THIS is with reference to Arshad Mahmood’s article ‘Child rights agenda’(Dec 10). Children constitute almost half of the country’s population, but the government doesn’t ensure their due rights enshrined in the constitution and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

It disturbing that the government has not submitted its 5th State Party Report to the committee on the rights of child which was due in the current month.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, while considering Pakistan’s consolidated third and fourth periodic report, observed that the concluding observations of the second periodic report have not yet been implemented or insufficiently implemented, including those relating to the harmonisation of the laws with the convention, improved coordination at the national and the local level, the establishment of a monitoring mechanism, resource allocation for children, among other steps.

This is an indication that Pakistan’s progress has been weak on most counts.

On Oct 30, during the periodic review of the status of human rights in Pakistan, the council proposed 163 recommendations to the government of Pakistan for improving the situation of human rights in the country. More than 50 per cent of the recommendations are related to children’s rights.

As a citizen of Pakistan and child rights campaigner, I request the government of Pakistan to consider the recommendations of tnternational bodies and consider passing the Charter of Child Rights Bill, the Criminal Laws Amendment (Child Protection) Bill, the National Commission on the Rights of Children Bill, the Child Marriages Restraint Amendment Bill and the Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill.

Moreover, federal and provincial governments must increase budgetary allocations in health, education and children-specific schemes, programmes and projects so that the welfare of the children of Pakistan could be ensured.

DR M. IRSHAD DANISH Islamabad

Updated Dec 19, 2012 12:03am

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