LAHORE - A group of child right defenders associated with the Search for Justice and Child Rights Movement (Punjab) urged the government on Saturday to prioritise children’s rights by getting the pending legislation passed and ensure implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

This was demanded during a press conference facilitated by the Child Rights Movement-Punjab that was addressed by a representative group of children.

Child rights defender Shafaq praised the federal government for enacting The National Commission on the Rights of Children Act 2017 under which an independent commission would be set up to monitor the child rights situation in the country.

The participants urged the minister concerned to establish a Child Rights Commission in Punjab too, with powers to investigate cases of abuse and violence against children and monitor implementation of the UNCRC.

Child rights defender Sameer Haider also urged Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to introduce the “Punjab Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Act” to prohibit corporal punishment in schools and other settings.

Laiba from Children Rights Club pointed out absence of legal remedies to save children from economic and other forms of violence and exploitation and a modern form of slavery called child domestic labour.

She urged the government of Punjab to implement “The Punjab Restriction on Employment of Children Act 2016” in letter and spirit to address the menace of child labour. She asked, “We are unable to understand why the government is not ensuing implementation of laws it has enacted itself?”