ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The fourth Commission Meeting of the National Commission on the Rights of Child (NCRC) convened on Wednesday at the NCRC Secretariat, as stipulated under the Section 3(1) of the National Commission on the Rights of Child Act, 2017 (XXXII of 2017).
Presided over by the Chairperson NCRC Afshan Tehseen, she briefed about the work of NCRC and the programmatic progress made since the last meeting held on 22.12.2021.
The Meeting of the Commission was well-attended with a full quorum of the ex-officio Board Members including Mr Abdul Latif Kakar (Secretary ,Social Welfare Department Baluchistan) , Mr Arif Baloch( Secretary National commission on status of women), Mr Nadeem Bhatti ( Deputy secretary, Ministry of Interior), Mr Ijaz Muhammad Khan(Acting Chief Child protection commission KPK), Mr Muhammad Arshad (Director General, Ministry of foreign affairs), Mr Qazi Saleem (Director, Human Rights, Ministry of Foreign affairs), Ms Shanza Faiq (Assistant Director, Human rights, Ministry of Human Rights), Mr Manzoor Masih (Member Minority, National Commission of Human Rights) Ms Rubina Fareed (Member ICT NCRC), Ms Rubina Bhatti (Member Punjab/Member Minority, NCRC), Mr Iqbal Dhetto (Member Sindh, NCRC), Mr Tajdar Hasmi (Child Member NCRC), Ms Faryal Javed (Child Member, NCRC), Mr Taj Sultan (Advisor Admin NCRC ), Mr Wajahat Ali (Advisor Program Policy,NCRC), Mr Jawad Ullah (Member KPK NCRC), Mr Mhuammad Hashim Kakar ,NCRC).
Ms Fozia Masoom (Director Operations Sindh Child Protection Authority) and Mr Shafique Chaudhry (Director Child protection and Welfare Bureau) joined the commission meeting virtually.
The Chairperson Afshan Tehseen presented the agenda and the work of the Commission including the progress made in fulfilling its mandate and the difficulties encountered this year, as well as the strategic plan for four years 2022-26, covering 6 priority areas that includes 1) Promotion of Child rights 2) Review of Laws, policies and practices 3) Research on child Rights 4) Review and follow up on implementation of treaty bodies recommendation 5) Monitoring child rights violation and 6) Institutional building of NCRC, was approved by the Commission.
This year, the NCRC has played an important role in reforming child protection laws in the provinces and efforts for notifying regulations across Pakistan.
The Ministry of Foreign affairs suggested that state reports about Children rights should be shared with National Commission on rights of child – NCRC before submission to United Nations treaty Bodies.
The registration of children without parental identity in NADRA Database was also discussed and it was recommended that a proper procedure should be adopted to give identity to the children born out of wedlock.
To date, the Commission has dealt with more than 230 complaints on children’s rights, including street children, early child marriages, children in care institutions, abduction and forced conversion.
The Chairperson reiterated her intention to have the Commission work expeditiously in Pakistan.
She also highlighted that the children of today are the future of tomorrow and protecting their rights requires national commitment.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the Commission made recommendations for stronger policy frameworks, service delivery systems, improved access to justice and better resourcing of human and child development projects.