PESHAWAR  - Speakers at a report launching ceremony on child rights have urged the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to ensure implementation of binding laws on protection of child rights and stressed the need to conduct fresh survey on child labour in the country.

“Implementation of the relevant laws on protection of child rights is a far cry in the country because situation is quite dismal regarding child rights,” the civil society members said and stressed the need for addressing the issue through a firm commitment both at government and institutional level.

The report titled: “The State of Pakistan’s Children 2012” launched by Society for the Protection of the Rights of Children (SPARC), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) here at Peshawar Press Club on Monday. Besides others, a number of students, government officials, lawyers and representatives of media organisations attended the ceremony.

While speaking on the occasion SPARC representative Imran said that no proper survey on child labour was being conducted in the country after 1996, due to which no authentic figure on the issue could be taken in the country.

He informed that the report highlighted a dismal account of the deteriorating state of child rights in Pakistan. Almost 25 million children and adolescents were out of schools in Pakistan, out of which seven million are aged between three to five years, who have yet to receive primary schooling, he added.

Owing to the poor condition, he expressed fear that Pakistan would not achieve the Millennium Development Goal 2015 target in education.

“There are 3.3 million children working in the country as per 1996 survey on child labour, while about 225,000 death of new born babies were reported in the country, he informed.

Imran also highlighted that the resurgence of polio and measles in different parts of the country poses new challenges to an already under-equipped health sector.

“Violence against children remains culturally entrenched as children in Pakistan have to cope with physical violence, sexual abuse, trafficking and recruitment in armed conflict and acid attacks, he maintained.

On the occasion, member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, Fazal Elahi, was chief guest. Addressing the participants, he said that PTI government is committed for protection and promotion of child rights. He said that PTI will try its best to promote education in the province maximum with an objective to eradicate child labor.

He also said that PTI government welcomes all stakeholders to join hands for child rights protection. “Protection of child rights are on the priority of the incumbent provincial government and we will make major policy level changes in this connection,” he assured.