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World Children Day to be marked today

By Minahil Makhdoom

ISLAMABAD: More than 25 buildings across Pakistan will turn blue as the country celebrates World Children’s Day – a global day of action for children, by children, to raise awareness on the need to help millions of them realize their rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). To celebrate this momentous day, the Federal Ministry of Human Rights and UNICEF are turning more than 25 iconic landmarks and monuments blue in Islamabad and Pakistan’s four provinces in the evening of 20 November, as a symbol of their commitment to children’s rights.
It is the third year in a row that buildings in the country and across the globe are lit up to call for a world in which the vision of the Convention of the Rights of the Child becomes a reality for every child. “Tonight, iconic buildings will be lit up blue in Pakistan and all around the world to celebrate World Children’s Day and demonstrate our solidarity with children. This is also a reminder of the Government’s strong commitment to defend children’s rights and to ensure that they are safe and protected against abuse. We will continue to work to make sure that our children, who are our assets and the future of our nation, can live in a safe, enabling environment,†said Dr. Shireen Mazari, Federal Minister for Human Rights.
‘World Children’s Day is an opportunity to remind ourselves and the world how important it is to cherish, protect and empower our children. Government work and partnerships at every level will help us deliver a better world in which every child can realise their dreams and live a safe, carefree life,†said Rabiya Javeri Agha, Secretary, Ministry for Human Rights. World Children’s Day also marks a commitment to listen to the voices of children, adolescents and young people as they demand to be heard on issues that matter to them and ask to be part of the solution. Children must be included in decisions that affect their future, especially as this year brought forth new challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis. “While millions of girls and boys in Pakistan have seen their lives improve, millions of others continue to grapple with poverty, inequality, and lack of access to the essential services,†said Ms. Aida Girma, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan. “The COVID-19 crisis is a child rights crisis. We must work together to avert a lost generation as the global pandemic threatens to cause irreversible harm to children’s education, nutrition and well-being.
This includes making sure that every child and adolescent can continue to access the essential services that are their rights so they can survive, stay healthy, learn and fulfill their potential. UNICEF staff are on the ground doing everything they can to help children and communities respond to, and recover from, the pandemic.
We will continue to support the Government so that no child in Pakistan is left behind,†Girma added. World Children’s Day marks the adoption of the Convention on 20 November 1989. Pakistan ratified the Convention the following year. Among the 25 monuments that will turn blue are landmarks such as the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, the Ministry of Human Rights and the National Assembly in Islamabad; Mazar-e-Quaid and Qaid-e-Azzam Flag House in Karachi; Quaid-e-Azam Residency in Ziarat; Minar-e-Pakistan and Quaid-e-Azam Library in Lahore; all four provincial Assemblies; and the Khyber Pass in Khyber Paktunkhwa.

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