The International Day for Street Children was observed on Friday in the city to create awareness and stress on the need for legislation to protect them.
The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) held a seminar where the participants raised concerns over the absence of adequate legislation, poor budgetary allocations and the slow progress in implementing the recommendations of the international human rights bodies.
The number of street children in urban centres has increased in recent years. Though there is no official data available regarding the number of street children, it is widely assumed that more than 1.5 million children are living and working on the streets of Pakistan.
“Street children are more vulnerable to abuse from criminal gangs, drug addicts and begging mafias who take these children under their wing and use them in criminal activities,” said SPARC Programme Manager, Khalid Mehmood.
Children also resort to begging and petty crimes on their own to buy food and drugs, he added.
Participants also stressed on creating awareness among families and teachers about child rights.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2013.
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