LAHORE: Participants of a consultative meeting held at the Wafaqi Mohtasib Regional Secretariat, Friday agreed on various recommendations to facilitate the provision of psychosocial and medical support to child abuse victims and their families.
Aimed at discussing a strategic way forward to tackle the situation of child abuse in Kasur and seeking recommendations from stakeholders, the meeting was attended by National Committee on Children Chairman Dr S M Zafar, National Commissioner for Children Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi, Wafaqi Mohtasib Regional Office Member In-charge Hamdi Waris, Commissioner for Children Syeda Viquarun Nisa Hashmi, Provincial Punjab ombudsman besides representatives of NADRA, Punjab police and other concerned departments.
The meeting agreed to work for the provision of legal aid to the victims of abuse and their families, forensic test facilities in the Kasur district, computerisation of DNA identification through NADRA, and a facilitation centre for minor victims of abuse and their families besides a judicial notice on compromise in cases of molestation and murder of victims.
The meeting also agreed to carry out an in-depth study and need assessment to diagnose, investigate, redress and rectification of injustice against the children in Kasur. It was also agreed that a core committee, headed by S M Zafar and a steering committee headed by Wafaqi Mohtasib Syed Tahir Shahbaz would be formed to ensure smooth implementation of the detailed action plan to address the issues of child abuse in Kasur.
The core committee will be empowered to take strategic decisions, meet authorities, monitor progress and approve the deliverables while the steering committee will comprise of parliamentarians, representatives of the law ministry, police, FIA and others, the meeting agreed.
Talking to the media after the meeting, Chairman of Child Commissioners S M Zafar said that a holistic approach was required to find out how deep was the network of child abuse.
He said that as a chairman of child commissioners, he took notice of the Kasur events and worked out a plan after consultation with child commissioners.
He also said that there should not be any delay in reporting if a child was missing and concerned SHO should be mandated to register the FIR on the receipt of the report of a missing child.
“Educational institutions and families must be trained to make children aware of the ‘situational awareness’ to help them stay safe,” he said and added that the government should take measures to promote the psychological and physical recovery of child victims.
National Commissioner for Children Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi and Commissioner for Children Syeda Viquarun Nisa Hashmi also spoke on the occasion.