Saturday September 25, 2021

Child protection desk to be established at PIMS

September 12, 2020

Islamabad : Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR) is establishing Child Protection Desk at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Science (PIMS). One such desk has already been established at Polyclinic Hospital.

An official of MoHR shared this information at the second meeting of the Child Protection Advisory Board held on Friday. The meeting was chaired by the Minister for Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Law, Bait-ul-Mal, ICT Police, Mr. Ali Nawaz Islamabad Capital Territory Member National Assembly and the Zainab Alert Application Team from SI Global Solutions, amongst other relevant stakeholders.

Commodore (r) Liaquat Ali, Project Director of the Zainab Alert Application gave a presentation on the installation of Zainab Alert Application and its integration with the MOHR’s 1099 Helpline. Notably, it was decided that a sub-committee was to be formed to review the technical and financial feasibility of the application.

Another important outcome entailed the proposition of Managing Director of Bait-ul-Mal, Aon Abbas Bappi, who offered one-time financial support of Rs60, 000 to complainants, and to take care of the educational expenditures of children. Moreover, he proposed that the complainants could also be referred to the Ehsaas programme for monthly support. He was invited to participate in the Child Protection Advisory Board upon the directives of the Islamabad High Court (IHC). The case was undertaken by the board on the directions of Islamabad High Court.

Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, addressed the board regarding the importance of effectively implementing child protection laws in Pakistan to eradicate child abuse cases in the country. She also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to protecting child rights.

Federal Secretary for Human Rights, Rabiya Javeri Agha, briefed the board on the progress that has been made since the first meeting of the board, with regards to advancing the rights of children in Pakistan. She spoke about the operationalization of the National Commission for Child Rights (NCRC) to curb child rights violations. She further highlighted the critical impact of the Human Rights Helpline 1099 on protecting children, as well as raising awareness about laws and protection mechanisms at the grass-root level. Finally, she highlighted the role of the Ministry of Human Rights in preparing legislation to criminalize corporal punishment and put an end to the culture of violence against children in the country.

Director General International Cooperation Muhammad Hassan Mangi, talked about the progress and recent developments of the Ministry of Human Rights towards child protection. This includes a sub-committee that was constituted under the chair of Ambreen Ahmad to facilitate setting up Child Protection Institute and to assist Ministry of Human Rights in preparation of guidelines/SOPs for Institute. The MS Wing has recommended 40 posts for the Child Protection Institute which is under consideration for creation of posts with Finance Division, and the budget for the Institute has also been allocated. It has also been decided that subject to the approval of the posts from the Finance Division, a supplementary grant will be taken from the Finance Division for the operation of the Institute.

Ministry of Human Rights representatives also informed the Board of various child abuse awareness campaigns and initiatives that have been in progress, including a school engagement program against children abuse that was launched by the Minister for Human Rights in various public and private schools in Islamabad Capital Territory. Information, Education and Communication Material disseminated among students and parents.

Participants of the meeting were also briefed about the progress being made with regards to strengthening legislation and its implementation with regards to child abuse. The rules of the Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Act, 2020 have been shared with Federal and Provincial counterparts for obtaining their views. The post of the Director General of Zainab Alert has been recommended by MS Wing, Establishment Division. The Rules of Islamabad Capital Territory Child Protection Act, 2020 have also been drafted.