When it comes to advancing and protecting children rights in Pakistan, unfortunately, the country has always remained unsuccessful. Recently, the annual launching ceremony of the ‘State of the Children Report’ was held, which was launched by the Society for the Protection of the Rights of Children (SPARC). In this ceremony an analysis report was shared by some researchers and expert. The research team of Sparc includes Marium Soomro, Zohair Waheed, and Fatima Raja. They were gathered in the ceremony and presented the findings of the report made in 2015.
According to the report, a great number of national and international sources revealed that around 25 million children (age ranging from 5-16) in Pakistan are out of schools. Among these 25 million, 13 million are girls. This is a very sad situation, which is made even more complicated due to the lack of good teaching staff and a proper infrastructure. The teaching standards in the school are poor and these are the things, which directly or indirectly compel more children to drop out of school.
Other than this, the report also depicted an increased prevalence of violence against innocent children in Pakistan. These results were shown by proper statistics regarding child marriages, child sexual abuse, and honour killing. The report also showed that around 3768 cases of child sexual abuse were recorded in 2015.
It is also mentioned that government only took a serious against child sexual abuse by protecting the rights of child through enacting legislation, after an extreme tragedy like Kasur. According to the report, around 21 percent of girls in Pakistan get married even before they turn 18 and approximately 40 cases of acid attacks against children were reported in Acid Survivors Foundation.
Moreover, 54 cases of polio were reported from different parts of the country. Although it shows a decreased rate than last year, however, the children in the region of Tharparker are still dying of malnutrition. They lack the facilities of basic health and undergo starvation, which results in death. Around 143 number of deaths of children were reported due to starvation and acute malnutrition.
The report also stated that on the issue of child labour, there is no active and up to date database. It is one of the main reasons that no legislation and policies are being formulated yet that will work towards the elimination of child labour in Pakistan. The report also emphasized over banning the employment of children in all the work places; may it be a home, an industry, or a local shop. Sadia Hussain, Sparc Executive Director, said,
It would not be wrong if we call them Missed Development Goals for Pakistan
She demanded the government to introduce an initiative on street children, under national level. She further said that
although in Pakistan, there are laws to protect children rights, but a proper implementation of these rights is very necessary.
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