HYDERABAD    -    The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) here on Tuesday launched its annual flagship report “The State of Pakistan Children - 2018”.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, SPARC Executive Director Sajjad Ahmed Cheema said the report covered a wide range of matters related to child rights. It also provided details and analysis regarding child labour, education and health, juvenile justice and violence against children, he added.

He said the SPARC had been publishing the report since 1997. According to the report, some 22.6 million children aged 5-16 were out of schools in 2018, including 5 million aged 5-9 (primary level), 6 million aged 10-12 (middle level) and 11 million aged 13-16 (secondary level).

About 9.9 million children were out of schools in Punjab, 6.6 million in Sindh, 2.5 million in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 1.8 million in Balochistan, the report said.

The report stated that 8.2% children aged 10-14, 32.6 % aged 15-19 (adolescents),  48% aged 5-11, 28% aged 12-14 years and 25% aged 15-17 years were involved in child labour. According to the report, 3,832 child sexual abuse cases reported all over Pakistan.

Child rights activist Iqbal Detho, Kashif Barjeer, member of the Board of Director at SPARK Gul Mastoi and Zahid Thebo also spoke on the occasion.