President urges society to respect children’s rights
ISLAMABAD: President Dr. Arif Alvi On Saturday, President Dr. Arif Alvi urged society to be compassionate to children and respect their rights, but also urged the world to live in peace and stop wars that are devastating to children.
“We have to end these wars. They cause chaos for the children. The entire Middle East – imagine what happens to the Rohingyas, imagine what happens to the kids in Kashmir, imagine what happens across the Middle East. We have to end wars. The greatest burden of the war is on women and children, ”said the president.
He was speaking here at an event organized by the Ministry of Human Rights in connection with the celebration of World Children’s Day. In addition to children from different parts of the country, the Human Rights Minister Dr. Shireen Mazari, UNICEF Country Director Aida Girma-Melaku and diplomats from various countries were present.
The president said that if humanitarian aid in Afghanistan falls short or is delayed, children and women will be the main victims.
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“So let’s get out of this hypocrisy and be open about what humanity needs,” he said, calling on the world to work together on important issues like global warming. He said the international community should join forces to protect children’s rights and provide them with a peaceful atmosphere to grow.
He said the children usually put smiles on their faces, but when they were in trouble they brought tears to their eyes, reminding of the terrorist attack on the army public school in Peshawar and the plight of Palestinian children.
He said that after two world wars, Europe had agreed not to go to war, but the rest of the world looked like a battlefield of oppression and cruelty like the Middle East and Libya and the world’s irresponsible attitude towards refugees.
He said the world is keeping a close eye on what is happening in Afghanistan, but has turned a blind eye to the use of shotguns by Indian forces in India’s illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
The President also cited numerous “hadiths” urging parents not to lie with the children, to show them compassion and love for their better upbringing.
He said mere legislation would not be enough to protect children’s rights until society shares the burden and takes responsibility of keeping children safe.
Referring to the common practice of domestic child labor, the President said that those who do it on the pretext of helping a poor child should give them care and love equal to their own children.
He also called for strict enforcement of laws against child pornography and repeatedly advised parents to monitor the whereabouts of their children to protect them from sexual exploitation and to encourage children to express any bad touch.
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The President reaffirmed the government’s commitment to tackling malnutrition and stunted growth through Ehsaas and other initiatives, and also referred to Quranic verses that cite biennial maternal feeding of babies as the greatest food source, which is now strongly endorsed by WHO and health experts .
President Alvi called for society to be more inclusive towards disabled children by giving them access to infrastructure and education in civil schools, as they are just as intelligent.
He said that disabled people should be made functional members of society through compassion and welfare, rather than making them dependent on others.
In her address, Human Rights Minister Dr. Shireen Mazari, Pakistan has ratified seven fundamental UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child to show its commitment to fulfilling commitments to better atmosphere, education and health facilities.
Citing laws banning domestic child labor, the establishment of the Zainab Alert Authority and the Zainab Alert Response and Recovery Facility, she said the PTI government has focused on improving children’s lives through several initiatives.
She said that through Ehsaas, the government is providing incentives for parents to send their children to schools and expand health facilities under the Sehat card.
The minister also drew attention to the “double standards” and “hypocrisy” of the Western world towards a certain part of the world. She criticized the silence of the Western world about the use of shotguns in the IIOJK, which otherwise caused outrage about the rights of children in Afghanistan.
Since the Taliban had taken power in Afghanistan, they had the right to define the framework conditions for further training institutions in accordance with the culture of the country. However, the same western world has never spoken out against the discrimination against hijab-wearing women who are not allowed to enter their educational institutions in Europe.
The minister drew attention to the plight of the refugees and Western policies targeting certain countries and called on the United Nations to comment on the discrimination.
In her address, UNICEF Country Director Aida Girma said: “In Pakistan we have been working with authorities and communities for 73 years, from earthquakes and floods to development programs.”
She said UNICEF will continue to assist the Pakistani government in gathering evidence and developing child-friendly, targeted interventions to reach the most marginalized children.
Pakistan was one of the first countries to ratify the convention, which has since become the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history.
UNICEF opened its first office in Karachi in 1948, the year after Pakistan’s independence.
“This ensures that every child has equal opportunities to develop their full potential in the face of social and economic challenges, increasing poverty and inequality, and climate change.”
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The event, which also marked the 75th anniversary of UNICEF, featured documentaries on children’s rights in Pakistan and the performance of the children to the national anthem in sign language.