PR No. 213 Islamabad: November 23, 2016

Federal Minister for Human Rights Senator Kamran Michael has said that the promotion and protection of human rights including the rights of women and children was the top most priority of our government and bright future for the country can only be ensured by providing the justice to the oppressed sector of society. He stressed that children are our responsibility and our primary priority as they are our hopes and aspirations for the future and we must ensure that progressive and liberal Pakistan envisioned by our fore fathers becomes a living reality.

He was addressing the ceremony in connection with the Universal Children’s Day here in Islamabad on Wednesday. Besides, Joint Secretary ministry of human rights Human Rights, Ms. Humaira Azam, Parliamentarians, Representatives of Government, UN Agencies,Members of INGOs and NGOs, students and large number of children were present on the occasion.

Addressing the ceremony, minister said this Day reminds us of our obligations and commitments for the rights of our children. “Despite the fact that Pakistan is facing many challenges, a number of policies, legislative, administrative and programmatic measures have been taken by the Government of Pakistan for the promotion and protection of rights of children, he added. He said that the Ministry is implementing a National Plan of Action on Human Rights which has an exclusive chapter on child protection, child Labour, education and other measures for ending discrimination and violence against children. He further stated that Ministry of Human Rights has promulgated the land mark legislation Criminal Law adding that the new law has introduced punishments for exposure of children to seduction, cruelty to child, child pornography, child sexual abuse and trafficking of human beings.

Minister said on the directives of the Prime Minister, Mohammad Nawaz Shareef, Treaty Implementation Cells have been set up at Federal and Provincial level to oversee implementation of the Human Rights Conventions including Convention on the Rights of the Child. He said Pakistan is playing a leading role in implementation of the Action Plan of the South Asia Initiative to End Violence against Children which is focusing on the five thematic areas of violence against children like Child Labour, Child Trafficking, Child Sexual abuse and Exploitation, Child Marriages and Corporal Punishment.

He said steps have been taken to ensure the protection of human rights and in this connection National Child Protection Centre has already been which is providing protection, rehabilitation and reintegration services to vulnerable and at risk children.  “The Ministry has launched a Helpline 1099 for free Legal Advice to the victims of Human and Child Rights Violations, he added. He said government was sincere and utilizing all out efforts in addressing the children’s issues on priority in Pakistan.

Kamran Michael said we are undertaking legislative reforms by reviewing the existing child rights laws bringing them in conformity of International Standards to make Pakistan a Child Friendly Country. He said all the stakeholders must put their sincere efforts towards making the society tolerant and ensuring healthy growth and development of children.

He also appreciated the public and private sector organizations that are rendering invaluable services to promote well-being of children. He urged all those organizations to work out a coordination mechanism to establish linkages for maximizing efforts and enhancing synergies and said the people of Pakistan should come forward and join hands with the Government and invests in children for their development.

On this occasion the minister also witnessed the performances of the students and children and distributed the gifts and prizes amongst them.