Welfare: Poverty and Child Protection

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  • Topic: Poverty, Millennium Development Goals, Children's rights
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High-Level Meeting on Cooperation for Child Rights in the Asia Pacific Region 4-6 November 2010, Beijing

|Reforming the Child Protection and Welfare Systems in Pakistan | |Opportunities and challenges in advancing child rights |

Prepared By:

Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary4

2. Introduction5

3. Situation overview6

4. Challenges and opportunities12

5. Evidence14

6. Key issues14

7. Recommendations and Follow up15

List of Acronyms

CEDAWConvention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women CMRChild Mortality Rate
CSECCommercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
EFAEducation for All
EPIExtended Program for Immunization
ESREducation Sector Reforms
GoPGovernment of Pakistan
GMISGender Management Information System
GRAPGender Reform Action Plan
HSRHealth Sector Reform
ILOInternational Labor Organization
INGOsInternational Non Governmental Organizations
MDGsMillennium Development Goals
MoHMinistry of Health
PBMPakistan Bait-ul-Maal
PIHSPakistan Integrated Household Survey
UNCRCUnited Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child UNHCRUnited Nations High Commission for Refugees
UNODCUnited Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Executive Summary

In order to enhance children’s access to education, health facilities and to protect them from abuse, neglect, discrimination, violence and exploitation, the Government of Pakistan has undertaken various policies, legislative, administrative and programmatic measures. Pakistan ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 12 November 1990. Pakistan is also a party to three other international instruments aiming at directly or indirectly improving the rights of the child. The Government of Pakistan is fully committed to incorporate the provisions of the UN CRC into its domestic laws. There have been a number of very important developments on this front during the last few years. In order to bring the legal system in conformity with the Convention, a number of policies and laws have been adopted. Most important policies and Plans of Action include National Policy and Plan of Action for Children, National Policy and Plan of Action Against Commercial, Sexual Exploitation of Children, National Plan of Action for Elimination of Child Labor, National Policy and Plan of Action for Elimination of Bonded Labor, National Policy on Development and Empowerment of Women.

In the last few years, Pakistan has witnessed a momentum regarding introduction of laws for protection of children as various bills came under consideration. Some of the laws have made it to the statute book while some are at different levels of legislative process. The Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education provides an enabling environment and tangible opportunities, through policies, programs and projects that would contribute in poverty alleviation and promotion of social progress and social justice in the country while addressing the needs of downtrodden, marginalized and vulnerable segments of the society. Similar ministries have been set up at the provincial levels.

Major challenges towards improving situation of children in the country include; eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, strengthening services for children and effective implementation of child related laws including Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, besides lack of...
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