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UN Committee to review Pakistan’s record on children’s rights

ISLAMABAD, 24 MAY (DNA) – Children’s rights in Pakistan will be reviewed by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child on May 25 and 26 in sessions that will be webcast live.

The discussions will take place at Palais Wilson in Geneva on Wednesday May 25 from 15:00-18:00 (18:00-21:00 in Islamabad) and on Thursday May 26 from 10:00-13:00 (13:00-16:00 in Islamabad). Pakistan is one of the 196 States that have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and so is required to undergo regular examinations of its record by the Committee of 18 independent experts.

Committee members will hold discussions with a government delegation from Pakistan on how the Convention is being implemented. They will base their evaluation on the delegation’s replies, as well as information from civil society groups.

Among the possible issues for discussion are execution of people for  crimes committed when they were under 18, children on death row;ú Gender-based crimes, including female infanticide, “honour” killings; Extremely low rate of birth registration; úProtection of children from religious minorities from sectarian violence, forced marriage, forced conversion and prosecution under blasphemy laws;

Torture and ill-treatment of children in police stations and prisons; High rates of malnutrition; Children working in slave-like conditions in bonded labour; Protection of schools in view of attacks, especially on non-religious and girls’ schools;

Privatisation of education, growing number of private “madrassas” used by non-State armed groups to radicalize and recruit children.

Prohibition and criminalization of recruitment of children under 18 by State armed forces and by non-State armed groups, including for suicide bombing missions.

The Committee will hold a news conference at 12:00 on June 9 at the  Palais des Nations in Geneva to discuss its findings on Pakistan and the other countries being reviewed – Samoa, Nepal, Slovakia, the UK, Gabon , Bulgaria and Luxembourg. DNA


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