South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Human rights activists, businessmen, child rights defenders, representatives of minority rights, politicians and civil society activists on Friday underlined the need to raise voice against injustices and abuses with the children by confronting it and called for investigating violence against children including the root causes of abusive acts such as in Kasur.

The speakers including Nafisa Shan, MNA, Dr Shahida Rehman, MNA, Asad Iqbal Butt of HRCP, Zulfiqar Shah of Democracy Reporting International (DRI), former president of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Majyd Aziz, Rana Asif Habib of Initiator Human Development Foundation, Syed Najmi Alam of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Karachi division, former president of Karachi Press Club Imtiaz Khan Faran Bishop Nazir at the dialogue orgnaised by PPP Human Rights Cell, Karachi, at Pakistan-American Culture Centre Auditorium.

Nafisa Shah, MNA, who is a coordinator of PPP Human Rights Cell, said the cell was organised to uphold the human rights in Pakistan. “The PPP has faced challenges of human rights in the past including killings of its two leaders. We want to see Pakistan where majority of people have progressive thinking. Her party wanted to link itself with rights activists, journalists and people from minorities community for upholding of human rights of every citizen.”

Zulfiqar Shah of DRI regretted that political parties had never given importance to the human rights issue. Political parties give importance to only media because it provided them publicity, he added.

He said Pakistan was lagging behind in provision of human rights, but they could not live in isolation as being a member of global community. So, Pakistan has to respect human rights. “You cannot hide the facts as they would be counter-productive for the country,” he added.

Under the GSP-Plus facility for duty-free export of Pakistani products to European market, it is required for the government to implement the 27 international conventions including Convention of Child Rights (CRC) of the United Nation, which Pakistan has ratified 25 years back. Unfortunately, he pointed out that serious efforts were not being made to protect child rights. “The Kasur incident was the worst humility to the children, but it was hushed up. It is unfortunate that many such events are kept hidden in Pakistan,” he added.

He recommended that a task force be established which could recommend how to improve the conditions of the children and how much money was required for a child to live a decent life.

Vice President of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Asad Iqbal Butt said the constitution of Pakistan ensured that the state is responsible to protect the child rights including protection to life from all abuses.

He quoted some figures from the HRCP report about child abuse in Pakistan. He said in 2013 about 3,000 children were sexually abused whereas in 2014 over 4,500 were abused in the country.

Out of 10 sexually abused children, he pointed out that nine children were abused due to poverty. “We are dishonest people and we hide such events.” The sexually abused cases often happen in the family or neighbourhood. If we kept such incidents hiding, we cannot solve this problem,” he added.

A resolution, presented by Ms Zeenia Shaukat of PILER, was unanimously passed on the occasion wherein it was demanded from the government that the National Commission of Child Rights Bill be passed without any delay. The resolution also called for the establishment of necessary institutions and mechanisms to facilitate the implementation of the provisions of the bill, he added. Updated On: 2015.09.19