SPARC is Pakistan’s leading child rights organization. It works on a broad range of child rights issues, addressing the overall system and policy framework, with added focus on specific thematic areas of special importance to children.
SPARC’s work is guided by international human rights principles and standards which are integrated at policy and program level. The main guiding documents include the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) and relevant ILO Conventions.
A world in which children are valued and empowered and their rights promoted and protected.
To promote and protect the rights of children and to empower them using international standards as a yardstick through advocacy supported by research, awareness raising, service delivery and human and institutional development.
SPARC was registered in December 1992 as a society under the Societies Registration Act 1860.
SPARC has consultative status with the United Nations ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) and the United Nations Department of Public Information. It also has partnership with Defence for Children International (DCI).
In 2003, SPARC received the United Nations Recognition Award in recognition of its work in highlighting the plight of children and promoting the rights of children in Pakistan.
In 2006 SPARC received USAID certification under the USAID Institutional Management Certification Programme (IMCP).
SPARC has offices in five cities: the head office is in Islamabad and provincial offices are in Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta and Karachi. In addition there are three field offices; Hyderabad, Multan and Nowshera.
SPARC's Board of Directors comprises of leading civil society leaders and activists. The Board meets at least twice a year and provides support and guidance on policy issues, and also participates in various SPARC activities.
SPARC’s outreach at district level is based on Child Rights Committees (CRCs). These are volunteer groups consisting of local activists working on children’s issues. There are currently a total of 54 CRCs: 16 in Sindh, 20 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, 16 in Punjab and 2 in Balochistan.
- Lobbying with government to make child rights a priority issue and develop legal and institutional mechanisms;
- Accountability of state and society though media, conferences and periodic shadow reports to relevant international human rights committees;
- Monitoring of the child rights situation in the country through annual status reports on children’s issues;
- Research to assess and highlight issues facing children and make recommendations;
- Capacity building of duty bearers through training of teachers, police and prison officials and information sharing sessions with government officials and parliamentarians;
- Mass awareness and educating the public about the situation and rights of children through campaigns, information material and electronic media messages;
- Networking with local and international organizations for building synergies and collaboration mechanisms between like minded organizations;
- Strengthening child rights activists by supporting and training of child rights activists at local levels;
- Empowerment of rights holders by providing forums for expression and participation to children in the form of child rights clubs and children’s parliament;
- Strategic interventions for children in conflict with the law, bonded child labourers and those in emergency/disaster hit areas have been built -in to support advocacy. These include provision of legal aid and other support for improving living conditions in jails, facilitating bonded child labours and their families with legal aid, in acquiring birth registration and facilitating access to social services;
- Emergency response and early recovery: In the event of a natural or man-made disaster that displaces or affects children, basic humanitarian aid including food and non food items and safe play areas are provided. Early recovery interventions consist of rehabilitation of damaged schools and financial aid for seriously affected families.