KARACHI: Sindh Police and Zindagi Trust held a ‘Child protection action dialogue’ in the Zindagi Trust adopted Khatoon-i-Pakistan (KPS) government school on Wednesday.

Earlier Zindagi Trust had a meeting with IG Sindh Police Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar 10 days ago in KPS.

He was joined by the founder of Zindagi Trust, Shehzad Roy, former head of special programmes and advocacy Sana Kazmi, CEO Hameedah Sayani, Faiq Ahmed and Manish Kazmi.

The IGP Sindh was given an extensive tour of the premises and shown the work done there by the trust.

Later, he had a meeting in which he stressed the importance of the work the trust had done in implementing life skills-based education.

He stressed the importance of creating awareness among students of the need for child protection against abuse and encouraging reporting to police.

The IG stressed the importance of working together.

As a follow-up to that meeting, the Sindh police collaborated with Zindagi Trust to hold an open discussion with relevant stakeholders about safeguarding children on Wednesday.

The participants shared their experiences regarding child protection and the National Commission on the Rights of Child, the Sindh Child Protection Authority, Social Welfare Department.

The meeting focused on creating coordination between child protection authorities.

There was also a discussion on the Zainab Alert application.

It was said that the app was developed with the support of the CPLC in March 2020 and thanks to it any report of any missing child is reported on the police portal.

“So far, 565 out of 610 children in Sindh have been recovered thanks to the app.”

An official from the CPLC said that the success of the app was due to having an entire system behind it.

Hameedah Sayani said their NGO was looking at how they can add value to the endeavours on child protection.

Shehzad Roy said that their main work was to reform government schools. “But,” he pointed out, “here in this country there is a culture of beating up children. So much so that children think it as normal. This needs to change,” he said, while bringing up Section 89 in law, which allowed beating children in good faith.

Zindagi Trust is working at repealing this law.

Roy also spoke about how they implemented a curriculum to protect children against abuse.

“We are also working with the police to see how we can sensitise this issue,” he added.

An activist spoke about corporal punishment.

It was suggested that various acts and bills passed for protecting the young were brought under one umbrella.

One participant discussed shelter homes and that children should not be kept at these shelter homes.

No law on child beggars in Sindh

It was mentioned that there was no law on child beggars in Sindh although there was a need for it because they don’t know what to do with children who beg once they were picked up.

The issue of child marriages brought up the issue of Islamic law.

Another NGO representative said that it is important to share information about successful cases.

A transgender activist said that there should be a chapter in the police syllabus about transgender people and how to treat them as an equal human being.

It was mentioned that transgenders could not get an FIR registered.

In his closing remarks, IG Mushtaq Mahar said that the victimised children were usually helpless.

He said all institutions working for the welfare of children should be integrated.

Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2021

Opinion

Press and power
25 Sep 2021

Press and power

None used the press so brazenly as the Modi government.
Once upon a Taliban
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Once upon a Taliban

Something, somewhere is terribly wrong with how this story is unfolding.
Foundation of healthcare
24 Sep 2021

Foundation of healthcare

Primary healthcare is as much for healthy individuals as it for those suffering from ill health.

Editorial

25 Sep 2021

NAB controversy

THE completion of the four-year term of NAB chairman Javed Iqbal early next month has afforded Prime Minister Imran...
Cabinet ‘inclusivity’
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Cabinet ‘inclusivity’

Voices are being raised questioning when the much-hyped inclusivity the group had talked about will materialise.
25 Sep 2021

Quorum malady

LACK of quorum has become a chronic problem for the present National Assembly which is in the process of becoming a...
24 Sep 2021

Costs of growth

IS Pakistan’s growth party over? Not yet. But both the State Bank and government are now cutting down on the items...
Smear campaign
Updated 24 Sep 2021

Smear campaign

It is commendable that the government has taken the matter as seriously as it has, and delved deep into cyber investigations.
24 Sep 2021

Rising dengue cases

THE dengue monster is once again rearing its head in different cities of Punjab. More than 820 cases have surfaced ...