Karachi: On the occasion of Universal Children Day, globally celebrated on the 20th November, Konpal Child Abuse Prevention Society in collaboration with the Pakistan Medical Association and Pakistan Paediatrics Association (PPA) organized a walk and peaceful demonstration titled ‘Let Every Child to go School’ on Wednesday.
Pakistan being a signatory to Child Rights Convention (CRC) is committed to provide free primary education to all children and to promote further education; but the ground reality is that the net enrollment of children in schools is only 56 percent, the net primary school attendance is only 66.6 percent for both the sexes, a figure below estimated world average of 90 percent. The enrollment of children in primary schools is less than 72 percent and that in secondary school is even less i.e. 34 percent. The enrollment of girls in both, primary and secondary schools is far less that the other developing countries and neighboring states. A large number of children are deprived of their fundamental rights to education. There are more than 12 million children involved in child labor, and an un-estimated number of children are involved in domestic labor or living on streets. These children are frequently subjected to violence and abuse, education and basic right are largely denied to them.
According to Child Rights Convention the responsibility lies primarily with the Government, but parents in particular, and society in general are also to be blamed for neglecting their children rights primarily those related to health and education.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Aisha Mehnaz highlighted the importance of education and training in basic life skills development. She said we often make rhetoric statements like “children are our future” but very little efforts are being done to prepare our young children to become the leaders and torch bearers of tomorrow. If we do not pay attention to the fundamental rights of children now, we should be prepared to face the consequences tomorrow.
A number of prominent doctors, including Prof Idrees Adhi, Dr Shershah Syed, and Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad, teacher, students, professional bodies and civil society members participated in the walk which started from PMA house and commenced at the MA Jinnah road following a peaceful demonstration.