Child speakers’ visions – an eye opener for elders

Sana Jamal

ISLAMABAD – Visionary speeches and suggestions laid down by child speakers of Children Association on Tuesday reaffirmed that future of Pakistan is as bright as their thoughts. The young leaders delivered speeches on child rights at a public awareness seminar on ‘Children’s Right to Participation: Building a Children’s Civil Society’ which was arranged by Children Association in Islamabad.

Children representatives also demanded the reopening of Educational channel to promote distant learning system in the country.

A child speaker, Nayaab Arshad from Islamabad explained the issues of child rights and said that not just the government but parents too deprive their children of basic rights even the right to education.
Areej Waqas and Asfandyar Khan from Mansehra spoke about maintaining a balance between children’s rights and duties said that many children are forced by poverty to work and their futures are forever affected.

Mohammad Naseer and Fakhar ul Islam, child speakers from Mansehra said that if they had the chance to run the country for a day, they would dissolve all the assemblies and will run the country according to the ‘actual Islamic laws’, where there would be one law for everyone without discrimination.

Relevant International and domestic laws on child rights’ was the theme of speech of Sara Gul while Mustafa Tanveer described how society influences the character building of children and the role children can play in the decision making.

The guest speakers of the seminar included Ms. Bushra Gohar, MNA and social activist; Zafarullah khan, Executive Director of Centre for Civic Education and Zehra Kamal, psychologist and consultant.

Bushra urged that “we must divert our priorities towards children’s affairs and criminalizing the domestic labour could be the first step to prevent our children from further exploitation.”

Zehra noted that “it is most fortunate that our society deny the children their right to question which affects their decision making power in the long run.”
Zafarullah stressed that in order to include children in the democratic process, “we must appreciate their sense of wonder.” He lamented that civic education, which promotes responsibility and principles of democracy, is lacking from current curriculum.

Children Association provides a platform to children to voice their concerns about their protection and welfare and allows them a chance to reach out to concerned authority for effective solutions. Child Rights Unit (CRU) is a project of AGHS, a Lahore based organization working for the promotion and protection of child rights since 1994.

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