Whither Child rights?

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Sometime back, all of Us were horrified when we read about a six-year-old girl abandoned at a garbage dump by her parents. She was emaciated and sick.

About eight children were abandoned by their parents at Edhi Home, as their parents could not afford to feed them. It is heartening to know that the unfortunate children were later on reclaimed by their parents, but imagine the circumstances that drove them to abandon their children in the first place.

Not long ago, we used to hear stories about camel kids. Imagine the barbarity! The camel jockeys, as they came to be known, were used brutally in return for some money given to their parents.

We see children working on street, in factories, at dhabas, at stores, at garages, at carpet factories etc. Child labour is a crime against children, but is very much accepted in the Third World countries.

November 20 marks the day on which the UN Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.

The signatories to the Convention on the Rights of the Child are supposed to take action to safeguard children's rights. Pakistan is also a signatory, but needs to take a lot of steps for children's welfare.

To promote the welfare of children all over the world, United Nations observes November 20 as the Universal Children's Day. It is recommended that the day is also to be observed as a day of activity devoted to promoting welfare of the children of the world.

Children of all ages, together with special children, engage in different activities and plays. Gifts are distributed amongst the needy children. The government also participates in celebrating this day.

In Pakistan also this day is celebrated, but Children's Day calls for a greater response from the society towards children who are denied the basic needs of childhood. It is a day to promote the welfare of children. On this day, we must pledge to do what we can to bring happiness in other children's life in our own meager capacities.

Every child has a right to happiness, education, freedom, friends, and family. It should not matter if a child's rich or poor, black or white, or is from another religion.

The children who are right now begging on streets or working at homes or small shops ought to be sent to schools. Not only the government, but rich people should participate in this project. Shahzad Roy's Zindagi schools should serve as role models for others.

People who have resources should come forward to help these children in making their life a little better.

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