Pakistan calls for protection of children in conflict areas

New York, 13 October, 2018

Pakistan said at the United Nations that the highest priority must be accorded to protecting children especially those living in conflict areas and under foreign occupation.

Speaking in the debate in the General Assembly’s Third Committee on the ‘Promotion and protection of the rights of children’, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi reminded the international community of the plight of children in Palestine and Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir who continue to be caught in a ‘vortex of violence’ and are exposed to unimaginable horrors every day.

She stressed the need to reach out to those “who suffer disproportionality from war, economic upheaval, poverty and climate change”.

Conflicts, said Ambassador Lodhi, violate every conceivable right of children, and the trauma arising from targeted attacks, sexual violence, forced conscription mar them for the rest of their lives.

“Ensuring adequate physical and mental health, education, food, clothing and shelter, and provision of a future free from malnutrition for all children was a collective commitment of the international community”, she said.

Underscoring the priority given by Pakistan to protecting and promoting the rights of children, Ambassador Lodhi said that investing in children was considered a key to development and prosperity by her country.

This was also evidenced by the fact the Pakistan was one of the earliest signatories of the Convention on Rights of the Child and its optional protocols and had also ratified all core ILO conventions on child labour, she added.

The Pakistani envoy also described the recent policy measures taken in Pakistan to promote the rights of children and said that new legislation was adopted to protect children from abuse, maltreatment, exploitation, neglect and mental violence.

She also highlighted the work of the National Commission for Child Welfare and Development, which she said, was working closely with UNICEF to assess and promote child rights across the country.