LAHORE: Media and civil society must work in close coordination to ensure that children received a safe and secure environment, free from all forms of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.
This was said during a workshop with the media, organised by Search For Justice, Children Advocacy Network- CAN Pakistan in collaboration with Australian High Commission in Pakistan.
Search For Justice Executive Director Iftikhar Mubarak said that Pakistan was under obligation of Child Rights Convention and according to which, parties should take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment and maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, in its concluding observations issued in 2016, recommended that Pakistan should initiate a prompt and effective child-friendly mandatory reporting of cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation at home, schools, institutions and in other settings. The committee further recommended that Pakistan should undertake investigation into all reports and allegations of child sexual abuse and exploitation, and punish the perpetrators with sentences that were commensurate with the gravity of the crimes. In the recent Universal Periodic Review (2017), Pakistan received more than 52 recommendations to improve the state of children’s rights and most of them were accepted by Pakistan.
Lahore College for Women University’s (LCWU) Mass Communication Department head Dr Anjum Zia reiterated that every child deserved to enjoy their right to grow up in an environment free from violence and fear. She highlighted the need of reporting of violence against children in a sensitive manner and said that every media house must put its best staff to cover the stories of violence against children. She strongly urged that media should be more responsible during live transmissions that focused on the issue of violence against children, as little negligence could put negative effects on a child’s personality.