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Death of Three Infants Turned Homeless by the Local Administration in Rawalpindi

PRESS RELEASE

SPARC (DCI associated member in Pakistan) Condemns the Death of Three Infants Turned Homeless by the Local Administration in Rawalpindi

Islamabad- 05 December 2010: Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) in a press statement condemned the death of three children who died of the cold in Rawalpindi due to forced displacement from their homes by the local administration. A three year old Ali, a three and a half year old Bano and a two month old Hassan died after being forced to spend cold December nights in the open after the Punjab Auqaf Department Rawalpindi, the Rawal Town Municipal Administration staff and the Sadiqabad police raided the Katchi Abadi in Dhoke Kala Khan area and demolished their mud houses, lamented SPARC.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Child (UNCRC) ratified by Pakistan, places a duty on States Parties to ensure the best interests of the child remain paramount in all actions concerning children. The alleged baton charge by the police which fractured a 15 year old girl’s leg and the uprooting of the residents who had lived in the area for 36 years which led to these children’s deaths are clear violations of the rights provided under the Constitution of Pakistan and the UNCRC such as the inherent right to life in Article 6; the protection from abuse and neglect in Article 19 and the right to the highest standard of health and medical care attainable. Most importantly, the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development, provided in Article 27, was violated when these children were forcibly displaced from their homes and their health and well-being was endangered.

SPARC urged for the government to take actions against the relevant departments responsible for these violations of children’s rights and requested, as it has in previous press releases, to create authorities to deal with child protection and pass legislation pending for the protection of the rights of children.