ISLAMABAD: In a remarkable celebration of Universal Children’s Day, the National Commission on the Rights of Child (NCRC), in collaboration with the Pakistan Girls Guide Association (PGGA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), hosted the event “Every Girl Leading the Way.” The event highlighted the pivotal role that girls play in shaping a brighter future for all.
Universal Children’s Day, observed globally on 20th November, serves as a reminder of the collective commitment to protect and promote the rights of children. The NCRC, an unwavering champion of children’s rights, continues to ensure that every child, irrespective of their background, has the opportunity to flourish and thrive in a conducive environment.
The impact of “Every Girl Leading the Way” was profound, and it stimulated interest of participants and distinguished speakers alike.
Chairperson, NCRC, Ayesha Raza Farooq stated: “Universal Children’s Day is a special occasion dedicated to promoting and celebrating the rights and well-being of children all around the world. This day reminds us of our commitment to ensuring that every child has the opportunity to thrive, learn, and grow in a safe and nurturing environment. It serves as a reminder of the promises we have made as a society to protect and empower our youngest members, and to recognize their potential as future leaders and change-makers.”
“Empowering girls is not just a cause; it’s a transformative movement. ‘Every Girl Leading the Way’ exemplifies our dedication to inspiring and nurturing the leadership potential of our girls.” said Maria Maud Sabri, National Commissioner, PGGA.
Chief Guest Senator Nuzhat Sadiq said, “The Universal Children’s Day is a reminder of our collective responsibility to protect the future of our children. Children are our most precious resource, and it is our responsibility to ensure their well-being, safety, and a bright future. The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘For Every Child, Every Right,’ emphasizing the need to ensure that every child’s rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled.”
During the event, children actively participated in activities and discussions about their rights and the vital role they play in building a just and inclusive society. This interactive engagement underscored the importance of actively involving children in decision-making processes and promoting their rights.
Daniela Luciani, Chief Child Protection, UNICEF, while addressing the ceremony stated: “UNICEF is strong advocate of promoting children as they are the future of this country. We are committed to supporting initiatives aimed at promoting rights of children especially girls.”
During the event, the children drafted a charter of demand calling upon the government to take affirmative actions. The charter of demand was presented by Pirbhu Lal Satyani, Member Sindh/Minorities, NCRC and the demands were:
Ban Child Marriage: The first demand is the immediate prohibition of child marriage. This practice robs young girls of their childhood, education, and future prospects. We urge the government to take a firm stance against child marriage.
Criminalize Child Labor: The second demand is to criminalize child labor. Children deserve the opportunity to grow, learn, and play, not to be subjected to harsh labor conditions.
Ensure the Right to Education: Every child, especially girls, must have access to quality education. Education is a fundamental right, and the government must ensure that no child is left behind due to lack of access or discrimination.
Guarantee Gender Equality: Gender equality must be a top priority. Equality in all aspects of life, from education and employment to political participation, is a non-negotiable demand.
Eliminate Bullying and Violence: The government should take decisive action to eliminate bullying and violence against children. Every child deserves to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment.
Safeguard Freedom and Participation: The right to freedom and participation is a fundamental human right. The government must protect this right and provide opportunities for children to express themselves, be heard, and participate in decision-making processes.
Provide Quality Healthcare: Adequate and quality healthcare is a basic human right. It is imperative that all children, regardless of their background, have access to healthcare services that promote their well-being.
Universal Birth Registration: Birth registration is the first step in ensuring a child’s legal identity and access to essential services. It must be universal, without exceptions.
The resounding succThe of “Every Girl Leading the Way” demonstrates the transformative power of children’s rights advocacy and the profound impact it has on our society. By recognizing the leadership potential of young girls, the event has set the stage for a brighter, more equitable future.