Experts stress Provision of Children’s Rights Amidst Climate Change Impacts
Over 3 million children are street vendors in Pakistan and the number of out of school children in Pakistan is estimated at 28 million, Inousa Kabore, Deputy Representative UNCIEF said on Thursday.
He was speaking at the multi-stakeholder national consultation on how Climate Change is impacting children of Pakistan in commemoration of Universal Children’s Day 2023, under the global theme of “For every child, Every Right”.
In his keynote speech UNICEF official observed that climate change causes the health and wellbeing of children to be affected, especially those living in high-risk areas of the country. “Children are the brunt of climate change, every year the effect has been seen to double disrupting education, malnutrition, water borne diseases.
“Universal Children’s Day is an annual day of action for children, by children, marking the adoption of the convention on the rights of child. Children’s rights are human rights. But in too many places today, children’s rights are under threat,” he noted.
International Rescue Committee (IRC), in collaboration with National Commission on the Rights of Child (NCRC), had hosted a multi-stakeholder national consultation on how Climate Change is impacting children of Pakistan.
Ayesha Raza Farooq, Chairperson NCRC and Khalil George, Caretaker Minister for Human Rights, also spoke.
The panel discussion on “Inclusion, for every child amidst climate impact in Pakistan” was also held. The panel discussion was moderated by child rights expert Arshad Mahmood and featured eminent speakers such as Shabnam Baloch (Country Director-IRC), Gohar Khan (Chief Projects Officer NADRA), Izza Farrakh (Senior Education Specialist World Bank) and Dr. Naeem Zafar (Mental Health & Child Rights Expert).
The panelists deliberated upon the impending impact of climate change on child protection, education, and psychosocial health of the children in Pakistan. The consultation highlighted the challenges faced by children affected by climate change, focusing on the aftermath of the floods in 2022. The discussions centered on the impact on children’s access to food, water, shelter, and education, recognizing that these environmental hazards not only hinder these essential needs but also reduce children’s resilience and adaptive capacity.
The panel noted that is Pakistan is one of the countries with low rates of birth registration (despite recent progress) – the PDHS 2017-18 indicate that that only 42% of children aged under five had their births registered. It is a permanent and official record of a child’s existence and provides legal recognition of that child’s identity. Not only is birth registration a fundamental human right, it also helps ensure that children’s other rights are upheld. (PR)