With child abuse and child marriages on the rise, children in Sindh face a dismal condition.
However, the federal and the provincial government of Sindh cannot be bothered any less. Neither of the two has taken effective measures to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in Sindh.
A consultation on the 'State of Children in Sindh and Ratification of 25 Years of UNCRC' was organised by the Child Rights Movement (CRM) at the Regent Plaza Hotel on Wednesday.
Participants pointed out the absence of legal, administrative and financial frameworks for the protection of the rights of children as enshrined in the UNCRC and the Constitution of Pakistan.
Pakistan ratified the UNCRC on November 12, 1990, which binds the state and its provinces to take all necessary steps to ensure the provision of child rights.
"Sadly, in the absence of required measures, child rights violations are increasing every day in Sindh," CRM, Sindh, coordinator Madni Memon said. He said that child sexual abuse, economic exploitation, corporal punishment, child marriages, forced and bonded child labour are increasing rapidly.
He also pointed out the alarmingly high number of street children and those who are out of school. "It is all because of poverty and lack of social protection by the government," he said.
"The absence of required laws and the non-implementation of the existing ones have led to the increase in the number of crimes against children," said Iqbal Ahmed Detho, the provincial manager for the Save the Children's Every One campaign.
Detho said that while 377 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in Sindh in 2012, the number rose to 583 last year. The cases of child and forced marriages reported in the province were 193.
He added that even though the number of child marriage cases is in thousands every year, they are not monitored and reported.
"Sadly, 29 per cent of children of school-going age are out of school in Sindh," said Detho. "The province has a dangerously high rate of malnutrition among children less than five years of age."
Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2014.
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