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Karachi slumChildren in slum in Karachi, 1993. Image source: Wikimedia Commons | Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)

Social Welfare Department Celebrates Universal Children's Day  

Government and Non-Government Organisations pledge a fair chance for every child

By Amir Murtaza, Pakistan Correspondent for Safe World

Social Welfare Department (SWD) Government of Sindh in collaboration with UNICEF and Society for International Education (SIE), an NGO, celebrated Universal Children's Day on Friday, 20th November, 2015 at a local hotel in Karachi.

The participants of a programme – the majority of them school children, showed their commitment to make Pakistan a safe, secure and better place, especially for the future generations.

A large number of people from different sections of the society including government officials, officials of UNICEF, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and community-based organizations (CBOs), children from schools, communities, teachers, and parents participated in the program. Mr. Shariq Ahmed, Secretary SWD Sindh, and Dr. Nargiza Khodjaeva, Chief Field Officer UNICEF Sindh, also spoke on the occasion.

Universal Children's Day is an occasion for the government, NGOs, and civil society organizations to celebrate the anniversary of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; however, the day also reminds us to work hard and fulfill the rights of every child, as enshrined in UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  

It is important to mention that United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the CRC on 20th November 1989. The treaty makes children the holders of over 40 fundamental rights, necessary for their survival, protection, development and participation.

Over the period of the past 25 years, after the ratification of UN CRC in 1990, Pakistan has made significant efforts to improve and fulfill child rights. Not only the government but UN agencies, international and local organisations and media have made tremendous contribution in getting positive results. Yet it is a fact that our children are still facing some very important development challenges, which should be tackled immediately and in totality.    

Working for the Most Vulnerable Children

On the occasion of Universal Children's Day, UNICEF presented its 'equity agenda', which stresses on giving a fair chance in life to every child, everywhere, especially the most disadvantaged.

Indeed, the principle of equity guides the government organisations (GOs), international NGOs (INGOs), NGOs, UN agencies and civil society organizations to work for the most vulnerable children, notably girls, children living without proper care, children with disabilities, migrant and refugee children, children from socially or financially disadvantaged groups, and children living in remote areas.

Social Welfare Department (SWD) Government of Sindh is alive with the fact that concrete, coherent, and consistent work is required to improve the situation of children in the province. Thus, the department has played pivotal role in enactment of child-focused legislation; furthermore, SWD Sindh has established Child Protection Units (CPUs) in 12 districts of the province, including one each in Karachi, Hyderabad, TM Khan, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, Sukkur, Khairpur, Ghotki, Kashmore, Shikarpur and Jacobabad.

SWD strongly believes that our children are truly entitled to all rights, as mentioned in UN CRC; therefore, SWD Sindh is dedicated and committed to provide opportunities and create a conducive environment that helps all children, especially the poor, needy and disadvantaged, to grow in life and achieve desired successes.


 

About the Author: Amir Murtaza is a senior researcher, analyst, and writer on social development issues, especially pertaining to women, youth, and children. He can be reached at .

Follow Amir on Twitter: @AmirMurtaza1


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