Call to sign protocols for protecting children in conflict zones

Islamabad: The smile on the faces of children has been snatched by stunted growth, forced labour, no schools, no play, broken juvenile justice system and children abandoned to their fate in conflict zones by a state that is driven more by security paranoid rather than welfare of the people.

This was stated by former Senator Farhatullah Babar at a function organized by the Save the Children at local hotel in Islamabad.

In 1990 Pakistan promised the international community to set up a Child Rights Commission. It took more than 27 years to make legislation last year for this purpose but despite legislation the Commission has not been set up because it was no priority of security state, he said.

He said that Pakistan had also failed to submit core document to the UN containing basic information about the children. Neither have we made public the commitments made with the world for improving children conditions nor submitted regularly mandatory periodic reports to the UN which serve as principal instruments to judge the condition of children.

Farhatullah Babar said that by not signing the international protocol Pakistan had badly exposed children to threats to life, limb and liberty in zones of armed conflict and called for signing the protocols.

A security driven state may make laws for educating children but it cannot inculcate values in them which is done best by the families and particularly mothers he said and called for improving the condition of women to improve the condition of children. The seminar was also addressed by Nafeesa Khattak, Riaz Fityana and others.