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Sunday, February 5, 2023
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HomeOpinionWe have failed our children

We have failed our children

Every child deserves equal treatment regardless of their gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, physical appearance, ability, socio-economic status, nationality, creed, ideology, or other personal identities. Children with disabilities have the right to receive they need to thrive. Refugees should also receive help and maintain the same rights as children born in the country they now live in. Children from minority, , disenfranchised and indigenous communities have the right to practice their religion, language, culture, and customs

The United Nations World Summit for Children was held in the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on 29-30 September 1990. Form Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto participated in the summit. The purpose was to improve the well-being of children worldwide by the year 2000. The main result of the World Summit was the joint signing of a World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children. This summit set the stage for a series of UN conferences throughout the 1990s. UNICEF funded dozens of conferences in Pakistan for awareness raising and people were at least sensitized to some extent regarding the miserable conditions of the country’s children. The summit had decided to support developing countries with many programs for the well-being of children and women. Governments were asked to make laws in their concerned countries for the protection of children’s rights. In some cases, the governments in Pakistan moved and there was some legislation but for many other children’s rights, effective and comprehensive legislation is still awaited. In the decades of ninety and twenty, there were many activities in this regard. Scholars conducted research about the areas ignored in children rights. UNICEF people got University professor’s cooperation in this regard and its seminars were a very good attempt for bringing the high ups concerned on the table and getting the good work done. This now more than thirty years of time when we joined the world’s decision to protect Children Rights, but still we have not made laws for protecting many of their rights. If there are laws there is no implementation at all.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)is a legally- binding international agreement setting out the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion or abilities. Of more than forty rights the 12 most important rights are:

  1. Every child deserves equal treatment regardless of their gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, physical appearance, ability, socio-economic status, nationality, creed, ideology, or other personal identities. Children with disabilities have the right to receive they need to thrive. Refugees should also receive help and maintain the same rights as children born in the country they now live in. Children from minority, , disenfranchised and indigenous communities have the right to practice their religion, language, culture, and customs.
  2. Every child has the right to live with their family. The family can be of any structure, but the family should instil a sense of belonging, and provide a loving and nurturing environment. Children and youth deserve to feel an attachment to their caregivers, whomever their caregivers might be. Children should not be separated from their parents unless one or both parents are abusive or neglectful, or their home environment is unsafe. Children whose parents do not live together should remain in contact with both parents unless contact harms the child. If a child live in different country from their parents, the child and parents must be allowed to travel so they can be together.
  3. Every child has the right to live. Young people deserve the best possible health care, nutritious food, clothing, clean water, electricity, and safe housing. Children should learn good health and hygiene habits in their schools and homes. Children should have their mental, psychological , emotional, and physical health checked regularly, especially if they are away from home. Governments also have a responsibility to help familite who cannot afford health expenses.
  4. Every child deserves freedom from abuse. Children should be free from harmful work, drugs, sexual abuse, human trafficking, corporal punishment, emotional and psychological abuse, harmful detention, war, and any other forms of exploitation. Children have the right to seek legal and medical help if they get hurt or abused. They should be free to make complaints about abuse to a third party, and abusers of children should receive prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.
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In this regard the first thing which our constitution also protects is the children education and care. The world countries have accepted the children’s right to get free quality education up to the age of eighteen years, but we are not taking any care of our constitution. Child abuse and horrible news of their murders after sexual abuse are now a routine matter. Children torture and inhuman punishments at schools and homes is also almost socially accepted phenomenon. Children’s abduction and after cutting their hands and legs compelling them to beg on the roads has become a regular business in our country. In many cases parents are using drugs and they don’t care for their kinds. In most of the cases per family children’s number is very high and these lower income family like their minor children to work in restaurants, in rich peoples’ homers, and in workshops etc. They are always ill-treated there. Almost half of the children remain out of the school and no one take care of them. Half of the informal schools managed by governments are just ghost schools. Higher ups are fond of embezzling the funds with the excuse of these ghost schools which is in the knowledge of secretariats and ministries but no one can compel the powerful rulers to amend the situation. This valuable human resource of the country is being ruined awfully. Half of our children get the worst lessons from the cruelties of the society and their parents and when they are grown up they try to take their revenge from the society in every way. I have mentioned above only four rights but there are more than forty in the New York Declaration and our nation is ignorant about all of them.

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