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Insufficient information: Balochistan lacks key data on child abuse

By Sehrish Wasif

A workshop on Child Protection Case Management and Referral System in Pakistan is being organized by the Balochistan government in collaboration with United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) at a local hotel. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABADThe ignorance of Balochistan government has led the children to badly suffer in the province with their lives at stake.

The provincial government hardly allocates or rather releases any funds for children’s protection and welfare, an official close with the child protection cell in Balochistan told The Express Tribune.

At present, Balochistan government lacks official data on child related issues such as sexual abuse, various forms of violence and deaths caused mainly because of poor health facilities among others, he said, adding “It is a known fact that almost every day children in Balochistan become victim of various kinds of violence and sexual abuse but their cases remain unreported, unnoticed and unheard”.

A workshop on Child Protection Case Management and Referral System in Pakistan is being organized by the Balochistan government in collaboration with United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) at a local hotel. It is the first of its kind workshop being held to recommend ways to effectively counter issues of child abuse in Pakistan.

“Children in Balochistan are deprived of their basic rights to education, health,” said the official who was one of the participants of a workshop,” and added that departments working for child welfare and protection are facing acute shortage of funds and resources.

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The official referred to the approval of Balochistan Child Protection Act 2016 in Balochistan Assembly and its endorsement by the Balochistan Governor, which enforces the Act into law with immediate effect from November 2016. “However due to lack of government’s ignorance, shortage of funds and human resources it has not been implemented yet,” he said.

“Several times the concerned department is requested for the allocation for funds, but the demand was not entertained,” said the official and added that the future of children in Balochistan rests entirely on funds and technical support from international organisations.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage, Marriyum Aurangzeb, who is also the chairperson of the Parliamentary Special Committee on Child Abuse, speaking on the occasion said, “ Recently media has reported two child sexual abuse cases which were noticed and action was taken, however everyday several such cases go unreported and unnoticed.”

Deputy Representative of UNICEF Pakistan Cris Munduate said “Child Protection needs our immediate attention,” while addressing participants of the workshop and added, “Pakistan ratified the United Nations Convention of the Right of the Child (CRC) in 1990, thereby undertaking a specific commitment to promote and protect the rights of all children in the country… to ensure that children within the State are protected from all forms of violence, neglect and exploitation, collectively known as ‘child abuse’, be it within a family environment or otherwise.”

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DFID Senior Social Development Adviser Séamus Mac Róibín said, “We owe it to the children of Pakistan, to our moral conscience and to the future generations, to leave behind a country in which every child is protected from violence


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