ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi and caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar have called for safeguarding children’s rights and ensuring their protection from social ills like trafficking and underage marriages.
On the occasion of Universal Children’s Day on Monday, the caretaker PM said children were “the sole guarantee” for Pakistan’s future prosperity.
In the ceremony held at the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Kakar also launched the ZARRA Alert App to report missing and abducted children.
The app will be integrated with police stations countrywide to expedite the recovery of missing children.
Appreciating the work done by the National Commission on the Rights for Children and the human rights ministry on the app, the PM said it was a collective effort of all stakeholders. Mr Kakar added his government was “fully devoted to the well-being and safety of the children”.
“The government, NGOs and society as a whole should contribute towards the noble cause of safeguarding the children’s rights and to make their future safe and prosperous.” He also talked about the atrocities being committed by Israeli forces in Gaza and called it “a holocaust of children in Gaza”.
“We are witnessing a child holocaust in Gaza that must be stopped immediately,” the PM said.
Later, while interacting with the differently abled children, Mr Kakar said he was amazed by their intellect, perseverance, and desire to positively contribute to the social sphere. “Their spirit for proving their talents against all odds is impressive.”
In his message on the occasion, President Alvi called upon government agencies, civil society, human rights groups, media, UN agencies, parents, teachers, ulema and children themselves to play a constructive role in improving the lives of children.
“Children in Pakistan are vulnerable to several challenges like stunting, malnutrition and lack of access to quality education and health facilities,” the president said in his message. Children are also facing various challenges like child trafficking, child marriage, child labour, corporal punishment and child abuse.
Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2023