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December 2, 2019

The rights of the child

Newspost

 
December 2, 2019

In 2019, the world is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children (UNCRC). Pakistan was among the countries which signed and ratified the CRC for implementing it in accordance with Pakistan’s law and Islamic ideology. The CRC provides a universal standard on the rights of children the world over.

Pakistan being a signatory is under obligation to develop a child protection system to ensure optimum child development and protection. It is now over a quarter of century that Pakistan signed the convention which required legislations to make the CRC the law of the land. To date, Pakistan has no comprehensive enabling law with regard to the CRC. As a result, the convention cannot be directly applied in the courts. Nearly 30 years down the lane, the state of children in Pakistan is still terrible. The health statistics of children are staggering; 74 out of 1,000 children under the age of one cannot survive their first year of life and 44 out of 1,000 newborns not even the first month of life. The vaccination status of our children is between 56 percent and 88 percent with considerable variation between the provinces. The incidence of pneumonia, polio, tuberculosis, typhoid, malaria and other communicable disease have increased. Only 66 percent children are enrolled in primary schools in Pakistan – a country where, according to the constitution, primary schooling is free and mandatory. Child protection is still an alien concept for many. The rising incidence of child abuse now increasingly and objectively being reported in the print and electronic media is not new. It should be a matter of concern for all of us.

Abdul Muqtadir

Rawalpindi

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