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Karachi: Stakeholders, including officials from government departments, police, prisons, independent institutions and civil society have asked the National Commission on the Rights of the Child (NCRC) to include children’s voices and other child-specific genuine issues about child rights in its strategic plan.

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They were speaking at a strategic planning consultative workshop held at a hotel.

They underscored the need for strengthening and empowering the NCRC so that the commission can operate as an independent national human rights institution (NHRI) as required by the international standards known as Paris Principles.

Other stakeholders suggested that the NCRC should address child rights concerns such as child labour, child marriages, child sexual abuse and discrimination in education on a priority basis. They also demanded increase in the education budget at least to the committed four per cent of gross domestic product.

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The NCRC should also maintain a national database on child rights-related indicators and share them with various stakeholders for informed policy decisions.

They also demanded the establishment of a national helpline for ensuring timely assistance to child victims of abuse.

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