PESHAWAR: Participants of a dialogue on child rights have urged the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to enact the KP Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill to ensure implementation of Article 25 A of the Constitution about right to education of children from five to six years of age.

The session was held here on Thursday under the aegis of Child Rights Movement (CRM), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter, to commemorate the Universal Children’s Day, which is being observed today (Friday).

Speaking on the occasion, members of civil society organisations said that though this year it was the 25th anniversary of Pakistan’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) there was still a long way to go to ensure that the children of Pakistan enjoyed all rights enshrined in the convention.


Universal Children’s Day being observed today


They said that child rights was a provincial subject after the 18th amendment and it was the responsibility of the provincial government to take effective steps for the implementation of UNCRC.

According to a statement, the participants of the dialogue asked the government to prepare and properly budget the KP plan of action for children and enact the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill to ensure implementation of Article 25 A of the Constitution about right to education for children of five to six years at all costs.

They said that the provincial government should make budgetary allocation for establishing and strengthening child protection system in the province and ensure effective implementation of KP Child Protection and Welfare Act 2010.

The KP Child Protection and Welfare Commission, they said, should be strengthened and its meetings held regularly according to the law.

Budgetary allocation for mother and child health-related initiative should be increased and routine immunisation should be ensured.

The participants also called for increasing the number of lady health workers, community midwives and vaccinators to ensure a hundred per cent health coverage.

The CRM also asked the government to implement the KP Borstal Institution Act 2012 and borstal institutions should be established in Bannu, Peshawar and Haripur districts.

It said that steps should be taken for effective implementation of the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance 2000.

The CRM urged Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to put emphasis on improving the state of child rights in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2015