Pakistan has ratified (pledged to follow) the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This means that Pakistan must respect the rights of the child and listen to what children have to say. Are the rights of the child respected in Pakistan?
77.8 MILLION CHILDREN
188.9 million people live in Pakistan. Almost 77.8 million are children, and 24.7 million of the children are under five years old.
NAME AND NATIONALITY
From the day you are born you have the right to have a name and to be registered as a citizen in your country. Almost 5.5 million children are born every year in Pakistan. 7 out of 10 of them are never registered. There is no documented proof that they exist!
SURVIVE AND GROW
You have the right to life. Pakistan must do all it can to allow children to survive and develop. 1 out of 11 children in Pakistan (432,000 every year) dies before the age of 5, usually due to causes that could have been prevented.
You have the right to food, clean water, medical care and the right to privacy when consulting an adult about any health problem. 9 out of 10 children in Pakistan have water from improved water sources. 6 out of 10 children have access to adequate sanitation facilities.
A HOME, CLOTHING, FOOD AND SECURITY
You have the right to a home, food, clothing, education, health care and security. Almost 1 out of 10 children in Pakistan live in extreme poverty with less than 1.90 US-dollar (200 Pakistan Rupees) a day to live on.
You have the right to go to school. Primary and secondary schools should be free for everyone. 7 out of 10 children in Pakistan go to school, but many of them leave school too early.
PROTECTION AGAINST VIOLENCE
You have the right to protection against all forms of violence, including neglect, maltreatment and abuse. Only 52 countries have forbidden all forms of corporal punishment for children. Many still allow caning in schools. Pakistan has not forbidden corporal punishment.
HAZARDOUS CHILD LABOUR
You have the right to be protected against both economic exploitation and work that is hazardous to your health or which prevents you from going to school. All work is prohibited for children under 12. Some children are forced into the worst forms of child labour, such as being debt slaves, child soldiers or used for commercial sexual exploitation. A large number of children in Pakistan have to work.
YOUR VOICE MUST BE HEARD!
You have the right to say what you think about any issue that affects you. The adults should listen to the child’s opinion before they make decisions, which must always be made in the best interest of the child!