family, address, Child Registration Certificate number, immunisation record, the grade and the school attended by the child. This data must be updated on yearly basis.

Naeem Sadiq

Karachi

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