ISLAMABAD, Oct 12: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has directed the ministry of human rights to introduce legislation on the creation of an independent child rights commission.

Addressing a national conference on child rights on Friday, the prime minister said the National Commission on Child Welfare and Development had been placed under the ministry to pursue the agenda of child rights.

He said the country needed a multi-pronged strategy to promote a protective environment for children, including efforts to increase the capacity of families and communities, filling in gaps in legislation and enforcement of laws, promoting open discussions with civil society and the media and improving children’s skills and knowledge, to address the issue of abuse of all forms.

Mr Ashraf said the government was taking measures to combat violence against children, besides providing leadership at the regional level through the South Asia Initiative for Ending Violence Against Children.

The government had taken initiatives to ensure children’s access to education, health, protection and development opportunities, he said. “We are committed to improving both the quality and the coverage of education through effective policy interventions and greater resource allocations.”

He said the government was preparing a law to facilitate implementation of UN treaties in the country, adding the National Assembly speaker had constituted a parliamentary forum to provide an effective institutional mechanism to protect child rights.

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