Tuesday, 8th February – Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister KP, presided as the Chief Guest at a media briefing organized by the National Commission on the Rights of Child (NCRC). With over 50 journalists drawn from print, electronic, and social media gathered at the Peshawar Press Club, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the media briefing presented a unique gathering, where the district’s journalists got acquainted with the Commission’s mandate, key programme areas, and the child rights’-related legislative reforms in KP.
Constituted in February 2020, The NCRC has been instrumental in advancing human rights since its inception through proposing nationwide and provincial policy recommendations, engagement with parliamentarians, and awareness raising. Thus far, the Commission has followed-up on 165+ child rights violations, and issues ranging from street children, early childhood marriage, children in care institutes and forced conversion.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the NCRC has had several high-profile government meetings, identifying several child rights-related legislative reforms – including, KP Child Protection and Welfare Act 2010; Juvenile Justice System Act 2018; KP Prohibition of Employment Children Act 2015; KP Free Compulsory Primary and Secondary Education Act 2017; KP Vagrancy Restraint Act 2020; Disability Law; and Child Marriage Restraint Law. The Commission also demands an appointment of a Child Rights’ Advisor to the Chief Minister, and overall structural reforms in Social Welfare Department to efficiently respond to vulnerable and marginalized groups.
The Chairperson National Commission on the Rights of Child, Afshan Tehseen Bajwa, said, “The NCRC is reaffirming its commitment to deliver the inalienable child rights to all the children under the age of 18. It is the role of the government, the society at large – especially the media persons – to prioritize human rights and child rights. As a Commission, we vow to strengthen intra-provincial efforts and deliver our mandate as given to us by the National Commission on the Rights of Child Act, 2017. The KP Government is also committed to reforms and institution-building related to child reforms.Today’s briefing will give the media a new agenda, which is pro-school, pro-disability rights, pro-community and, most importantly, pro-children.”
The Chief Guest, Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, Special Assistant to Chief Minister KP, said on the occasion, “The KP Government recognizes the importance of ensuring and codifying child rights in letter and spirit.Thanks to the NCRC, we have identified key areas for law reform pertaining to child rights, well-being, protection, education and disabilities. We hope to have a long-lasting and impactful child rights discourse and mechanism in the province.”
The NCRC recognizes the importance of media in providing a platform to strengthen the cause of child rights and legislative reforms. Through media’s awareness raising, children and the youth will realize their full potential afforded to them through inalienable rights, so they can grow up to be leaders of tomorrow.
In the briefing, the Commission recommended strong policy frameworks, service delivery mechanisms, increased access to law and justice, and improved budget allocation across human development initiatives across KP. To achieve these, the NCRC asked the media personnel, Government, and all the relevant stakeholders to recommit themselves to serve and deliver basic human dignity extending to all children in Pakistan.
Jawad Ullah – Member KP: firstname.lastname@example.org