While observing the ‘Universal Children Day’, OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) underlined the importance of protecting the human rights of all children in all settings especially those in highly vulnerable environments of situations of armed conflict and called upon all relevant stakeholders to ensure improved access to education and health care for the refugee and migrant children.
From the harrowing photos of a Syrian child who drowned earlier this year during his family’s quest to flee war torn homeland, to the video of a Palestinian kid being abused by Israeli security forces; innumerable incidents continue to remind us that children remain the prime victims in all humanitarian crises; be these are manmade or natural disasters. As a result of intensifying conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere, world has witnessed a record level of displaced children since World War II. This warrants special international focus to provide not only lifesaving and life sustaining humanitarian assistance to these children but also taking urgent measures for their full rehabilitation in accordance with the established norms of international human rights and humanitarian law.
Human rights of children are an integral component of Islamic family law. OIC Member States, being signatories to the OIC Covenant on the Rights of Child in Islam, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, are obliged and committed to formulating policies designed at preventing exploitation of children and providing enabling environment for their physical and psychological wellbeing. The Commission took note of the fact that 600 million children live in OIC Member States and make up approximately 40 percent of their population. It, therefore, urged them to apportion reasonable budgetary resources and redouble their efforts to introduce requisite legislative and social reforms aimed at protecting and promoting children rights in all settings.
On its part, the Commission has adopted rights of the Child as one of the priority areas in its mandated activities and shall continue to collaborate with the Member States, their NHRIs and relevant civil society organizations to promote and protect the human rights of this vulnerable segment of society.