ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Human Rights has drafted an action plan for ending child abuse in the country with a focus on prevention, protection, recovery, reintegration and participation in society.
The action plan has been formulated for ensuring the rights of children under the provisions of the United Nations Convention on Rights of Child (UNCRC) ratified by Pakistan in 1990.
“The ministry plans to conduct workshops, hold multimedia campaigns for raising for the general public awareness, ensure access to education for all, hold workshops and seminars, integrate child rights and personal health, protect ongoing education, and sensitise high-ranking officials, members of the parliament and provincial assemblies and also police and court officials by raising their awareness of the matter for the prevention of child abuse,” said a document presented before the special committee on the issue of increasing number of child abuse cases.
In addition to this, the ministry has also planned community mobilisation to develop a local vigilance and protection system as well as the establishment of school protection committees through parent-teacher associations (PTA).
For the protection of children, the ministry is considering the effective implementation of the Juvenile Justice System (JJS), establishment of child-friendly courts, conducting training of law enforcement personnel and judiciary on an improved implementation mechanism, publicity of laws against child abuse, taking special measures against child pornography, and monitoring regional trafficking mafias.
For their recovery and reintegration, the ministry would develop a national core group of master trainers on psychosocial recovery and rehabilitation of child abuse victims in addition to the development of training packages for health care providers, training multi-disciplinary service providers and establishing child protection committees in all major hospitals.
For participation, under the new action plan Ministry of Human Rights planned to consult children on their needs and priorities when developing policies and implementing activities besides providing support, information and training of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and other partners to the enable those to support children’s active participation in implementing and monitoring of action plan.
Furthermore, the ministry has planned to publicise the available services, develop a referral system for child abuse victims, develop and implement a code of conduct for shelter homes, provide life skills-based education, counsel survivors of child assault, develop peer support groups to encourage children’s participation in their recovery and establish a document centre on child abuse and exploitation.
The Ministry of Human Rights will also monitor and coordinate the situation by working on strengthening the institutional capacity of the National Commission for Child Welfare and Development (NCCWD).