Prioritisation of child rights urged by children during a panel discussion of children with human rights minister and Punjab Minority Affairs Department on Universal Children’s Day 2018 on Tuesday. The event was jointly arranged by Search for Justice, Child Rights Movement Punjab, National Commission for Human Rights, Ministry of Human Rights and Human Rights & Minority Affairs Department to mark Universal Children’s Day. Parents, teachers, nurses and doctors, government leaders and civil society activists, religious and community elders, corporate moguls and media professionals, as well as young people and children themselves can play an important part in making Universal Children’s Day relevant for their societies, communities and nations. On the occasion, a panel of children held an interactive dialogue with Human Rights Minister Ijaz Alam and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Members of Provincial Assembly Sumera Ahmed Bukhari and Musarrat Jamshed Cheema, to urge legal and policy reforms to ensure the protection of children from various forms of violence. Programme coordinator Rashida Qureshi shared that United Nations Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide and improving children’s welfare. November 20 is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the United Nation General Assembly adopted the declaration of the rights of the child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UNGA adopted the convention on the rights of the child. Child Rights Activist Iftikhar Mubarik also added that since 1990, Universal Children’s Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UNGA adopted both the declaration and the convention on children’s rights. He said that Universal Children’s Day offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children’s rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for children. A child participant Laiba Khan highlighted the issue of corporal punishment in schools. She urged provincial government to enact legislation to prohibit corporal punishment in all setting as this is a major reason of children’s drop out from school and this also contribute in pushing children to run away from their homes. She also demanded initiating campaigns to educate masses about the harmful effects of corporal punishment on children’s development. Another child participant Sameer Haider pointed out the serious issue of child sexual abuse and the absence of child protection policy in Punjab. He urged the minister to play its effective role in expediting the process of development and approval of Child Protection Policy followed by a plan of action to address all forms of violence, abuse and exploitation. SFJ member Abu Turab pointed out the absence of legislative measures to prohibit child domestic labour since this is the worst form of child labour. Published in Daily Times, November 21st 2018.