Message by the Foreign Minister on World Children's Day (20 November 2021)
International Children's Day is an apt annual reminder of the important place that children have in our world. They bring us joy and love and epitomize simplicity and innocence. It is, therefore, vital that children are afforded the necessary protections and the conducive conditions in which they are able to realize their dreams and full potential.
On this day, we renew our commitment to redouble efforts to ensure a safe, secure and responsive environment for every child to grow, learn and flourish.
Children share the same world that we, as international community, build for them. Sadly, today children are not free from the scourge of violent conflicts, illegal occupation of their land, climate change, inequality, racism, discrimination and poverty. They look up to us to do more for their rights as enshrined in international covenants. Provision of education and health and creation of a secure, safe and healthy environment is among their fundamental rights. They must be protected from exploitation and all forms of abuse. COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated the socio-economic, health and education related challenges being faced by the children around the world.
Pakistan is a progressive and strong global voice for the promotion and protection of the rights of the child. The International Convention on the Rights of the Child was a result of our collective efforts, with Pakistan playing a major role. We have taken a number of steps for providing a better life to our children. The Ehsaas Nashounuma Program, the Ehsaas School Stipend Program, ZainabAlert legislation and the National Commission on the Rights of the Child are a manifestations of this commitment.
I am pleased to note that in collaboration with the international community, we are also undertaking an unprecedented campaign to vaccinate more than 90 million children as part of global fight against measles and rubella, thus upscaling our commitment to protect the child's right to health.
Today's children are also our partners in building a better future. They have demonstrated their determination to stand up for challenges like climate change. Their commitment, strength and leadership gives us hope. In the same vein, the world must not expect that children growing up under oppression, occupation and facing denial of their inalienable rights will accept a lifetime under tyranny as their only fate.
Let us join hands in ensuring that every child is raised with care, dignity, protection and has access to necessary services.
20 November 2021