Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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NCRC and French Embassy launch child rights campaign



ISLAMABAD, JUN 26: The National Commission on the Rights of Child (NCRC), in collaboration with the Embassy of France, launched a comprehensive awareness campaign to address critical issues affecting children in Pakistan: child domestic labour, child sexual abuse and the enrollment of out-of-school children.

The campaign’s primary goal is to raise awareness about the pervasive issue of child domestic labour, targeting the demand side while promoting education as a key factor in eliminating child labour. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), one in four households in Pakistan employs a child for domestic work, often in hazardous conditions. The campaign aims to shed light on these practices, advocating for the protection and rights of these vulnerable children.

Ambassador of France to Pakistan, His Excellency Nicolas Galey, emphasized the importance of this initiative: “France is committed to promoting children’s rights throughout the world, alongside all our partners. Our collaboration with the NCRC represents a significant step towards addressing the pressing challenges faced by children in Pakistan. Our shared vision is to safeguard the rights of children and ensure they grow up in environments free from exploitation and abuse”.

Ayesha Raza Farooq, Chairperson NCRC, said “With over 26.2 million out-of-school children, Pakistan confronts a severe challenge. Economic pressures and limited access to quality education drive many children into the workforce, perpetuating a cycle of poverty. This campaign is a call to action for all of us to ensure that every child has access to their fundamental right to education”.

The campaign also tackles the distressing rates of child sexual abuse in Pakistan. According to the “Cruel Numbers Report 2023” by SAHIL, 11 children are sexually abused every day in the country. The NCRC is committed to advocating for stronger legislation and societal awareness to combat this abhorrent crime.

In response to the increasing exploitation of children in domestic work, the NCRC has drafted the “Bill on the Prohibition of Child Labour in Domestic Work 2024”. This proposed legislation seeks to explicitly ban the employment of children under 18 as live-in domestic workers and introduce stricter penalties for violators. The bill will soon be presented to the Cabinet for consideration and action.

Additionally, the NCRC has conducted extensive consultations across all provinces and at the federal level, focusing on the Education Sector Plans and the plight of out-of-school children. These dialogues have provided critical insights and recommendations, which will be compiled into a forthcoming policy brief aimed at driving educational reforms.

A key element of the campaign was the creation of culturally sensitive animations designed to raise awareness and inspire action among various audiences, particularly children and parents. Addressing issues such as child labour, child sexual abuse and the lack of school enrollment requires an approach that resonates deeply with the target audiences. The campaign ensures that the content is tailored to the local context, culturally sensitive and age-appropriate. The characters, settings, and scenarios depicted in each animation are familiar and relatable to the Pakistani community, enhancing the authenticity and impact of the message.

We urge all citizens to actively participate in this campaign. Sharing these animations on social media and within personal networks can help disseminate the message and foster collective action against child labour and abuse while promoting education. If you witness or instances or any other forms of exploitation, please report them immediately ay 1099 or 1121 as your prompt action can save a life.

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