UNICEF offers cooperation for child protection

LAHORE:United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has extended an offer to the Punjab government to enhance cooperation in the field of child protection.

This offer was extended in a meeting held between Punjab Minister for Social Welfare Syed Yawar Abbas Bukhari and UNICEF’S deputy representative to Pakistan Dr Tajudeen Oyewale here on Monday.

Social Welfare & Baitul Mal Secretary Hassan Iqbal, Director Irfan Gondal and chief of field (UNICEF) Punjab Will Broad Ngembi were also present.

During the meeting, the participants discussed proposed reforms relating to legislation about child protection in Punjab, social support in the wake of Covid-19, early marriages and issues related to birth registration.

The minister emphasized improvements in child protection laws and maintained that it would be better if one department deals with the child protection issue and the social welfare department should lead in this matter.

Yawar Bukhari urged that early marriages should be discouraged as it could lead to some sort of social complications, with certain pros and cons.

Social Welfare Secretary Hassan Iqbal recommended that all stakeholders should be taken in the loop

before the final decision, adding that the birth registration issue needs more focus in the current situation.

Dr Tajudeen Oyewale expressed the satisfaction over initiatives regarding child protection, adding that UNICEF was determined to expand collaboration with the Punjab government.

Will Broad Ngembi urged that the menace of child labour should be discouraged and added that more steps were required to achieve the target.