KARACHI: On World Children’s Day, the Sindh government reaffirms the right of every child to grow, learn, play, and flourish in a safe, responsive and friendly environment, free of distress, hunger, fear and oppression.
This was stated by Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (R ) Maqbool Baqar while speaking at the World Children’s Day programme organised by the school education department in collaboration with UNICEF Pakistan at a local hotel.
The programme was attended by Sindh Caretaker Minister for Education Rana Hussain, Secretary of School Education Dr. Shereen Narejo, Representative, UNICEF Pakistan Abdullah Fadil, Representative, UNICEF Pakistan, children. The Chief minister said that World Children’s Day was a day to have fun and celebrate the children in our lives, while also standing up for their rights and giving them the chance to speak out on the biggest challenges they face.
“Sindh joins the world community today in celebrating World Children’s Day 2023, which is an occasion for us all to reaffirm our commitment to the fundamental principles laid down in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child as well as our national obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child,” Interim CM said and added that the Convention on the Rights of the Child was an international human rights agreement that outlined the specific rights that children and young people could claim.
Baqar said that as a party to the CRC and its two Optional Protocols, the Pakistan government was committed to upholding the promotion and protection of the human rights of all children and fulfilling its national and international obligations in that regard. “On World Children’s Day, my government reaffirms the right of every child to grow, in a safe, free of distress, hunger, fear, and oppression.
The CM said that the Children were the most precious resource of any nation and the sole guarantee for its future. “The Government of Sindh is determinedly striving and making every effort to ensure that children have access to and enjoy their rights particularly birth registration, access to education, nutrition and healthcare, clean drinking water and sanitation, dignity, security, and all other rights as envisaged in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,” he said.
He disclosed that the Sindh government has undertaken a range of institutional and legal measures to eliminate the exploitation of children and their discrimination based on gender, religion, and ethnicity. He appreciated the UNICEF and other partners and the education department working collaboratively for the full realization of child rights.
The Minister of Education Rana Hussain speaking on the occasion said that World Children’s Day prompted us to acknowledge the challenges that our children face while fostering the optimism that, collectively, we can and should do more to ensure that every child’s rights are not just recognized but fully realized. She added that our collective responsibility lies in recognizing the challenges that many children continue to face, their needs and rights often unmet.
She underscored the essential role of women in the holistic development of children, both at home and in schools. Women play a pivotal role in rearing children, influencing their well-being, and shaping their futures. Recognizing and supporting this role is fundamental to fostering a nurturing environment for our children.
Secretary of School Education Sindh Dr Shireen Narejo said that for access to quality education for every child, Sindh developed its first Education Sector Plan in the year 2014 and then a new Education Sector Plan in 2019 with support from UNICEF and other partners. She added that during the past few years, – overall educational planning, implementation and oversight have been improved in areas related to sector coordination, early learning, and emergency education – and recently Sindh has inducted a large number of teachers in the education system, school construction has been expedited, rules for the Act on Prohibition of Corporal Punishment has been launched, curriculum reforms, non-formal education programs, girls’ stipend programs are on-going, the exercise of annual school census being carried out regularly, private school census has been completed for the first time, daily school monitoring is ongoing, school clustering approach, professional development of teachers and educational data systems have been further strengthened and enrollment and retention campaign was recently launched. The representatives of UNICEF also spoke on the occasion and emphasized the need to provide a safe and secure environment to every child. (APP)