By Minahil Makhdoom
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR) concluded its awareness and sensitization campaign against child abuse today at the National Centre for Rural Development Office, Bani Gala.
The session engaged over 130 participants and representatives from 3 Child Protection Committees from Bara Kahu, Bani Gala, and Taramri. This was the last session of the campaign, which engaged a total of 15 Child Protection Committees for raising awareness on child rights and prevention of child abuse in different sub-urban communities of Islamabad Capital Territory. This included areas such as Kohsar, I-9, I-10, Meherabadi, Bari Imam, Shah Allah Ditta, Golra, Tarnol, Saidpur, Sohan, Muslim Colony and Chungi, said in Press Release issued here on Wednesday.
The campaign was organized under the Human Rights Awareness Programme, a special initiative by the Ministry of Human Rights that has been designed to raise awareness of general public about human rights laws enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan and other domestic laws.
The participants engaged in the campaign comprised of children, parents, teachers, civil society representatives, police officers, activists, community leaders and media personnel. The sessions were geared towards raising awareness about the rights of children enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan, domestic laws and MoHRâ€™s commitment to protect the rights of every child in Pakistan. More specifically, the sessions delved into the critical role that parents, teachers, and society at large can play in creating and ensuring a safe and enabling environment for children in the country.
Participants were also shown a few short video clips that have been developed by the Ministry of Human Rights to address the issue of Child abuse and its prevention. The videos explored topics that encourage children to speak out whenever they feel uncomfortable with anyone, whether itâ€™s a peer, family member or someone at school. They also explore ways that parents and teachers can identify signs of abuse, and create a relationship of trust so that their children can confide in them about these sensitive issues.
he campaign was launched as a second phase to the Minister of Human Rights, Shireen Mazariâ€™s, School Engagement Programme against Child Abuse, that was conducted last year. Speaking about the campaign, Minister Shireen Mazari said, â€œThe Government of Pakistan recognizes the gravity of the issue of Child Abuse in Pakistan, and it is one of our primary areas of priority. It is critical to raise awareness and build understanding among communities about the rights of children as well as state laws and mechanisms for prevention and protection of child abuse.
On Thursday, 15th October 2020, we will be launching the Zainab Alert application on the Pakistan Citizen’s Portal, further to the promulgation and enactment of the Zainab Response and Recovery Act 2020, which is a critical milestone towards instituting a robust emergency response mechanism to effectively tackle the issue in Pakistan. Citizenâ€™s are encouraged to take the issue of child abuse seriously, and to report incidents on our 1099 helpline, which is easily accessible to everyone.â€
Sara Hasham, President CPC Bani Gala appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Human Rights in forming 15 child protection committees in ICT and engaging them to ensure that children are provided with a safe environment to grow.