NCRC Unveils 3-year Strategic Plan on Child Trafficking

Thu Jan 25 2024
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ISLAMABAD: The National Commission on Child Rights (NCRC) on Wednesday unveiled a prospective three-year strategic plan and policy brief on child trafficking.

“This initiative is the result of a comprehensive review and consultation process with key stakeholders, child rights experts and civil society voices, demonstrating the NCRC’s commitment to promoting and protecting children’s rights in line with Pakistan’s international commitments,” said an NCRC press release.

NCRC’s strategic vision is anchored in a promise to defend the rights of every child. By 2026, the strategic plan aims to deliver measurable improvements in the promotion of child rights and make every effort to translate this promise into effective evidence-based actions by state actors and civil society.

A key priority identified in the strategic plan is a focus on evidence and knowledge generation. The NCRC aims to build a robust foundation of evidence-based practice, equipping policymakers and stakeholders with the knowledge needed to inform effective policies and interventions.

NCRC’s strategic plan emphasizes collaboration as a cornerstone and prioritizes multi-stakeholder partnerships. A collaborative approach recognizes the collective responsibility of all sectors to protect and promote the rights of children in Pakistan. Finally, a strategic plan is not just a document; represents a commitment to transformative actions.

Inaugurating the plan, NCRC Chairperson Ayesha Raza Farooq highlighted the potential impact of the strategic plan.

“This is not just a road map; it is a commitment to change the destiny of our children. By implementing evidence-based strategies and fostering partnerships, we strive to actively advance the rights of every child in Pakistan,” she added.

Dr. Rinchen Chophel, a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), said in his remarks: “The Commission’s Strategic Plan is a beacon of hope that provides a blueprint for transformative action.”

As a member of the UNCRC, he said he applauded the initiative, which he believed would make a significant contribution to shaping a future “where the rights of every child are not only recognized but also actively protected and promoted”.

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Christine Chung, representing the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: “In May 2023, Pakistan underwent the first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, during which the government committed to work on the recommendations of other member states, including combating child marriage and raising the minimum age of marriage , enforcement of children’s right to quality education and the fight against child labor.

“Our office acknowledges that these recommendations have been translated into the strategic plan presented by the Commission.”

Dr. Inoussa Kabore, Deputy Representative of UNICEF, said: “The Strategic Plan is a commendable step towards protecting the rights of children in Pakistan. We believe that the strategic priorities outlined – evidence and knowledge, partnerships and transformation – are aligned with global efforts to ensure the well-being of every child. This a collaborative approach sets a positive precedent for effective child rights advocacy and we look forward to witnessing the lasting impact of this strategic plan on the lives of children across the country.”

“Prioritizing awareness, capacity building and policy reform will change the future of children in Pakistan. Enforcing child rights laws and creating a coordination mechanism with provincial child protection agencies is a must,” said AD Khawaja, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Human Rights.

The event also saw the launch of a policy on children that delves into the multifaceted issue of child trafficking and provides an in-depth analysis of the current situation, the challenges we face and recommendations for effective prevention and intervention. The comprehensive document reflects the complexity of child trafficking in order to develop targeted solutions. —APP

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