Govt plans to establish commission on child rights

Published: January 8, 2012
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The human rights ministry is preparing a draft of the National Commission on the Rights of Children bill, which will be tabled in the NA in six months.

The human rights ministry is preparing a draft of the National Commission on the Rights of Children bill, which will be tabled in the NA in six months.

ISLAMABAD: 

The government plans to table a draft of an autonomous commission on children’s rights in the National Assembly within six months.

A senior official of the Ministry of Human Rights said that a draft of the National Commission on the Rights of Children (NCRC) bill will be finalised soon.

He added that the government had long been considering the establishment of a commission to implement forceful legislation against crimes related to children.

The official further said that the government took the initiative following demands by civil society and NGOs working for children’s rights, keeping in view the increasing crime rate related to juveniles. Another factor, he added, was that even though children constitute almost 50 per cent of the country’s total population, there is still no body with a statutory status for the protection of their rights.

An official of the human rights ministry shared some important points of the tentative draft of the commission, saying it “shall have administrative and financial autonomy and exercise its independent judgment in all matters.”

Background

On December 16, 1980, the government of Pakistan established the National Commission for Child Welfare and Development (NCCWD) through a resolution, which was amended from time to time till 1991; and in 1990, the government ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Pakistan was among the prime movers of the World Summit for Children convened in 1990.

The NCCWDs acted as an advisory body to the government of Pakistan at a federal level for purposeful coordination, policy making, promotion of integrated planning and development and effective planning of policies and plans for welfare and development for normal and handicapped children in Pakistan. This body was then devolved.

Problems in implementation

Earlier, the Child Rights Movement (CRM) had demanded the government to immediately place the NCCWD under the human rights ministry and expedite the process of legislation for setting up an autonomous commission on children’s rights. An official of the CRM said that the reason behind Pakistan’s poor performance with reference to the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is that successive federal governments have failed to introduce child-specific laws and policies, in light with international obligations.

Similarly, resource allocation, establishment of effective coordination mechanisms, training and sensitisation of professionals are also almost non-existent.

Functions of the commission

The Commission shall:

a) Act as a focal point for effective supervision and coordination of child rights at national and international levels, and co -ordinate with provincial governments

b) Develop a national policy and plan of action for promotion and protection of the rights of children

c) Review and propose amendments in the laws, propose new laws, and bring laws in conformity with relevant international instruments

d) Monitor the implementation of child-related national laws

e) Provide technical support

g) Monitor the violation of child rights

h) Develop integrated initiatives and coordinated plans in the areas of child rights

i) Mobilise financial resources, through national and international agencies

j) Ensure that recommendations made by the UN are implemented

k) Prepare annual report of its activities

Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • jamil junejo
    Jan 8, 2012 - 9:05PM

    This is great news.Gongrat to governmnet of Pakistan

    Recommend

  • Arshad Mahmood
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:29PM

    I wish the government fulfill its national and international commitments related to child rights including establishing the National Commission on the Rights of Children and enactment of other related laws. the National Commission on the Rights of Children Bill, the Charter of Child Rights Bill, the Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill, the Child Protection (criminal laws amendment) Bill and Child Marriages Restraint (Amendment) Bill are in the pipeline since 2009.

    It’s high time that this Parliament play its role effectively for the promotion and protection of child rights by adopting pending bills.

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