Int’l Street Children Day 2021 marked: Around 28m children homeless due to ongoing conflicts

  • About 2.5m street children facing uncertain future in Pakistan: Program Manager SPARC

By Hamid Khan Wazir

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) observed International Street Children Day 2021 in Islamabad on Monday aimed at giving voices to the millions of street children and creating awareness about the deleterious state of the children.

The Program Manager SPARC Khalil Ahmed Dogar said that globally, around 28 million children are homeless due to ongoing conflicts and account for almost half of the refugee population.

Despite near-universal adaptation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, there is a considerable lack of effort and visible action internationally and nationally in addressing the plight of street children.

Khalil Ahmed Dogar further added that unfortunately, more than 2.5 million street children are facing a bleak future in Pakistan. Almost half of the children, 56%, run away due to domestic violence, 22% are out-of-school or other educational facilities and 22% are working to support the family.

The SPARC Program Manager told media persons that Pakistan needs to follow four steps of the United Nations’ General comment on street children: commit to equality, protect every child, provide access to services and create specialized solutions. These are foundational steps for formulating policies and creating multi-prong institutional responses in tackling the issue of street children in Pakistan.

The Child Rights Club representatives also met the journalists on this occasion. They expressed all children in the world have special rights and they need their rights to be protected in all respects without any prejudice in any way.

This is necessary to ensure their well-being, successful development, and their rights. Not only parents but all governments and state institutions have a duty to create a child-friendly environment and to promote children’s rights in order to ensure the future.

The Child Rights Club representatives highlighted that Pakistan ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 12, 1990 and the successive governments have renewed their commitment to creating a friendly environment for all Pakistani children; however, unfortunately, huge challenges remain for them in the Country. There are laws regarding child Education, Health, Nutrition, Juvenile Justice, Violence, Neglect, Labour, and Marriage but these laws have not been fully implemented.

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