PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s 14-year-old Heera Akbar has been chosen as one of the nominees for the “International Children’s Peace Prize 2017” for her efforts against corporal punishments administered to children during education.
Heera is a resident of Swat and endeavours for the protection of children’s rights. She is a speaker of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), actively trying to raise awareness about challenges posed to children’s rights. She is also a member of her school’s debating club and has participated in a campaign against corporal punishments.
Speaking with Pakistan Today, Heera said that her special area of interest were those children who had to leave education due to corporal punishments. She regularly holds campaigns in this regard, raising awareness of the issue, and also helps report incidents involving such punishments to the authorities.
Heera’s father Muhammad Akbar is the founder of Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Child Rights Committee in Pakistan. Speaking about his work, Akbar told Pakistan Today that there are times when unpleasant incidents impair their motives, but relentless passion does not allow anything to obstruct their mission. The work of CRC is growing in Pakistan and achieving its objectives.
The international KidsRights Foundations awards the International Children’s Peace Prize annually to a child who has fought courageously for children’s rights. This year the organisation has announced a record number of 151 nominees from 55 countries for the award. 8 of the nominees are from Pakistan, with two of them belonging to Swat district.
The organisation will announce the names of three finalists on November 15. The winner will be announced on December 4 and presented the award by a Nobel Peace Laureate in the Hall of Knights in The Hague in Netherlands.
In 2013, International Children’s Peace Prize had been awarded to Malala Yousafzai.
The prize was launched by KidsRights Foundation during the 2005 world summit of Nobel Peace Laureates at the Capitol in Rome. Since then, the prize has been presented every year by a Nobel Peace Laureate to the winner. The motivation behind the prize is to provide a platform for children to express their ideas and personal involvement in children’s rights. It seeks to recognise and motivate children for their efforts to improve their own situation and that of other children.