The participants of a national consultation unanimously endorsed the need for a National Commission on Children (NCC) at the earliest to safeguard the right of children.
Addressing the child protection issues organised by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Thursday, they asked for enforcement of constitutional provisions for the universal, compulsory and free education of every child besides revising Juvenile Justice System Ordinance and Police order (2002).
The participants of the moot included members of HRCP, child rights activists, lawyers, journalists, and representatives of civil society organisations.
They also recommended introducing child health facilities in public and private hospitals without any discrimination, the establishment of district government-led child protection units with a special focus on child labour and girls of rural areas.
They also pointed out that special steps should also be ensured for peri-urban or katchi abadis, adding that any discrimination on the basis of ethnicity/religion would not be tolerated. While children of marginalised areas, minorities, internally displaced persons, refugees and nomads should be kept on priority, they added.
Sharing his views, member Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), Chaudhry Shafique stated that broader recommendations pertaining to legislation, policy and government mechanisms for child protection are imperative for a secure future of our younger generation.
The participants of the consultation agreed that there was a need to raise awareness on protecting children, who are voiceless and non-represented in policy making level.
They said spiralling poverty, unemployment, rural/urban migration, health, population, education, and, above all, socio-cultural traditions and harmful practices are the major threats to future pillars of our nation.