It is heartening to note that Pakistan joins the International Community today in celebration of the 25 years of adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Children. Today, Pakistan is also commemorating Universal Children Day with a firm commitment to accord high priority to safeguard the rights of children.

It is encouraging to note that since the adoption of Convention on the rights of the Child by the United Nation, the Government has undertaken concrete steps to ensure better livelihood, education, health care and protection of children.

Protection of children from violence and all kinds of exploitation is guided by Islamic injunctions and the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Islam enjoins upon us to protect, educate and accord fair and equal treatment to our children. Similarly, the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan binds the State to make special provisions for the protection of children. Right to education has been declared as a Fundamental Right through 18th amendment in the constitution by insertion of Article 25-A. Article 37(e) stipulates that the State shall 'make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work, ensuring that children and women are not employed in vocations unsuited to their age or sex'.

I take this opportunity to reiterate that the protection of child rights and ensuring equal opportunities to them requires a strong and robust partnership between public and private agencies. I, therefore, call upon the parents, teachers, civil society, NGOs, volunteers, philanthropists, international development partners, media, corporate sector and also the children themselves to play their role towards promoting and protection of the rights of children.

Let me also reaffirm our pledge to continue making efforts for protection and protection of child rights in the country. I also appreciate the UN agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations and Media for their endeavors in supplementing the Government's efforts to create conducive environment for all children. I hope they will continue pursuing this important mission with the same zeal and spirit.

May Allah help us in this noble cause. Ameen